There’s a saying in sports that goes something like “sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.” That saying doesn’t apply to the masterpiece of a trade that Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman executed before the 2008 NFL Draft to acquire DE Jared Allen.
The Vikings acquired Allen in exchange for a 1st-round pick, a 3rd-round pick and a swap of 6th-rounders in 2008. The results have been more than worth the price for the Vikings, as Allen posted back-to-back 14.5-sack seasons in 2008 and 2009, and then put up 11.0 more in 2010. He’s earned 3 Pro Bowls in Minnesota, has been a key cog in the outstanding run defense and joined only Reggie White in NFL history as players with 14.5+ sacks in three straight seasons.
Last season, Allen got off to a slow start and had just 1.0 sack through Week 8. But then he went on a tear and registered 4.5 sacks over a two-week span, helping him finish with 11.0 on the season, the 4th consecutive season he recorded double-digit sacks.
This season, though, Allen is off to a great start. He’s recorded at least a .5 sack in each game, extending his streak of games with at least a .5 sack to 5, and last week against Detroit he got to QB Matthew Stafford for a total of 3.0 sacks. Coming into the game, Stafford had not been sacked. The Vikings, with Allen as the leader, changed that quickly and brought him down 5 times during the game.
So Allen is in top form right now and it comes at a great time because he and the Vikings play the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Allen spent the first 4 seasons of his career with the Chiefs, and then ran into tougher times with leadership in the organization. The Vikings pounced on the opportunity to grab Allen and the 6-6, 270-pound perennial Pro Bowler has been one of the NFL’s top defensive players ever since.
I expect Allen will downplay his return to Kansas City publically, but I can’t help but wonder if privately this game means more to him than a normal regular season game. Regardless of whom the Vikings are playing, Allen is going to give it everything he’s got. But I have a feeling this week’s game will get his blood boiling with more intensity.
I’m glad I don’t have to block him.
Tags: Jared Allen
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 159 Comments »