Things have a way of evening out for Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.
He didn't get much money as a fourth-round pick out of Idaho State, so he made a name for himself and got paid later in his career. He has been on some bad teams in Kansas City and Minnesota, but has made the playoffs four of the nine years he has been in the league. Coming into the year, his teams had lost 73 games in nine seasons, but they've won 71.
This year though, if the first nine games are an indication of where things are going, there will be no evening out Allen's poor 2013.
The 10th year defensive end is on pace for just nine sacks, 44 tackles, and a career low in fumble production.
Now 31, Allen is just one-plus seasons removed from posting 22 sacks, a total just a half-sack short of breaking Michael Strahan's single-season sack record.
Allen's 22 seems like a distant memory at this point, as he has just five this year. The nine he is on pace for would be his lowest total since 2006, when he put up seven with Kansas City.
Tackle-wise, Allen had a seven-year run of 50 or more. This year, he went on a two-game stretch against New York and Green Bay in which he posted just one combined tackle. His current pace of 44 would be his lowest since his rookie season when he put up 31, only starting 10 games that season.
Allen was a ballhawk in the middle of his career, but turnovers are hard to come by as well. Having put up four years with eight or more fumbles forced and recovered combined, Allen has forced just one this year and recovered none. Once again, his rookie season of 2004 is the last time he has put up a dry spell like this, should he continue this pace.
With whispers having already made their way around the NFL that Allen's best days are behind him, these production numbers won't help opinions, and if teams around the league heard those whispers and are looking at the same numbers we are, it's no surprise that "the right price" Minnesota was looking for in exchange for Allen didn't come their way at the October trade deadline.
Still, there are seven games left in the 2013 season and Allen can put the doubters to shame by putting up stats and salvaging the year for himself and the Vikings.
After all, for Allen, things do have a way of evening out.