Von Miller received a six-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. The suspension was longer than the normal four-game suspension because the NFL believes Miller’s sample was diluted.
Miller and the Broncos may have caught a break because the Associate Press is reporting the NFL wanted to suspend Miller for more than six games but agreed on six games after negotiating with Denver.
With the Broncos missing their best defensive player for the first six weeks of the season, Yahoo!’s Jeremy Sickel writes that the door may be open for the Chiefs to win the AFC West.
The Kansas City Chiefs, specifically, look to take advantage after an offseason that has favorably positioned the organization to put last season’s awful showing in the rear-view mirror.
Though the Chiefs do not have the fortune of drawing the Broncos while Miller is sidelined, Denver will have a much tougher task of running away with the division this season.
Denver faces the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants (road), Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys (road), and Jacksonville Jaguars to open the season. The matchups with Baltimore and New York were already difficult games for the Broncos, and those games just got tougher. Games against the Eagles and Cowboys, both of which would have seen Denver being favored, will now likely see tighter lines going into those games.
The Broncos will go as far as Peyton Manning can take them, so the loss of Miller doesn’t completely kill Denver’s chances of winning the division. But the road to getting their just got a lot tougher. If Kansas City can get off to a fast start and ride that momentum, stealing the AFC West from Denver may not be too far out of their reach.