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Vikings' Jared Allen a threat to Lions' Matthew Stafford


Jared Allen has to love the Detroit Lions. He had six sacks in two games against the Honolulu Blue and Silver in 2011 and 12.5 during his NFL career.

The Lions host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and could look at a 1-3 start if Allen runs wild again.

"He's a guy that can make a play at any time," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "There are a lot of plays where it looks like he's out of the play -- he's stymied in the rush, he's been chipped or something like that.

"He's very good at making the off-scheduled play. A lot of guys can make the plays that come to them and he can go create a play somewhere. ... We're going to have to be up to the challenge this week with Jared Allen."

It's well known that Allen doesn't stop just because the play is ran to the opposite direction. He's a classic "motor" guy with premiere athleticism to go along. The Lions will give left tackle Jeff Backus help on Allen in a variety of ways with tight ends and backs.

Allen led the league with 22 sacks last season, but he has only one in 2012. He has been held to just two single-digit sack seasons during his nine-year career and has a minimum of 14.5 in four of the last five seasons.

"Part of it is what we do on the other side being able to make sure the quarterback can't escape away from it," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "If people keep the backs in, keep the tight ends in, which we expect in trying to keep his sacks down, I mean, that's part of it when you're a great pass rusher. And he's experiencing that again this year."

The Lions will have their hands full with a Vikings team that's playing better than expected. Adrian Peterson is ready for more work at running back, and Allen has been taking Detroit's cornbread for years. The offensive line has held up through three weeks. Four sacks allowed is tied for fourth-best in the NFL.

That trend better continue for the Lions to be successful this week, with quarterback Matthew Stafford a little less mobile because of a hip injury. He practiced again Friday and is expected to start.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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