Jared Allen is considered by some the best defensive player in the league. On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings end wasn't even the best Jared on the field.
Raiders left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer shut down Allen almost single-handedly in what qualifies as one of the most impressive games of the season by any player.
"I just asked him if he realized what he did today," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "I don't think it's hit him. Not many guys play that well against that guy, and he didn't have any help, either."
Allen had at least one-half of one sack in the Vikings' first nine games. He entered Sunday's game with a league-best 131/2 sacks, ahead of pace to break Michael Strahan's league record (221/2).
Allen contributed on two tackles and spent most of the game searching for ways to get around, through or over Veldheer, 6-foot-8 and 315 pounds.
"That was one of my goals, not just to keep sacks off the board but to keep him out of there, in general," Veldheer said. "You're not allowed to put any pressure on the quarterback or let alone touch the guy. That was my mindset going in."
Veldheer prides himself on taking care of the right defensive end without much help, if any, from teammates. That was the case for most of the time Sunday.
Veldheer got called for holding Allen on a first-half play, when Allen used his speed to get wide of Veldheer. The rest of the time, Allen struggled.
"The one I
The figures that the Raiders care about most are the 13 carries for 44 yards (3.4-yard average) amassed by running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart.
"There's not much you can do about the quarterback getting all those yards," cornerback Stanford Routt said. "That means we got good pressure on him, and he was forced to run. We were more concerned about A.P. and their backs."
In Oakland's six victories, they have held the opposing teams to an average of 78.7 yards rushing (3.5 per carry) and allowed only two rushing touchdowns. In its four losses, Oakland's defense has allowed an average of 209.3 yards rushing (6.3 average) and eight touchdowns.
"It's pretty simple: stop the run, win the game," defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said. "We did that today, for the most part."
The Raiders are 3-2 in those games. Yet, coach Hue Jackson said he has to find a way to get the offense to be productive down the stretch.
"We have a second-half issue that I need to address," Jackson said.
Stefen Wisniewski moved from left guard to center, with veteran Stephon Heyer taking over at left guard.
Running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring) and defensive end Jarvis Moss (hamstring) also suffered injuries.
They are on pace for 165 penalties and 1,427 yards, which would break NFL records held by the 1998 Kansas City Chiefs (158, 1,304).