All talk about the Vikings quarterback carousel aside, everyone knows the real issue with the 2013 Vikings is the defense. It's bad. Like, not quite the worst in the league kind of bad, but close enough.
The secondary is leaky at best, linebacker play nearly invisible, but is it too much to think that as goes Jared Allen, so goes the Vikings D?
What happened to Allen? Going from nearly breaking the NFL sack record two years ago to a paltry five sacks this year. More troubling, he's not getting a lot of tackles either.
Is he old? Does he miss the support of a stronger unit around him? The answer could be yes to both.
But he has historically risen to the occasion, as this ESPN piece points out, against the Packers. "Allen has recorded 15 1/2 sacks in 11 regular-season games against the Packers, and before last month's game at the Metrodome, he'd only been held without a sack in two games against Green Bay. "
Allen is certainly talking like he wants to up the ante in Green Bay Sunday.
"Obviously at 2-8, you’re trying to ruin everybody else’s season as well as yours, right?" Allen said earlier this week, via this video at Vikings.com. "So, they say, misery loves company. I hope this year no one makes the playoffs. So, it’s a division rival, going to win in Green Bay. I think it's one of those places where it don’t matter what our record tends to be, but if we went up there and beat them in Green Bay, we got a little bit of bragging rights, especially after the whooping they gave us here."
The Vikings.com piece also points out that this could be Allen's first season without double-digit sacks since the 2006 season in Kansas City.
Can he suddenly go on a streak and do it? True, he likes to make mincemeat out of Aaron Rodgers, who probably won't play because of a broken collarbone. And perhaps he can't get all that fired up about backup Scott Tolzien.
But if it's going to happen, it's going to have to start Sunday against the Packers.