Notebook: Allen relieved to be winning again

Jared Allen has spent time on some losing teams, which makes him appreciate all the more what the Vikings are doing so far this season. Plus, we look at some touchdown trends this season and where the Vikings fare in a couple of rankings.

Forgive Jared Allen if there is a sense of relief that he is playing for the Minnesota Vikings instead of his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs. Allen has as many wins to his credit this season with the Vikings as his former team has had in the past three seasons combined.

This year, the Vikings are off to a 7-1 start. The Chiefs' record is 1-6. In Allen's last season in Kansas City, he was 4-12. Last year, the Chiefs were 2-14, giving them seven wins over the last 2½ seasons, the same amount the Vikings have had over the last two months.

"I've still got buddies on the Chiefs. I feel for them. Losing football games is tough," Allen said after one of his biggest regular-season wins with the Vikings last Sunday in Lambeau Field. "Coaches can be tough, and especially when you're losing with a new coach can be tough. I honestly thank God I'm in Minnesota every day so I'm not going through it right now."

Allen left the Chiefs after he and former general Carl Peterson were at odds. The Vikings took advantage of the situation and traded away a first-round and two third-round picks to obtain Allen, who led the league with 15½ sacks in his final season (2007) with the Chiefs. This year, Allen has 10½ sacks halfway through the season. Seven of those sacks came in the two games against the Green Bay Packers, and Allen knew exactly how much quarterback Brett Favre wanted those wins against his former team.

"The message was clear. The message, to me, as an athlete, as a competitor, you always want to come back and beat your former team, especially if there is ever any controversy," he said. "I'm not going to lie. If I were going back to play the Chiefs, I'd want to rub it to them. I'd want to give it to them. Nobody that I'm mad at is still there, or was mad at. It's that competitive nature.

"But I think Coach (Brad) Childress put it the best way: You've got to have the audacity to go in and beat a team like the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay. A tough place to play in Lambeau Field, you've got to have the wherewithal about yourself to stick together, go through and just take it from them."

It was suggested to Allen that the Chiefs might have more than one win if he was still with Kansas City, but he was quick to point out that he might not fit into their new defensive scheme like he has excelled in the Vikings' 4-3 defense.

"(The Chiefs) are running a 3-4 defense and I don't see myself running a 3-4," the defensive end said.

Even Allen's college team has been struggling of late. His Idaho State Bengals remained winless at 0-10 after Montana sealed its Big Sky conference title with a last-second field goal for a 12-10 win in a game that Allen attended. Allen spent his bye week in Pocatello, Idaho being inducted into their Hall of Fame.

"Unfortunately, they're not winning at all," Allen said of his alma mater.

Of course, Allen had great success at Idaho State as well. He was named the Buck Buchanon Award winner as senior, an honor given to the top defensive player in Division I-AA, and was an All-America selection as well as the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year.

Finally, Allen is on a team experiencing success and glad to put the losing records behind him.

TOUCHDOWN TRENDS

  • Last week, the NFL had 14 touchdowns of 50 yards or more. Vikings WR Percy Harvin contributed one of them with a 51-yard touchdown reception against the Packers. The last time there were more touchdowns of 50 yards or more was in Week 14 of the 2006 season.

  • Through eight weeks, there have been 81 touchdowns of 50 yards or more in the NFL, the most since 1970.

  • Scoring is also up in the NFL with 582 touchdowns entering Sunday's games. That's tied (1987) for third-most in NFL history through eight weeks. The 2002 season featured 593 touchdowns through eight weeks. The Vikings have the second-most points in the league to date.

  • Last week, Brett Favre was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Week, giving him 15 for his career, which ties John Elway for third in the NFL history. Peyton Manning leads the way with 19 of those honors, following by Dan Marino with 18.

    RANKINGS

  • The Vikings' win over the Packers last week put them one notch higher in Adam Caplan's team rankings for Scout.com. The Vikings registered fourth in his rankings. "Great win for them last week and they are starting to be more consistent on defense, even with the injury to starting CB Antoine Winfield. WR Percy Harvin, if he continues his progression, will get strong consideration for offensive rookie of the year," Caplan wrote.

  • Scout.com's Chris Steuber continued to rank Harvin second in his NFL rookie rankings "Harvin is inching closer to the top spot after a dynamic performance against the Packers. He's an all-around threat and is becoming a complete wide receiver," Steuber wrote. Houston linebacker Brian Cushing – who has 66 tackles, 1½ sacks and two interceptions – still holds the top spot.


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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