Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is only 31 years old, but as he approaches his milestone 100th consecutive game at defensive end against the New York Giants on Monday, he said it makes him feel old.
Allen now has started 99 consecutive regular-season games and that tops among NFL defensive ends.
“It’s exciting, it really is,” he said Thursday at Winter Park. “It’s 100 straight? Whoo, man, good thing I’ve got a good helmet, right? It’s definitely a good accomplishment. I’ll appreciate it more when I’m done. It’s tough when you’re in the middle of your season or the middle of your career to look back and relish any accomplishments, but I’m excited for it. It’s something cool.”
He is particularly happy that this milestone in his career will be on Monday Night Football — Allen holds the Vikings’ record for Monday night game sacks with 4-1/2 against Green Bay on October 5th 2009.
“Everybody’s watching,” he said. “It’s kind of a spectacle. It’s like a little, mini-playoff game within the season. Every time I get to play in it it’s just kind of one of those feelings … It’s like, ‘Man, I’m playing in Monday Night Football.’ Something you dreamed about as a little kid.”
Allen has admitted that the Vikings defense, is slow to start this season – they have only yielded 126 first downs and allowed opponents to convert 49.3 percent of their third-down plays.
But he is optimistic that the Vikings defense can pull it together and save some of this season.
“At least we messed up the front half of the season,” he said. “It’d be terrible if this was in December and we had a chance to go to the playoffs. So we have a chance to rebound … I fully expect to see a completely different defense on the field on Monday night. I know I’m excited to get out there, and I know everybody else is.”