Broncos LB Von Miller makes life hell for Tom Brady

For four straight quarters on Sunday, New England's Tom Brady spent life on the run.

Brady was trying to evade Denver's trio of pass-rushing whirlwinds -- Derek Wolfe, DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller -- who dominated the Patriots all afternoon in a 20-18 win over New England in the AFC Championship Game.

Miller was otherworldly, slashing past Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon for a gameplan-crushing 2.5 sacks, which set a single-game playoff record for the Super Bowl-bound Broncos. Miller also set up Denver's second touchdown with an athletic interception of Brady, who threw for a pedestrian 5.5 yards per toss against a frenetic Broncos secondary that noticed Brady was feeling the heat:

In a punishing defeat, Brady absorbed a whopping 19 hits, the most on a quarterback in a single game since 2006, when Cleveland's Charlie Frye was hit 20 times by the Ravens

With Miller rampaging off the edge, Wolfe dominated inside, piling up six solo tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and three additional hits on Brady. Ware was kept at bay early, but finished with half a takedown and seven hits on the quarterback for a Broncos club that won its 11th game of the year by seven points or fewer.

These tight wins have plenty to do with a spotty Denver offense that couldn't seal the deal in the second half, but that only magnifies the accomplishments of a Broncos defense that forced New England into six punts, two failed fourth-down conversions and a pair of turnovers.

Pundits talked all week about Brady and the Patriots replacing their anemic ground game with a rash of lightning-quick passes. That worked against the Chiefs, but not on Sunday.

Denver never flinched, digging in from the first whistle to shred a wanting New England O-line that wasn't up to the challenge, leaving Brady with plenty of ugly game tape to ponder in the lonely months to come.

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