From unusual position, Watt takes aim at sacks mark

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 21, 2012 - 7:02 AM
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J.J. Watt (99)

Photo: George Bridges, Mct - Mct

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Jared Allen went into last year's season finale against the Bears needing 4 1/2 sacks to break Michael Strahan's NFL single-season mark of 22 1/2.

Strahan survived as the Vikings defensive end had 3 1/2 sacks to finish with a team-record 22.

This year, Strahan's grip on the record doesn't look nearly as strong heading into the season's final two weeks. J.J. Watt, a 5-technique end (a player who lines up on the outside shoulder of a tackle) in Houston's 3-4 front, and Aldon Smith, an outside linebacker in the 49ers' 3-4 front, are tied with 19 1/2 sacks.

Allen said he thinks the record will fall. At some point.

"I said it at the beginning of this year that I think 25 is a realistic number in the way this league is, especially with the 3-4 linebackers," Allen said. "You got Aldon Smith, who basically is a defensive end. You got [Dallas'] DeMarcus Ware, who basically is a defensive end with the athletic ability of a linebacker standing up and coming off the edge. Those are serious matchup problems. I think it's definitely attainable."

Watt already has more sacks than any 3-4 defensive end has had since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

"What J.J. Watt is doing is crazy from that 5-technique position," Allen said. "That's like a once-in-a-lifetime, praise-God-that-thing-is-happening because you don't see that very often."

Robison progresses

Left defensive end Brian Robison has played 92 of a possible 93 games since the Vikings drafted him in the fourth round in 2007. It's looking more and more like he will miss another one on Sunday in Houston.

Robison, who suffered a Grade 3 sprain of his right shoulder in last Sunday's victory at St. Louis, didn't practice again on Thursday.

"He's making some progress," coach Leslie Frazier said. "We'll see what he can do tomorrow."

Frazier said Robison wouldn't play if he can't show some level of right shoulder use at Friday's practice.

"We'd have to see him do a little pushing," Frazier said. "We'd have to see him do something because of the nature of the injury and the position that he plays. It's possible, but we'll see tomorrow."

Frazier said the Vikings have had other players who have managed to play with a Grade 3 sprain, but added that "everybody is different."

Etc.

• Cornerback Chris Cook appears set to come off injured reserve. He has missed the past six games because of a broken right arm. "He's made a lot of progress from last week to this week," Frazier said. "We'll see how he does tomorrow. It looks like he's heading in the right direction. It's just a matter of how much we can play him. We'll determine that probably [Friday] when we sit down and talk about it as a staff."

• Left tackle Matt Kalil missed his second consecutive practice because of an illness.

• Cornerback Antoine Winfield was limited again in practice. The Vikings have been resting the 35-year-old late in the season.

• Kalil, Adrian Peterson and Allen topped their respective positions among NFC players as the fan voting portion for the Pro Bowl came to an end. Pro Bowl teams will be named Wednesday.

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Houston 2 Top 8th Inning
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 Bottom 7th Inning
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Philadelphia 0
Baltimore 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Toronto 2
Detroit 3 Top 8th Inning
NY Mets 4
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Los Angeles 5 Top 3rd Inning
Milwaukee 0
San Francisco 7 Top 2nd Inning
Texas 0
Chicago WSox 0 Top 3rd Inning
San Diego 0
Kansas City 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Cleveland 4
Seattle 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Los Angeles 0
Colorado 0 Bottom 1st Inning
LA Angels 1
Oakland 0 Top 2nd Inning
Arizona 0
Pittsburgh 6:05 PM
NY Yankees
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
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Orlando
Utah 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
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Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
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Wichita State 56
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Radford 30
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Illinois State 2
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(21) George Washington 77
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(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 39 2nd Half 2:46
Fordham 40
Miami-Florida 53 2nd Half 2:59
(2) Notre Dame 65
Siena 41 2nd Half 13:27
Iona 39
Washington St 20 2nd Half 17:20
(9) Arizona State 25
Ark-Pine Bluff 37 2nd Half 11:49
Miss Valley St 32
(23) Rutgers 28 1st Half 4:58
(24) Northwestern 13
Tennessee St 21 1st Half 3:55
SIU-Edwardsville 23
Loyola Marymount 23 1st Half 0:03
Gonzaga 28
(18) Texas A&M 4 1st Half 12:57
LSU 20
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
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Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
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Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
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Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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