The Kansas City Chiefs' media guide describes second-year defensive end Jared Allen as an "up-and-coming pass rusher." On Sunday, Allen rose up and came right at the Washington Redskins, with three sacks and two forced fumbles (he probably should have been credited with three), both of which he also recovered.
Allen's coach, Dick Vermeil, puts great stock in winning the turnover battle every week, and handed Allen a game ball in the Chiefs' locker room. "It didn't take a very smart guy to figure that out," Vermeil said.
"Jared Allen was very special. He has such an unbelievable motor. You expect him to run out of gas and he just keeps humming. They [the Redskins] have two fine football players playing tackle [Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen]. You'll see on one sack they doubled him. Their H-back came over and doubled him on the outside and the tackle was on the inside and he split the double-team.
"He's got a little Tasmanian devil in him. He just likes to play and when you combine that with the athleticism and the great work ethic, you've got a great football player. We did what we had to do to win and really what it amounted to was to take the ball away. If we don't take it away, we don't win the game, and that's all there is to it."
Allen, 6 feet 6 and 265 pounds, came into the league last year as the Chiefs' second selection in the fourth round from Idaho State, the 126th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He moved into the Chiefs' starting lineup in the seventh game of his first season and had nine sacks, the second-highest total for a rookie in team history behind the late Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Thomas.
"I don't think I've ever caused all three turnovers in a game and [recovered] two of them," Allen said afterward. "This was awesome, but what makes it better is that we won. It feels really good, especially to score on defense. When you score on defense, you know you've done something right in the game."
Allen said the Chiefs came into the game believing the Redskins would try to rely on a power-running game.
"I thought it was going to be a hard-nosed battle and they would be playing the run with a lot of power," he said. "They have a good offensive line and keep a lot of people in there to protect [the quarterback]. I was really more run-oriented, but all during the week in practice we talked about the pass rush and getting off the ball. I found a snap key early and stuck with it the whole game."
His teammates were also effusive about Allen's contribution.
"That's an effort right there," fellow defensive end Eric Hicks said.
"That's a definite AFC player of the week nod in my opinion. If he doesn't get it, then he got robbed. He shut them down when we needed to and what else can you say about him. He's a player on the rise, and I guess you could say he arrived today."
Most of the Redskins reluctantly agreed, though several linemen thought he may have jumped offside on several plays without being penalized. Samuels said, "some of the stuff he got was a little cheap."
"I thought he had a good game," said tackle Jon Jansen, who was beaten on one of Allen's sacks. "He made a difference. We'll take a look at the film and see what happened and see if he had any extra jumps [offside] or not."
Added quarterback Mark Brunell, who fumbled twice after hits by Allen: "He just had a big day. Give him a lot of credit. He's a very good athlete and a very good player."