Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Go Figure: Jared Allen on pace to shatter NFL sack record

Posted by: under Vikings, Bears, Lions, Packers, Bernard Berrian, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin, Tarvaris Jackson Updated: October 11, 2011 - 11:19 AM

As the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s Week 6 game with Chicago at Soldier Field, here’s a look at five eye-opening numbers.

1-4
Since the NFL playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990, five teams that have started the season 1-4 have rebounded to reach the playoffs. So we’re saying there’s a chance. Last week, we talked at length about the 1992 San Diego Chargers, the only team in history to lose its first four games and reach the postseason. Now the discussion shifts to also include the 1993 Oilers, the 2002 Jets, the 2002 Titans and the 2004 Packers. Anyone have contact numbers for Jack Pardee or Laveranues Coles?
 
44, 516, 3
Catches, receiving yards and touchdowns by the Vikings’ entire receiving quartet of Michael Jenkins, Percy Harvin, Devin Aromashodu and Bernard Berrian. Harvin is the team leader in receiving yards with 183. That ranks 86th in the NFL this season. For comparison sake, Detroit’s Calvin Johnson has 29 receptions, 451 yards and nine TDs all by himself through five games this season.
 
16
Plays of greater than 25 yards given up by the Bears this season, including nine the past two weeks in games against Carolina and Detroit. A once-vaunted Chicago defense is starting to look a bit old and slow. The Lions delivered two big-gain TDs Monday with Johnson scoring on a 73-yard catch and Jahvid Best busting off an 88-yard touchdown run. Panthers rookie Cam Newton torched the Bears for 409 total yards in Week 4, including five completions of at least 25 yards.
 
81.0
Quarterback rating this season for Tarvaris Jackson, who wasn’t re-signed by the Vikings after his contract expired last season. The team later traded for Donovan McNabb. This year Jackson is completing 63.1 percent of his passes, averaging 202.4 passing yards per game and has six touchdown tosses and five interceptions. McNabb has a .568 completion percentage and is averaging 169.8 passing yards per contest with four TD passes and two picks. His quarterback rating sits at 80.0.
 
27
Sack total Jared Allen will finish with this season if he continues on his current pace. Allen has seven sacks in the past three games and seems well positioned to make a run at breaking Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5 sacks set in 2001. Last season, Allen had only one sack through his first five games and finished with 11. The Vikings' single-season sack record is 21, set by Chris Doleman in 1989.

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