When it comes to sacking QBs, Vikings DE Jared Allen is as good an authority on the matter as any. He’s tallied 30.0 of them over the last 2+ seasons and his 72.0 since entering the league in 2004 are more than any other player during that span.
Vikings fans should take solace, then, in the fact that Allen isn’t concerned that he and his defensive teammates have only come up with 4 of them through 3 games. The relatively low number might be alarming at first sight because the Vikings led the NFL in sacks with 48 last year.
Allen didn’t sound concerned when asked about the issue on Monday after practice.
“I know they come in bunches,” Allen said. “At this point last year I had two, and then they came in bunches. We’re not worried about it up front; I think we’re doing some good things and we’re going to continue to grind.”
The 3-time Pro Bowl DE makes a good point in that sacks often times come in bunches. In 2008 Allen had 2.0 through Week 5 and then went on a tear by registering 6.0 in the next 4 games and 6.5 in Weeks 13-15. In 2009 he had 2.0 through 3 weeks before dumping Packers QB Aaron Rodgers 4.5 times in Week 4 and posting a pair of other multiple-sack efforts.
Allen pointed to another team whose pass rushed had slowed in recent weeks as more evidence that sacks come in bunches. The NY Giants tallied 4 in Week 1 but had just 1 sack in Week 2 and Week 3. Then on Sunday night they got to Chicago Bears QBs 10 times.
“It’s just one of those things where, you look at the game last (Sunday) night, they were talking about how the Giants weren’t doing anything,” Allen said. “They pulled off ten (sacks) in a game. Weird things in the league happen like that.”
Another factor is that opposing teams surely have taken note of the Vikings pass-rushing prowess and therefore take steps to combat that threat. Tactics such as using maximum protection formations and chipping defensive linemen with RBs, FBs and TEs are used against the Vikings frequently.
Ultimately, success for the Vikings defense is not based primarily on sacks; it’s about keeping the opposing offense out of the endzone and off the scoreboard. So far in 2010, Allen and Co. have played well. They’ve allowed just 10.3 points per game and rank as the NFL’s #4 defense in yards allowed per game (276.3).
“The key thing is not to get caught up with that and not to get frustrated,” Allen explained. “We’re playing good defense right now, and that’s the most important thing.”
Tags: Jared Allen
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