ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The sack totals may say Von Miller has not had a good year.
Opposing game plans that make scheming against Miller a priority, though, say an outside linebacker should not be judged on sacks alone.
In an equally split vote of the fans, NFL coaches and players, Miller was the only Bronco who was named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster on Tuesday.
Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton was named a second alternate while third alternate selections went to safety Kareem Jackson and returner Diontae Spencer.
The Pro Bowl game will be played January 26 in Orlando.
Sutton, Jackson and fellow safety Justin Simmons -- who was completely snubbed by Pro Bowl voters -- were hurt by the fact the AFC is stacked with stars at their respective positions.
In 13 games this year, Miller has 7.0 sacks, which represents the second-lowest total of his career. The only time he had fewer was in 2013, when he finished with 5.0 sacks in large part because he was suspended from the first six games and missed the last one because of a torn ACL injury.
Miller had double-digit sacks in seven other seasons, averaging 13.3 in that period.
No doubt Miller’s high visibility, widespread popularity and strong reputation helped him this year. He has received 8 Pro Bowl honors in his 9 seasons with his difficult 2013 season the only exception.
Sutton has been terrific while working with three different starting quarterbacks (Joe Flacco for eight games; Brandon Allen for three and Drew Lock for three) this season, posting 63 catches for 1,109 yards through 14 games in his second NFL season.
Problem is Sutton ranks 10th among AFC receivers in catches and is tied for third in yards.
Jackson may be the best player who has never made a Pro Bowl. He played his first 9 seasons, mostly at cornerback, for the Houston Texans. He signed a three-year, $33 million deal as a free agent in March with the Broncos, who converted him full-time to safety.
Jackson was outstanding in Broncos’ victories at the Los Angeles Chargers and at his former Houston Texans. Should other safeties bow out of the Pro Bowl because of injuries or postseason conflicts, Jackson would be eligible to play despite the two-game suspension he received Tuesday as punishment for his DUI charge in September.
Spencer, whom the Broncos claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh prior to the start of the regular season, ranks second among AFC returners with a 28.9-yard average on kickoffs. Only the Bengals’ Brandon Wilson with a 31.3-yard average is better.
Spencer is also fifth in the conference with a 7.9-yard punt return average.
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