QB Christian Ponder is once again up for the NFL.com Rookie of the Week award for his play last Sunday in the Vikings 24-21 win over the Panthers. Ponder converted 64.3 percent of his pass attempts for 236 yards and a score in the Vikings’ win.
To vote for Ponder, go here: http://www.nfl.com/m/voting/rookies/2011/REG/8
Tags: Christian Ponder
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On Sunday against the Carolina Panthers and QB Cam Newton, DE Jared Allen continued his dominant season by tallying another sack, and also recording a forced fumble, fumble recovery and pass defensed. It’s been a disappointing season for the Vikings as a team with a 2-6 start, but Allen has been a bright spot along the way and he’s playing at perhaps the highest level of his career.
Allen now has 12.5 sacks for the season, which is tops in the NFL, and he has 95.5 career sacks, which is also tops in the NFL since he entered the League in 2004. He’s just 4.5 sacks away from #100 for his career, and he’s on pace to top the single-season sack mark (22.5) set by Michael Strahan in 2001.
Allen’s streak of games with at least a .5 sack is now at 10 games, which is a Vikings franchise record, and perhaps more impressive is that Allen has at least a .5 sack in 16 of his last 17 games. Only Hall of Famers Reggie White (124.0) and Derrick Thomas (98.0) have more sacks in the first eight seasons of a career than Allen; that’s pretty good company.
With just 4.5 sacks to go until 100.0, what once sounded like just a distant possibility has turned into a likely event – Allen could record his 100th career sack in 2011. He entered the season with 83.0 career sacks and needed a career-high 17.0 to get to 100.0. Now halfway through the season, Allen is at 95.5 career sacks and maybe he even has his eyes on that single-season mark.
This week the Vikings go into their bye week, so Allen can’t add to his total. Coming out of the bye, the Vikings play at Green Bay, vs. Oakland, at Atlanta, vs. Denver, at Detroit, vs. New Orleans, at Washington and vs. Chicago. Of those 8 opponents, 5 are in the bottom half of the League in sacks allowed.
The QB he gets to for #100 isn’t as important as actually getting there. The bottom line is Allen has been a tremendously important part of this defense, and great part of the Vikings identity since 2008. In fact, since 2008 (when the Vikings acquired Allen via trade) only DeMarcus Ware (56.5) has more sacks than Allen’s 52.5.
Tags: Jared Allen
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A big vikings.com belated congratulations go out to Simone Kolander, daughter of Vikings sales and marketing staffer Natalie Kolander, for being named the Star Tribune’s Girls’ Soccer Metro Player of the Year. Kolander, a junior at Lakeville North, led her Panthers team with 21 goals and 27 assists in the regular season.
Brian Stensaas of the Star Tribune describes Kolander as “a dominant player who gets a foot into almost any play.”
“My mom loves soccer and put me in it right away,” Kolander told Stensaas. “I loved it, and I always knew I wanted to do it at the highest level.”
Kolander had a goal and two assists in Lakeville North’s 3-0 win over Anoka in the quarterfinals of the girls’ state soccer tournament. The Panthers lost 1-0 (5-3 shootout) in the semifinals.
Congratulations to the Kolander family!
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