Von Miller believes that 30-plus sacks in a season is achievable.
It’s a startling figure when you consider that the current NFL single-season record is 22.5, set by Michael Strahan in 2001. Thirty sacks wouldn’t just beat the record—it would destroy it. It’d be like an MLB player hitting 97 home runs in a season to beat Barry Bonds’ single-season record of 73.
But Miller has no doubt that it’s possible.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr recently predicted that his teammate Khalil Mack could get 30 sacks in a season if the refs “start calling” holding like they should. Judging by this clip, it sounds like Miller believes both he and Mack are capable of the feat:
“I think it is (possible),” Miller said during a recent media availability. “You’ve got to come out and get 10 in that first month, which is doable. You get two-and-a-half and then get two-and-a-half the next game and two-and-a-half the game after that. You might miss a game and then you get two-and-a-half again and you have 10 in five games. Then you get three, two, three. It’s definitely doable.”
Miller estimates he only gets five “open rushes” per game—that is, chances to rush the quarterback on a passing down where he’s not facing a double team.
“Teams are going to chip you, that’s definite, that’s just the gospel right there,” Miller said. “But you’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities. If you get five open rushes, you’ve got to win all five of those rushes. Out of five you might get two or three sacks out of those, that’s the math that I have,” Miller said. “Out of all the rushes in the game, all of the plays in the game, out of those five plays, you’ve got to get home on those plays. It’s definitely doable.”
If anyone can achieve 30 in the modern NFL, it’s probably Miller. He’s a 6-foot-3, 250-pound man who runs a 6.70 3-Cone Drill (faster than Le’Veon Bell) and possesses the elasticity of Gumby. Miller worked like an animal this offseason, pushing his body to a “spot where it’s never been before” to ensure he can stay on the field for as many snaps as possible. He reportedly showed up to training camp with 6.3 percent body fat.
The NFL has never seen a sack specialist quite like Miller before. Could he eventually record 30 sacks in a season? It’s unlikely, but not impossible.