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Published on 12/07/2009 at Mon Dec 07 10:00.
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Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs is sacked by Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos during the game on December 6, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs is sacked by Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos during the game on December 6, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It was third and nine in the second quarter, and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was just trying to make a play.

Unfortunately for Cassel, Denver Broncos outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil was right there waiting. Cassel rolled right and, with nowhere to throw, found himself where so many other quarterbacks have already wound up this season: squarely in the sights of 2009′s best pass rusher. Dumervil nabbed the first-year Chief for a three-yard loss and an NFL-best 15th sack on the season.

And Dumervil got that much closer to making history.

Dumervil is one sack away from tying the Broncos’ all-time single-season sack record, 16.0, set by DE/OLB Simon Fletcher in 1992. As the NFL’s leading pass rusher, Dumervil is also on pace to become the first league sack champion in franchise history.

His 15th was part of a dominating performance by the Broncos’ defense that saw Cassel intercepted twice, and Dumervil finished second on the team with five tackles in Denver’s 44-13 win.

“It was a good day today,” Dumervil said.

Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (92) and defensive tackle Darrell Reid (95) react after Dumervil sacked New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Denver, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009. Denver won 26-6. (AP Photo/ David Zalubowski)

Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (92) and defensive tackle Darrell Reid (95) react after Dumervil sacked New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Denver, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009. Denver won 26-6. (AP Photo/ David Zalubowski)

Dumervil has had several good days this season. He’s already tripled his sack total from a year ago, flourishing in his transition into Mike Nolan‘s 3-4 defense.

And while Dumervil would need to put on quite a show to challenge Michael Strahan‘s NFL-record 22½ sacks (Dumervil has registered five sacks in his past six games; he needs 7½ in four games to match Strahan’s mark), he can still set his sights on another NFL mark: third down sacks.

Dumervil’s takedown of Cassel was his 10th sack on third down this season, placing him second all-time in NFL history behind the 11 set by former 49ers LB Tim Harris in 1992.

“That’s the big boys’ down,” Dumervil said. [Denver Post] “When I first came in, guys like Al Wilson and John Lynch used to always say, ‘Money down.’ You get a sack on third down, that’s like a turnover.”

Dumervil’s “turnovers” have led the Broncos to the league’s fifth-best pass defense, an 8-4 record, and a clear picture of the playoffs in sight.

But, just as Dumervil’s sack on Cassel was directly caused by Denver’s blanketing secondary, the league’s leading pass rusher has his teammates to thank.

“The rush helps the secondary, and the secondary helps the rush,” Josh McDaniels said. “That’s what we’ve preached all along. When our rush is giving some pressure, our guys have done a nice job of covering for the most part this year. When they’ve covered well, we’ve allowed our rush to get there. It kind of goes hand in hand.”

Or, in Dumervil’s case, quarterback in sight.

  • DantePakistan

    DOOOOOMM!!!

  • flbronc

    get this guy under contract. he's apparently pretty good.

  • denverfanindallas

    just trying to be an informed fan… is the above picture considered a horse-collar tackle or does it have to be on the back of the shoulder pads? i would be fine if DOOM body-slammed Cassel, just wondering what the actual rule is?? NE1 know?

  • kerry

    grabbing a guy by the back of the jersey and shoulder pads while pulling them down is a horse collar.

  • denverfanindallas

    thanks kerry. i feel smarter now

  • kerry

    being in Dallas im surprised you havent heard why the rule was made or what it is called. the rule is called the Roy Williams rule and was patented after safety Roy Williams broke Terrell Owens leg while performing a horse collar tackle. actually Williams did that to a few players before Owens.

  • denverfanindallas

    i knew why the rule was made. and i just moved to dallas like 7 months ago. TO is gone, as is the real Roy Williams. I just had never heard if it was the shoulder pads in general or just the back of them.

  • Plato

    If Doom doesn't make the Pro-Bowl I'll be so pissed.

  • herc_rock

    Simon Fletcher is the most underrated player in Broncos history.

  • herc_rock

    Fletcher didn't after his record year.

  • kerry

    you know its gonna happen. somehow, someway Dumervil will get screwed out of the Pro Bowl. same with Clady and others who deserve it. Bailey will go to the Pro Bowl based on reputation. Dawkins too.

  • BroncoMan24

    There is no way Dumervil will not be selected for the Pro Bowl. If that happens, I will stop watching the NFL and become a hermit. Go Broncs!

  • swo

    I believe the rule on a horse collar tackle is when the defender reaches inside the shoulder pads from behind and brings a runner down. So no the picture is not a horse collar tackle. It has to be from behind, I believe.

  • kerry

    well Clady had a much better season then Jake Long last year but Long somehow made it to the Pro Bowl. you know how Biased people are against the Broncos.

  • MT

    In 92' Fletch was robbed. He should have been there a few years for whatever reason he never got the call
    MT

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