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.


Allen: `We got our butts whipped. So it's humbling'

Posted by: Mark Craig under On the road, NFC, Jared Allen Updated: November 1, 2012 - 1:21 PM

Defensive end Jared Allen says there's a reason the players seem more attentive to details and fundamentals this week. And it doesn't take Vince Lombardi or Bud Grant to understand what he's talking about.

"Yeah," he said. "We got our butts whipped. So it's humbling."

An embarrassing 36-17 loss at home to the Buccaneers a week ago tonight has Allen especially eager to play Sunday's game at Seattle. But he did allow himself to look ahead a little bit when a reporter mentioned the four games that follow the Seattle game. That stretch of games looks like this: Detroit, bye, at Chicago, at Green Bay, Chicago.

"It makes it fun," Allen said. "It makes football worthwhile for [five] weeks. It don't matter when you play [the division games], you have to play them. We happen to go Detroit, Chicago, Green Bay, Chicago. Hey, the division will be decided. We'll figure out if we're going to the playoffs or not."

Some other highlights from Allen's weekly talk with local reporters:

  • On Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson: "He's doing a good job. He's creating some plays with his feet. He's creating passing lanes for himself. The best thing they're doing is rushing the football. Marshawn Lynch is, I mean, the last few games, he's had over 100 yards. He's a heck of a running back. We just have to sound up our fundamentals and get after the quarterback when we have the chance."
  • On Seattle's home-field advantage: "Anytime on the road, the challenge is to not let the crowd affect our play. How you do that is put drives together and get a lead. It's going to be a fun game. It's another NFC opponent. At the beginning of the year, you thought out schedule wasn't going to be that bad, but all of a sudden, it's getting pretty tough."
  • On where the team stands and where it can go despite a tough schedule the rest of the way: "We got a great team. We went 5-3 in the first half and hopefully we can go at least 5-3 in the second half. We don't have an easy game from here on out."
  • On the fickle nature of NFL followers: "They'll put you in the paper one day and say you're the best thing since sliced bread, and the next day, you're about as soft as water and bread."
  • On the bandage on his nose: "The stitches came out. I'll be pretty again in no time."
  • On rumors that he dressed as Justin Bieber for Halloween: "No, no, no. It wasn't like Justin Bieber.  It was just like an Emo, Coldplay fan type of deal. Sometimes, I just like wearing a wig, you know? Sometimes a guy just wants to wear a wig and skinny jeans. Anything wrong with that?" (Since this is a blog, I can admit that I have no idea what Allen means by "Emo, Coldplay." But I do know who Elmo is.)

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