As defensive end Jared Allen continued his pursuit of the Minnesota Vikings' and NFL's all-time single-season sack records, he knows the only way he has a chance to reach either of those marks is to be on the field. He wasn't at the end of the Vikings' 42-20 blowout loss, which created a point of frustration for him.
"I was on the sideline at the end of the game, so that was tight," Allen said. "… I was pissed that they wouldn't let me out there to finish the game off. I don't like that they tried to pull me at the end."
Allen entered the Saints game with 17½ sacks, the same number he finished with after registering a quarterback hit and two tackles but no sacks. Allen said he doesn't know why he was kept off the field late in the game.
"What are we resting me for? The playoffs? Come on," Allen said. "That's not my decision. I guess they want the young guys to play. I don't know," Allen said.
Allen and Kevin Williams were off the field for several consecutive plays as the Saints drove across midfield on a 19-play touchdown drive in the second half, and Allen also appeared to be limping slightly after taking a chop block midway through the fourth quarter from the Saints.
"I'm just trying to be a good soldier. Me, I want to play the whole game. I don't want to come off the field," Allen said. "I feel like if we're trying to win games, let's put the best players on the field. But they felt that I obviously needed to be off the field at that time and that's their call. It's tough to watch other guys like E.J. (Henderson) and Chad (Greenway) and guys out there just working their butt off to make plays because you want to be out there giving it all with them."
Allen is 3½ sacks shy of Chris Doleman's Vikings record of 21 sacks in a single season (1989) and five sacks short of Michael Strahan's NFL record of 22½ sacks (2001).
Of course, it didn't help that the Vikings were playing against Saints quarterback Drew Brees until he was pulled in the fourth quarter with a 42-13 lead. Brees is one of the best in the NFL at getting rid of the ball quickly. The Vikings didn't sack Brees once and he was hit only two times, according to the official stats.
"We rushed good at times. He just made plays. There were times that we've got to get there. There were times we got there and the ball wasn't there," Allen said. "Drew is one of the best for a reason. He gets rid of that ball and they do a great job of protecting him screen-wise as far as chipping out. It's very rare you get a true one-on-one with a seven-step drop where he's going deep with it. The ball's out quick. Hats off to them, they protect him well."
Brees entered the game having taken 23 sacks this season. Of those, 16 came on the road, but the Vikings and Allen weren't able to add to that total.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Allen frustrated in pursuit of sacks record
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