Jared Allen has one sack in five games. The team has six sacks total, which ranks in a tie for 30th in the NFL. While sacks are a highly imperfect stat, Allen also hasn’t consistently pressured the passer despite avoiding double teams much of the year.
I was at the season opener and watched Allen face off against Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod the whole game through my handy binoculars. Allen wasn’t much of a factor, and things haven’t improved from there.
A pair of articles on Friday try to explain what’s happened. One uses metrics to say that Allen, to this point, has been the single worst 4-3 defensive end in football this season. That seems like a stretch, but they are relying on tape analysis and numbers of pressures and hits; not just sacks. Allen hasn’t created pressure or helped in run defense.
The opinion isn’t theirs alone. The guys at NFL Films’ Matchup Show also said last week film analysis
revealed the Vikings defensive line simply wasn’t performing close to
the same level as a year ago. That’s not all Allen; perhaps the Williams
Wall is slowly declining. Like most things in football, it’s not a
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune notes that Allen is coming off perhaps his best game of the year against Dallas. The Vikings pressured Tony Romo quite a bit; Allen was credited with five hurries and one led directly to an interception.
We’ll find out this week if the Dallas game represented a turning point for the Vikings pass rush. Allen recorded 7.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a safety in two games against the Packers last year. Chad Clifton is playing this time, but the Packers tackles have been vulnerable this season.
Sunday’s game will be billed as Favre vs. Rodgers, but we know who has the edge there if all things are equal. Allen and company need to make sure things aren’t equal.