Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen has shown a keen ability to recall most, if not all, of his 136 career sacks.
Allen has played Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers a number of times in his career – 16 or 17 he says – during his stints with NFC North opponents Minnesota and Chicago.
But it’s a sack that got away that still gnaws at the veteran defensive end.
In 2011 the Vikings played the Packers and Allen sacked Rodgers twice. But later in the week the NFL took away one of Allen’s sacks on a technicality.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Allen was pursuing Rodgers on a passing play and Rodgers fumbled the ball before Allen got to him. Rodgers got possession of the ball as Allen completed what originally went down as a sack. But because Rodgers fumbled the ball before Allen got to him, it officially went down as a team sack.
Allen finished the season with 22 sacks, which was a sack shy of breaking Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22 1/2.
Strahan famously got the record when he “sacked” Packers quarterback Brett Favre as Favre crumpled to the ground easily and allowed Strahan to get the record-breaking sack in the final game of the regular season.
“He always reminds me that the league took one away from me in 2011 and gave it a team sack because he dropped the ball to take the record away,” Allen said before getting into biting sarcasm. “Appreciate that. Couldn’t have just laid down?
“When you get to play against the top, and I’ve played against him for so long, we have a very high respect level for each other. At least I have a high respect level for him and I hope it’s reciprocated. It’s just fun. When you get a chance to get a quarterback at that level, you remember them all.”