Its not that we didn't expect it. We knew it was going to happen. Jared Allen was going to get his licks on the quarterback in the green and gold jersey. We just didn't think it would be this big:
6 Tackles 1 Assist 4.5 Sacks 1 Forced Fumble 1 Safety
Sure, Antoine Winfield got that interception. Sure Ben Leber pounded Jermichael Finley into the turf on the one. Brett Favre played like a 37 year old. Bernard Berrian looked like a number one wideout for the first time this season. But if you were looking to pinpoint the reason why Minnesota made a 10 point victory look like a 30 point blowout, all fingers point to Allen, the mullet headed sack man.
Allen was, quite simply, a man possessed by a wild desire to do an air hog tie and jazz hands for the crowd.
A side note. I was a kid when I started watching the Vikings in the 90's. I remember cheering for John Randle. I remember rooting for Chris Doleman. I remember cursing Mike Tice for picking Kevin Williams late, then rejoicing a year later when I found out that he was a great inside man. But I don't ever remember having a real edge rusher. I kept waiting for Erasmus James to pan out. I wanted Ray Edwards to really bloom into a 12 sack man. I even was puzzled a little bit by the Vikings willingness to trade 3 draft picks for a cocky redneck and hand him 70 million dollars.
Well, I'm not puzzled anymore. I feel like a Colts fan cheering on Dwight Freeney, or a Texans fan for Mario Williams. Quite frankly, I'm goo goo gah gah for this guy. So much for impartiality. I want him to get a sack on every play. I think Chad Greenway needs to start buying Allen cowboy boots and belt buckles every time an opposing QB zips a ball right into his number 52 jersey.
Brad Childress said the crowd noise really helped the defensive lineman get a jump on the snap counts in his post game press conference. I say Allen could have given the Packer lineman a 1 second head start and still found his way to putting Mr. Rodger's to the turf. Against the Vikings, that's his neighborhood.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy had this to say about his offensive line play, "Your left tackle has to block the Jared Allens of the world. That's the way we're designed. I think it will definitely help. But it's just not one guy." The help he was speaking of was the return of Chad Clifton to the starting lineup. I would think Chad Clifton might just sprain an ankle before the team's next meeting at Lambeau Field Nov. 1. That game will most certainly be the swing game for the Packers this season. Clifton may want to spare himself the embarassment.
More on the Vikings tomorrow as I'll tell you why Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams will have no chance to win on Sunday, whether they blitz 9 guys, start Boller or Bulger or the ghost of Kurt Warner's past.