Chicago paid for curious approach to Allen

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen got two sacks on Sunday and said he missed a couple more. But the Bears employed a curious strategy against him. Allen and Brad Childress talked about that and him facing Orlando Pace.

After registering 7½ sacks in two games against the Green Bay Packers in the first half of the season, Jared Allen put himself in the temporary lead for sacks in the NFL.

Then came a two-game streak with no sacks, but Allen said he had one of his best pass-rushing games of the season against Seattle on Nov. 22 even though he didn't tally a sack.

He got back in the sack race on Sunday with two against Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

"Last week was probably one of my best rush games I've had, and (Sunday) started the same way," Allen said. "There was probably two or three I missed (against Cutler) where he ducked me on one that Pat (Williams) got. He stepped up out of my arms and Ray (Edwards) got him, but that happens. As long as we keep rushing, everybody across the board is rushing. And it feels good to get the monkey off your back a little bit and get off of that drought."

Allen's drought lasted only two games, but it was the longest streak this season that he had gone without a sack. He said the Bears elected to leave him one-on-one more often than he expected. He got several good rushes against former Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Pace.

"We just match up well, his style and my style. It's funny, I like playing guys that have a name because you get one-on-one opportunities," Allen said. "They didn't chip much. Maybe a couple times towards the end. He's a great player, I'll be honest. I've had success against him in the past so there was film on that. The crowd was phenomenal. We were able to force them on down and distance to give us some one-on-one opportunities and we took advantage of that."

While Allen applied pressure with Pace in the game, neither of his sacks came while Pace was trying to block him. The first came early in the fourth quarter when the Bears tried to block Allen with tight end Kellen Davis, who was caught off-balance when Allen took an inside move and smothered Cutler.

The second one came with more than five minutes remaining in the game. Once again, Allen beat his blocker with an inside move. This time it was backup left tackle Kevin Shaffer, who was inserted for Pace in the fourth quarter after Pace suffered a groin injury.

Vikings coach Brad Childress confirmed that the Bears elected to not provide much double-team help in blocking Allen.

"They looked like they elected to scat the back out to the other side in the backfield as opposed to leaving him as a chip," Childress said. "You either keep people and protect them or you avoid everybody, and I think that is kind of the philosophy they had and they were trying to get it out fast."

By the fourth quarter, the Vikings had built a 27-10 lead, and Allen has often talked about being able to rush the passer more effectively when the opposition is forced to pass because of a big deficit late in games.

"We were shutting down the short game and then they got behind by so much they had to start stretching the field and we were able to get to them up front," he said.

"When you can do good on first and second down and put them in third-and-long, second-and-long, then you can kind of dictate what you're throwing at them. You've got to give credit to our D-tackles. They had third-and-one a couple times and they tried a quarterback sneak, tried to run the ball."

Allen had a solid all-around game. He was also credited with two tackles-for-loss, two quarterback hurries, an interception and a pass defensed.

Following his interception, Allen said he was trying to create a big play when he was getting tackled and flipped the ball – illegally forward – to cornerback Cedric Griffin. He tried to register himself in the passing statistics, but illegal forward passes don't count.

"I jumped up and caught it and thought I was going to get tackled and didn't get tackled and started running," Allen said. "I saw Ced and I went to pitch it. I'm thinking, this could be a phenomenal play here if I pitch it to Ced and he scores. Unfortunately I was getting tackled backwards and he was moving forward. But I got an incomplete pass, which is hard to get an interception and an incomplete pass in the same play. I'm pretty impressed."

Allen now has 12½ sacks on the season, second to Denver linebacker Elvis Dumervil, who has 14.

NOTES

  • Adrian Peterson on his two fumbles Sunday: "Sometimes I think about it and I can be my own biggest enemy how I run – I try to scratch for every yard. I just have to be more aware and know some guy is going to come in when they have me wrapped up and try to punch the ball out. It's on me."

  • Jim Studwell, father of former Vikings LB Scott Studwell, presenting his son into the Vikings Ring of Honor: "This is just, wow. This is something out of this world. To just be here to honor Scott is very, very special. And speaking of Scott and why I think he made it to this point, one was he has a huge heart. Number two he has a work ethic second to no one. And number three nobody ever loved playing this game more than Scott Studwell."

  • The Vikings also honored former Vikings safety Orlando Thomas, who is battling ALS. Before the game, Thomas' children were on the field as Thomas watched via satellite from his home in Louisiana. His children watched highlights of Thomas' playing days on the Jumbotron and said, "We love you, Daddy" as the crowd gave him an ovation.

  • With Anthony Herrera inactive Sunday, rookie Jon Cooper was active for the first time this year, meaning QB Sage Rosenfels is the only Viking that hasn't been active this year.


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