There's a lot of blame to go around when a team loses 45-7 on national television. But, as has been the case with so many of the Vikings' losses this year, there's one guy that sure as heck doesn't deserve one iota of blame for the outcome of this one.
Yes, once again, defensive end Jared Allen has shown that very few players have the ability to "man up" quite like he does. Despite the final score, he was once again in the opposing backfield for most of the evening, notching another quarterback sack to give him one in eleven consecutive games, extending his own Vikings' team record. Heck, at this point it might even be an NFL record, but I'm not 100% sure on that.
It's entirely possible that he could end up with a second one, too, as the Vikings were credited for a "team" sack on the play where Allen was chasing Aaron Rodgers, Rodgers dropped the ball on the ground, and fell on it before Allen jumped on him. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Vikings appeal that one to the league and get it credited to Allen, which would bump his league-leading NFL total up to 14.5 on the season.
Allen wound up with seven total tackles in the contest, including three more tackles for loss.
For a guy that was awful and washed-up this off-season, by all accounts, he sure has been doing an awfully good job in 2011. He's still on pace to break the single-season sack record of 22.5 held by Michael Strahan, and with it becoming more and more obvious that the Minnesota Vikings absolutely, positively can not stop the pass, he's going to see plenty of opportunities to get after the quarterback.
Usually there's supposed to be a poll attached to this particular post, but really. . .who the heck else even deserves a mention?