ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Von Miller has sparked Denver's defense this season just as Tim Tebow has energized the Broncos' offense.
Like Tebow, he's fading at the finish.
The outside linebacker and No. 2 overall pick in the draft looked like a lock for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors when he collected 10½ sacks in his first 10 games.
Then, at the end of his best performance yet, a 10-tackle masterpiece at San Diego, Miller tore ligaments in his right thumb making a big play against the Chargers on Nov. 27.
He hasn't nearly as troublesome since, collecting just a single sack this month while San Francisco's Aldon Smith closes in on Jevon Kearse's rookie record of 14½ sacks.