It’s difficult to find a lot of positives coming off a 3-13 season that fell short of expectations. One consistent source of positivity for the Vikings this season, though, was DE Jared Allen. He registered the best season of his 8-year career, and his effort this season makes it difficult to find a more deserving player for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Allen collected a career-high and Vikings single-season franchise record 22.0 sacks in 2011, coming up just a .5 sack short of Michael Strahan’s NFL record. There were only 3 games this season in which Allen did not register a sack, and he also extended his consecutive games with a sack streak to 11 earlier this season. Allen had 6 multi-sack games, and 3 games with 3+ sacks. Adding to his impressive season is the fact that Allen also had 4 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and 1 INT. He was consistently the Vikings best player all season, and opponents had a hard time stopping him even though it was their #1 priority coming into the game.
Granted, there are several other players throughout the League who registered impressive campaigns. Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware tallied 19.5 sacks and Philadelphia’s Jason Babin had 18.0. Baltimore LB Terrell Suggs had 14.0 sacks and added an incredible 7 forced fumbles as well. Those players had tremendous seasons and in many other years they would be worthy winners of the award. In the opinion of vikings.com, though, Allen has them beat this year.
Of course we don’t have a vote in the balloting for this award, but if we did it would go to Allen with a bullet. He was the best player on this year’s Vikings team, and although the Vikings struggled through the 2011 season as a team, the Defensive Player of the Year Award is an individual honor. Allen had the best individual season of any defender in the League, and I hope he’s recognized appropriately by the voters.
A few more impressive notes about Allen’s 2011 season and what how it adds to his career resume…
— Allen is the first Viking since John Randle from 1997-2000 to lead the club in sacks for 4 straight seasons.
— Since entering the NFL in 2004, Allen has 105.0 career sacks, which ranks 1st among all players during that time frame.
— Since joining the Vikings in 2008, only Ware (66.0) has more sacks than Allen’s 62.0.
— Only Reggie White (124.0) has tallied more sacks in the first 8 seasons of a career than Allen’s 105.0.
Tags: Jared Allen
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