Found December 20, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
San Francisco 49ers
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Jared Allen had Michael Strahan's single-season sacks record in his sights last season, and his intensity and push for the record 22.5 sacks were apparent in the season finale against the Chicago Bears.
Allen had 1.5 sacks at halftime in the final regular-season game and then took down Chicago quarterback Josh McCown on the first play of the second half before his furious attempt at breaking the record fell short. With 3.5 sacks against the Bears and 22 for the season, Allen, came closer than anyone to Strahan's record since Strahan broke Mark Gastineau's old mark of 22 with 22.5 in 2001.
Allen returned this season and said he believed 25 sacks in a season is possible and that one day Strahan's record will fall. It could very well happen this year.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith are challenging Strahan's record again, tied with 19.5 sacks with two games remaining. Watt and Smith are actually ahead of Allen's pace and again are showing Strahan's 11-year record might not last much longer.
"I think so," Allen said Thursday when asked if he believes the record will be broken eventually. "I said it at the beginning of this year. I think 25 is a realistic number with the way this league is, especially with these 3-4 linebackers. You've got Aldon Smith, who is basically a defensive end. You've got (Dallas') DeMarcus Ware, who's basically a defensive end with the athletic ability of a linebacker standing up, coming off the edge and creating serious matchup problems whether it's one on one with a back or where they can blitz from. I think it's definitely attainable.
Watt, a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, faces Allen's Vikings team this week trying to make the same push Allen did just a year ago. Watt, in his second year in the league, also believes the record will fall and, like Allen, he wants to be the one to break it.
"I definitely think it will," Watt said Wednesday on a conference call with Minnesota reporters. "If it's not this year, I think it will come soon. Pass rushers are getting so good, and obviously it's a passing league. Obviously, I hope I do. I hope I do. I have a lot of respect for Michael Strahan. If you're not trying to break it, then what's the point?
Allen, who was the runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year voting last year, has slipped a bit this season. He's tied for 17th in the league with nine sacks. Allen says he's constantly facing double-teams but that his season just another example of how hard it is to reach 20 sacks. No player in league history has had two 20-sack seasons.
Allen has an appreciation for Watt's amazing year, one in which he's become the first player in NFL history to amass at least 15 sacks and 15 passes defensed. Though Allen respects the pass-rushing prowess of Smith and Ware, what Watt is doing as a mainly inside pass rusher stands apart.
Watt already has the most sacks in a season for a player who plays mostly from inside positions.
"Aldon Smith, obviously impressive year," Allen said. "What J.J. Watt is doing is crazy from that 5-technique position. That is a once in a lifetime, praise God that is happening because you don't see that happening very often.
Allen gets most of his snaps on the outside as Minnesota's right end, working against the league's best left tackles. Watt, with his impressive combination of size (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) strength and athleticism, moves along the line, helping to create matchup problems.
Watt has become the premier inside pass rusher in just his second season in the league since being drafted in the first round by Houston last year.
"He doesn't try to get outside of himself, I've noticed," Allen said. "He does what he does. He has one move, has a counter and if he doesn't get there, he tries to affect the game in all facets. He bats the ball down and he can play right or left, so he's creating matchup problems whether it's in 3- technique or the 5. You can see it, his energy level and the effort he puts forth to his craft is high right now, and he will not to be stopped. Like I've said, you got to have things go your way. You've got to have some sacks fall into your arms, and he's got everything going his way right now.
Sounds like the guy who chased the record thinks there might be a new record to chase soon.
FollowBrian Hall onTwitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
The early Christmas presents keep on coming for the ladies this year, especially if you're a Minnesota Vikings fan. Most recently, Jared Allen dressed as Santa Claus to attend a players' Christmas party. The difference between this outfit and the Santa outfit John Sullivan worse earlier this week is that this one is TIGHT. And I don't just mean across his chest, but,...
According to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPNRadio.com, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and wide receiver Percy Harvin got into a heated argument likely regarding Harvin’s injury that landed him on injured reserve.
According to four NFL sources, Harvin and Frazier had another heated exchange weeks later in front of some players and staff members, fueling speculation about...
After decades of searching, which has included wives' tales, shaky video camera footage, tall tales, and television shows, the elusive Big Foot has finally been captured to film.
And to no one's surprise, this monstrosity of a mammal, this hideous beast, this frightening bogeyman, is naturally a Packers fan.
At the recent Vikings and Packers game at Lambeau Field...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Christian Ponder's development as the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback has been slow. He took significantly less time to finish his courtship of ESPN reporter Samantha Steele.Just a few months after meeting Steele on the set of ESPN's "College GameDay" and two weeks after getting engaged, Ponder confirmed the two were married at a Hudson, Wis...
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele are married. Yes, already. According to the Leader-Telegram, Ponder and Steele were married on Monday afternoon in a courtroom in Wisconsin. St. Croix County Court Commissioner Stephen Dunlap did the honors.
Let’s track this thing. In mid-October, Ponder confirmed the rumors that were circulating...
A few Minnesota Vikings openly questioned whether Christian Ponder dating Samantha Steele was affecting his play on the field. Ponder insisted it isn’t affecting his play, but of course that doesn’t mean much to fans if a player continues to struggle.
So now that Ponder and Steele were reportedly married during the Vikings’ bye week, fans will now openly question if his marriage...
The NFL named Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh its NFC Special Teams Player of the Week on Wednesday for the rookie's five-field goal performance against the St. Louis Rams in Week 15.
He is only the third rookie in Vikings history to win Player of the Week awards more than once in a season, joining Adrian Peterson and Randy Moss on that list after his Week 1 award for his...
Score another one for love and romance.ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele and Minnesota Vikings quarterback reportedly got married in a Wisconsin courtroom on Monday. This coming after the couple got engaged just two weeks ago. It is rumored that they first began dating back in September.From the Leader Telegram:Ponder, 24, and Steele, who turned 27 last week, were married by...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Adrian Peterson's remarkable season in his return from knee surgery has led him to being the top vote-getter among all NFC players in fan balloting for the Pro Bowl.
Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings' four-time Pro Bowl back who leads the league with 1,812 rushing yards, finished fourth among all players in the fan voting, which qualifies as 13 of the...
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and ESPN personality Samantha Steele were engaged two weeks ago, on Monday the couple got married in a Wisconsin courtroom.
Ponder, 27, and Steele, 27, were married by Court Commissioner Stephen Dunlap.
It was an impressive display of the hurry up offense, considering the two began dating a little over two months ago.
Steele will likely...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. How uptight are the Minnesota Vikings with the playoffs on the line over the season's final two weeks?
So uptight that they staged a dance-off between defensive linemen Fred Evans and Everson Griffen recently. Minnesota is focused on trying to win its third road game of the season Sunday when it travels to 12-2 Houston before the season finale at home against...
It's almost Christmas time, and if you haven't wasted your money on the Minnesota Vikings fan in your life by purchasing crappy Vikings shirts from the Purple Jesus Diaries' Merchandise Shop, then you're clearly doing it wrong. If you bought one of ours I can guarantee you that it will make an adult human male giggle and prance like a youngling opening up a GI Joe...
Chad Greenway already has a career high in tackles with two games to play and leads the league, but he’s becoming more comfortable as a vocal leader, too.
A match made in Sports Heaven.
Minnesota Vikings Quarterback, Christian Ponder married ESPN college football reporter Samantha Steele on Monday afternoon. Throwing journalistic integrity to the wind, the two tied the knot in Hearing room #1 at the St. Croix County Courthouse in Wisconsin.
Steele replaced Erin Andrews as the host of ESPN’s College GameDay college football...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Christian Ponders development as the Minnesota Vikings quarterback has been slow. He took significantly less time to finish his courtship of ESPN reporter Samantha Steele.Just a few months after meeting Steele on the set of ESPNs College GameDay and two weeks after getting engaged, a report in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram said the two were married a Hudson...