They say defense win championships, and for the most part that is true. Look back at the past Super Bowl champions and you will see championship teams with at least a decent defense if not a legendary defense winning the Lombardi trophy.
The Vikings have that style of defense from past to present. Known back in the '70s as the "Purple People Eaters" for their rough and rugged play style.
It was considered one of the best defenses in the NFL during the '70s and of all time and for good reason too. This defense helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to the team's four Super Bowls appearances. However, the Vikings were never able to bring home a Super Bowl to it's fans.
A look back at the Minnesota Vikings' Four Super Bowl appearances:
Super Bowl IV-January 11, 1970: Kansas City Chiefs-23 Minnesota Vikings-7
Super Bowl VIII- January 13, 1974: Miami Dolphins-24 Minnesota Vikings-7
Super Bowl IX- January 12, 1975: Pittsburgh Steelers-16 Minnesota Vikings-6
Super Bowl XI- January 9, 1977: Oakland Raiders-32 Minnesota Vikings-14
So now what does this have to do with Jared Allen?
Two years ago, the Minnesota Vikings traded several draft picks to the Kansas City Chiefs for defensive end Jared Allen. Thus hoping his outstanding success in Kansas City would follow him to Minnesota.
The Minnesota Vikings couldn't have been any happier with Allen's performance through out the 08' season. Allen's play paid enormous dividends to a Minnesota defense that is becoming wildly known around the NFL as one of the top defenses in the league.
Jared Allen's 2008 stats
54 tackles-41 solo
3 Forced Fumbles
Jared Allen has become one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, making the Pro Bowl last year with the Minnesota Vikings. He is also becoming one of the key players on an already deadly Vikings defensive roster.
Jared Allen has given the Minnesota Vikings a star pass rusher, and some one who can create turnovers.
A new "Purple People Eaters" defense? Not quite yet.
However, Vikings fans can expect more fantastic plays from No. 69 this year. Expect to see even more of Jared Allen on the field, and more numbers piling up in the sack category.
To imagine the numbers Allen could have had in 2008, had he not gotten a separated shoulder mid-way through the season. That injury didn't stop the powerful defensive end however, playing a huge chunk of the game at home against NFC North division rival the Green Bay Packers.
In that game against the Packers, the Vikings' defensive end wrangled up 2 solo tackles, 1 Sack, and 1 Safety.
Jared Allen also helped the Minnesota Vikings claim their first NFC North title since 2001.
So what is next for Jared Allen?
Even more ferocity, and awesome plays on the field.
Jared Allen will be even more deadly, after one full year with the Minnesota Vikings and their defensive playbook. Minnesota Vikings will be able to afford to pass rush more with Allen on one end of the line.
Also helping him stop the run will be two of the league's best defensive tackles and best run stoppers-Kevin and Pat Williams or the "Williams Wall" as fans like to call them.These two have become an unstoppable force that has given the Minnesota Vikings the title of Best Run Defense.
Also helping the talented Jared Allen on the other side of the line will be defensive end Ray Edwards who is projected to win the starter spot over Jayme Mitchell.
Also, giving the Vikings defense more power will be their young but talented line-backer corp. Leading the way will be middle line-backer E.J. Henderson who will be greeted with high optimism after he suffered a fractured toe that caused him the rest of the season.
Helping out with be the strong and speedy Chad Greenway and Ben Leber who are have become a solid middle area in the Vikings defense.
Overall, Jared Allen's numbers can only get better, barring he doesn't suffer any injuries during the season.
The Minnesota Vikings made a trade that has paid off right away, and is also giving offensive coordinators something else to think about and plan for come game time.
Jared Allen makes this Vikings defense one of the toughest in the NFC, let alone the NFL. Whether or not that this defense can lead the Vikings to a fifth and first Super Bowl win in franchise history is another question in itself.
In an NFC North division that is considered the "Black and Blue" division, nothing helps compete more then a strong, versatile defense capable of forcing turnovers.
Like looked at before, Jared Allen comes off his first season as a Viking, and by the looks of it, his play style won't be letting up any time soon.
Which just furthers the argument that this year will be an even more productive year for Jared Allen and the Minnesota Vikings defense.
Thus giving the Minnesota Vikings one of the best defenses in the NFL and another superior defense to put in Vikings history.
Jared Allen will be even more explosive and ferocious in 2009, giving him another shot at the NFC Defensive Player of the Year award and his team a better shot at defending their NFC North crown.
Allen and the Vikings biggest accomplishment however, will be to bring home a Super Bowl trophy to Minnesota.
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