3 & Out: Ravens control their playoff destiny
Jared Allen of the Vikings may not reach 10 sacks for the first time in seven years. He only has six sacks heading into Sunday’s game against the Ravens.
This has not been the best season for Allen, or for the Vikings (3-8-1). But don’t count on the Ravens in a rout Sunday. Allen hasn’t packed it in, nor have the Vikings, as they proved Sunday when they beat the Bears in overtime.
“I can’t speak for everybody in the locker room - it’s what we get paid to do,” Allen said during a Wednesday conference call. “This is our job, we’re professionals. My motivation is to try to be the best at what I do and win football games. At this time of year, when the season hasn’t gone away, if your motivation is only getting to the playoffs or to win our division, when that’s gone, what do you have left to play for? Those types of guys are going to be shutting down. We don’t have those types of guys here. You never want to go out there and look like a bum.”
Allen is looking forward to his matchup against Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe. The Ravens acquired Monroe to protect Joe Flacco on his blind side from elite defensive ends like Allen. It’s a matchup worth watching. When Monroe was with the Jaguars last year, he held Allen without a sack.
“He’s got decent feet,” Allen said of Monroe. “From the film I’ve seen of him this year, he’s playing alright. It’s hard to watch Jacksonville’s film and then get a read on it versus Baltimore film, just because the quarterback play is so much different. The total offensive play is so much different. From what I can remember playing him last year, he’s an athletic guy, pretty decent feet, and has the ability to recover.”
The Vikings have yet to win on the road this year. But if Allen wins his battle against Monroe, the Vikings will have a better chance to pull off an upset.