Heading into the 2011 season, some questioned the Vikings decision to go with Brian Robison as the starting DE opposite Jared Allen. It was thought by some that Robison couldn’t handle a full load of snaps in a game and that he couldn’t defend the run well enough.
For the previous 3+ seasons, Ray Edwards was Allen’s pass-rushing partner from the edge. Together, Allen and Edwards registered 19.5 sacks in 2008, 23.0 sacks in 2009 and 19.0 sacks in 2010. Also, the DE tandem helped the Vikings rank #1 against the run in 2008 and #2 against the run in 2009.
But this past offseason Edwards signed with the Atlanta Falcons, leaving vacant the starting left DE position. The Vikings, who had extended Robison’s contract earlier in the offseason, immediately tabbed him as the starter. And right now, the decision to increase Robison’s role and team him with Allen looks like a great one.
The Vikings are tied for 2nd in the NFL with 16 teams sacks, and no DE tandem in the NFL has more sacks than Allen and Robison’s 13.0 through 5 games. Allen has 8.5 and Robison has 4.5 (tied for a career high), while DE Everson Griffen (2.0) and Erin Henderson (1.0) have the others.
Both Allen and Robison had 2.0 sacks on Sunday against Arizona, helping to pace a dominant defensive effort that allowed just 10 points.
“We challenged our defensive line and our offensive line during the week to really step up,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said after the game.”Jared is having a really unbelievable year, and so is B-Rob (Brian Robison). He is not taking a back seat to anybody in our League. He is playing lights out football and just makes our defense and our team so much better when you have two defensive ends that play the way their playing. They are playing at a high level and they’re really setting the tone for our defense.”
Tags: Brian Robison, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier
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