We all know that Jared Allen is having a banner year after having "only" 11 sacks last season. His bounce back has shocked exactly no one around here, but is still drawing very little national attention. That's something I expect to change if he continues on his current pace.
To answer my own question; No, he probably won't get MVP consideration. There's far too many options at the glamor positions this year for the voters to pay attention to a working stiff from the trenches. And it's always incredibly rare for a defensive player of any position to receive that honor, much less a lineman (Alan Page remains the only lineman to accomplish it in fact). But is it possible? I think it is. See Jared Allen's stat line through 8 games this year after the jump.
12.5 sacks (leads the league by 4!)
3 forced fumbles (tied for 1st in the league)
3 fumble recoveries (tied for 1st in the league)
4 passes defended
34 tackles (3rd in the league among defensive linemen)
Projected over 16 games (for those that REALLY can't do math), that puts him at:
25 sacks* (NFL record)
6 forced fumbles
6 fumble recoveries
8 passes defended
If Jared managed to match or better those projections, he would have to be in the conversation for League MVP, no matter how good Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson and our own Adrian Peterson continue to be. But what are the odds he could do that? I mean these are some pretty absurd numbers we're talking about.
Probably better than you'd think actually. Since Allen heated up following a painfully slow, mulletless start last season, he's been on an unstoppable and frighteningly consistent tear. Since Week 9 of 2010 (aka, his last 17 games), Allen has accumulated 22.5 sacks. In fact, in those 17 games, Jared has registered at least half a sack in 16 of them (with 6 multiple sack games).
So what about his projections for the other stats? Piece of cake. Except for his sack numbers, none of his projected totals even exceed his career bests in each category. Granted, none of them have been in the same year like this, but he is absolutely capable of reproducing (or even exceeding) those totals.
Now, let's make sure I'm perfectly clear about this. I am not saying that I think Jared Allen will continue this. These are extremely gaudy numbers to be sure and teams will continue to focus on him as the season goes on. What I am saying is that he can do it and that if he does, we may be witnessing one of the greatest seasons by a defensive lineman in NFL history. And I don't think it's too early to speculate that something like that deserves to be in the running for the highest honor in the sport.
Besides, it's the start of our bye week. What else is there to talk about? Ice fishing?