Elvis Dumervil returned to the stat sheet in a big way on Sunday, getting to Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer twice, finishing with 1.5 sacks – his first quarterback takedowns since the 2009 season when he led the league with 17 sacks.
Von Miller, the team’s second overall choice in the 2011 draft split one sack with Dumervil, to bring his team-leading total to 6.5 on the season.
“I think the fact that they are on different sides and we did a couple new things with Von yesterday – they’re both threats, and it’s more for the offense to deal with just like if you have two shutdown corners versus one shutdown corner,” Head Coach John Fox said on Monday. “You create some of the same problems for the protection, so getting Elvis back and getting him healthy, obviously helped us.”
In training camp, Miller said that he would play Robin to Dumervil’s Batman, and on Sunday the dynamic duo worked its way to Palmer from opposite sides to split the team’s first sack of the game.
Miller talked about what having a healthier Dumervil back on the field has meant for him after Sunday’s game.
“He helps me a lot, except my sacks go down when he’s out there,” Miller laughed. “But it’s all good and I have a mentor on the field. I’ve never had that before.”
Coach Fox thought that both players turned in one of their best games of the season on Sunday, which makes it difficult for opponents to keep their quarterbacks clean.
“It’s a chess game, and you’re playing chess against the other team,” Fox said. “It was one of (their) better games to date.”
When Eddie Royal’s punt return touchdown gave the club a lead late in the game, the Raiders were thrust into obvious passing situations. Knowing the Raiders needed to pass the ball to get back in the game, Dumervil and Miller were able to pin their ears back to do what they do best – get after the quarterback.
“Me and Elvis always talk about if we can get a lead late in the game there is no way they are going to pass the ball and get down the field to score a touchdown,” Miller said on Sunday. “That’s always our mindset and when Eddie scored we just knew – it’s time to turn it on. Whenever the other team has to pass that’s when we operate the best.”
As Dumervil continues to get back to full health, Miller knows they can combine to inflict further damage on opposing passers.
“It was good to get Bruce Wayne back,” Miller said of his pass-rush partner. “It was kind of weird. I was getting ready to get a sack, and I had slipped for a second, and Elvis got the sack…Sacks, they just don’t come one at a time; they come in bunches. Hopefully this week Elvis can get three or four.”