"(He’s) fun,” Stafford said this week when asked what kind of player Allen was to play against. “He's obviously an aggressive guy, likes to make plays on the ball and screens and things like that. He's always going for the strip sack. Just a difference maker in the game. He's a guy that you have to keep your on eye for sure.”
Stafford said he’s also a guy that likes talk to a little smack.
“Oh yeah, he talks all the time,” he said. “He's a good dude. I enjoy playing against him. Obviously we play against him a lot. He's a really good player, a good player for this league and he can make a difference in the game so we have to take care of him.”
Lions fans probably don’t care for Allen too much after he called out the City of Detroit before last season's game at Ford Field as being “gloomy” and said if he had to live in the city “I’d probably drown myself in the river.”
Let’s just say Allen didn’t get a warm welcome from the Ford Field crowd when the Vikings came to town last season.
Lions fans might not like Allen, but they should respect him. Allen has had fewer than nine sacks just once (7.5 in 2006) over a nine-year career. He led the NFL with 22 sacks last year.
“He’s a guy that can make a play at any time,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said. “There are a lot of plays where it looks like he’s out of the play - he’s stymied in the rush, he’s been chipped or something like that. He’s very good at making the off-scheduled play. A lot of guys can make the plays that come to them and he can go create a play somewhere.”
Allen did plenty of that in both games against the Lions last year. His six combined sacks in those two games last season gave Allen 12.5 career sacks against the Lions.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, who was a cornerback on the Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl winning team that featured one of the best defenses in NFL history, says it’s not just Allen’s athleticism and relentless motor that make him one of the game’s best – it’s also his football IQ.
“One of the things that separates him from some of the other great defensive ends I’ve been around and observed is his knowledge of the game,” Frazier said in a conference call this week. “He’s a great player without question, a great athlete, but his understanding, his football IQ is off the charts.
"He has a great feel for offenses and what they’re trying to do and to be able to anticipate what’s coming before it actually occurs. That gives him a leg up and you combine that with his talent and his desire, you got a pretty special player.”
Allen did not record a sack over the Vikings’ first two games this season but got back on track last week against the 49ers recording his first of the season.
“I think our offensive tackles have done a good job (this season),” Schwartz said. “We’ve been up to the challenge. We’re going to have to be up to the challenge this week with Jared Allen.”