NFL Player Predictions: Jared Allen
A lot of people are overlooking the Vikings this year, save for a few key elements, one of which is defensive end Jared Allen.
Allen and the Vikings face a good matchup in the Jacksonville Jaguars and second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Gabbert, like Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, suffered from a non-existent offseason and his own rawness. He's not as bad as many people think, nor are the Jaguars.
That said, the offensive line still has some question marks in it, the receivers are no better and Gabbert is still a work in progress.
Jared Allen comes into 2012 off a career high in sacks (22) and is poised to do it again. The defense around him is retooled a little but will be very effective, and while the secondary has some question marks, Allen will keep Gabbert under enough pressure to limit that.
'The Mullet' is another year older, but still very effective in the Vikings' scheme. He's tough to control and nearly impossible to stop off the edge, though he is very solid in containment as well. His tackle numbers aren't what they used to be, but again, his sack totals are solid.
Expect Allen to keep Gabbert hopping all day, totaling at least a sack and four to five tackles, but more importantly, driving the Jags quarterback into the arms of the rest of the defense.
Maybe Gabbert isn't as skittish as we thought last season.
If he is, at least he'll have good reason to be this weekend with Jared Allen in his face all day long.
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