Allen recounts his strange, entertaining sack

Jared Allen has over a hundred sacks, but his sack Monday night was truly unique and entertaining. He talked about his grip on Eli Manning's jersey and what was going through his mind during what seemed like a slow-motion pull-down.

With 121 career sacks, there isn't much he hasn't seen. But his wrap-around sack of Eli Manning was one for the books. When Allen's career takes him to Canton, Ohio, the look on Manning's face should be on Allen's highlight reel.

Allen hit Manning much harder during the game, but his sack in which he effectively grabbed Manning blind – like someone searching for a light switch in a dark room – while reaching under the arm of Giants left tackle Will Beatty and refused to let go was the highlight. His first 120 sacks were memorable. His 121st was epic.

Allen acknowledged that one thing about getting older is that your handshake gets stronger – "my old man's got a strong grip" – but despite using the Braille method to get the job done, he went on instinct when he lost sight of his target, losing the back of Manning's No. 10, blocked out by the front of Beatty's No. 65.

"I saw Eli was stepping up and I tried to knock his hand coming around, but he was stepping up so I just tried to collapse the pocket," Allen said. "You've got to do what you've got to do. He was standing there. I just grabbed him and tried to pull him down. It felt like an eternity that I was holding him and the dude (Beatty) was trying to push me back off of him so I was (thinking), ‘I've got to get his legs somehow.' So I tried grabbing legs. The whistle hasn't blown. I don't think he's thrown the ball yet, I'm not really sure, but as soon he went down I was trying to see where the ball was."

The lack of a whistle made the play almost laughable. Allen's hand is like a pit bull's jaw – it's going to take some help to loosen that grip. Manning knows a large man with bad attentions has hold of his clothes and he can't get away – the NFL quarterback equivalent of getting a significant wedgie. He didn't look terrified, but he looked like a man who was expecting more bad things to follow. As Beatty provided the double-stuff center to Allen and Manning's sack Oreo, Allen waited for the whistle to blow to rule the play dead. He was calf-roping one-handed. C'mon, already!

And he waited. And he waited.

The only thing Allen was certain of was that, unless the jersey tore away, Manning wasn't going anywhere. He was willing to wait for the whistle that was somewhere lodged deep in the throats of the referees with a view of what was happing.

How long was he willing to keep pulling and refusing to let go of a game-worn Manning jersey?

"All day, I was there," Allen said. "I was locked in. I was locked in all day. He was going nowhere. I had him. Thank goodness he didn't have a super tight jersey on so I could get a good grip on him."

As the replay aired on the big screen (a big screen at a real NFL stadium), it went from ironic to iconic. Allen couldn't help but laugh. When the hand-to-hand combat was finished, neither could Beatty.

"We laughed after the game," Allen said. "(Beatty) said, ‘I can't believe that's the one you got the sack on.' I said, ‘I know, because I beat you a few other times.' We had a good laugh about it. Obviously, they were laughing more because they won. It was a fun game and, hey, sometimes sacks come in weird ways. I'll take them anyway I can get them."

There was a level of confusion when the final stat sheet claimed the sack was shared between Allen and Kevin Williams, who was the first to show up on the scene (about five seconds after the crash). Allen was asked if he lobbied to get full credit for the sack and he said he was willing to take any help he could get. Forward progress had been stopped. Manning's dignity was now at stake. He just wanted to end it.

"No, I split it with Kevin, but found out yesterday they reversed it," Allen said. "I saw the film. Clearly, the rule states whoever has first contact with them, if he's going down, (gets credited with the sack). When Kevin hit him he was starting to go down I guess. I'm happy because I got one taken from me in the Detroit game, so I feel like we've righted the ship."

Allen's Hall of Fame highlight reel is already being compiled, but we have a new entry … and it's a beauty. Manning's dinner plate-sized eyes were the key to making it iconic.

John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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