Careers & Jobs
Real Estate & Rentals
Full MSN Index
Key matchup: Allen vs. Penn
Donald Penn (Getty)
Posted Sep 17, 2011
Donald Penn still holds a grudge against the Vikings, the team that started his NFL career. On Sunday, Penn will have a tough challenge facing him in Jared Allen. Can he hold up, and what’s his history been against similar pass rushers?
Revenge can be a big motivator for some players. Such is the case with Tampa Bay left tackle
. He is a former Viking who was plucked off the practice squad by the Buccaneers and became their starting left tackle. He’s still upset that he never got his chance to show himself with the Vikings and still holds a grudge – making his battle against his former team and Pro Bowl defensive end
this week’s key matchup.
Penn was an undrafted free agent of the Vikings in 2006 and was placed on the team’s practice squad. He felt he should have been on the 53-man roster and so did the Buccaneers – who claimed him off the Vikings practice squad in October 2006.
Interviewed by Buccaneers beat writers earlier this week, Penn admitted “I still have a chip on my shoulder” about the Vikings leaving him unprotected and available to be scooped up off the practice squad. While his chances of earning a starting job with the Vikings at left tackle were remote at best given that
was playing at a high level at the time, he still has revenge on his mind.
In his first chance to get back at his former team in 2008, Penn held Allen without a sack in a 19-13 Tampa Bay win. However, it should be noted that Allen was playing through a significant shoulder injury and was far from 100 percent. This time around, things will be different.
Allen is slimmed down and was one of the few bright spots on the Vikings roster in their Week 1 loss to San Diego. He scored a half-sack and dropped into coverage to make an interception that killed a Chargers drive deep in Vikings territory. If the Vikings are to beat the Buccaneers on Sunday, Allen will have to be a big part of it as the only member of the defensive line that remains from the last meeting in 2008 –
is serving the second game of his two-game suspension and
signed away via free agency.
Penn isn’t viewed as one of the game’s top offensive tackles, but has done enough to lock down his starting job and be a cornerstone of the Bucs offense – both in protecting the blind side of
and maneuvering pass rushers to open holes for running back
. His job is safe, but, on Sunday, it will be precarious.
Allen’s is a relentless pass rusher who will provide Penn with a stiff test. Penn has struggled against top pass rushers, being schooled by
when he was with Carolina and struggling against
of the Saints. Allen brings many of those same attributes to the table that have caused Penn problems over the years and Allen is going to come out with guns blazing from start to finish.
In a game that promises to be a tightly played affair in which one critical play can turn the tide, Allen brings that big-play potential that could swing momentum. It will be Penn’s job to prevent that. It will be a tall order for a player that the Vikings allowed to get away to take Allen out of the equation. Allen has had a history of exploiting such matchups and being one of the bigger difference-makers in the lineup. If he can do that, he gives the Vikings a much better chance of notching their first win of the season.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for
Viking Update on Twitter
and discuss this topic on our
. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine,
Vikings aim to tackle challenge of big Bucs
Sep 17, 2011
Three-and-out: Three reasons the Vikings lost
Sep 19, 2011
Missed tackles a focus for Vikings
Sep 14, 2011
Subscribe today and get a full year of
Viking Update Magazine
with an annual Total Access Pass.
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from VikingUpdate.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a
list of all Team Newsletters
Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to
View My HotList
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to
Football > Idaho State > Alumni
Football > Los Gatos HS > Alumni
Football > Minnesota
View My HotList
Copyright © 2014 Scout.com.
All rights reserved.
Terms of Service
Junior College Football
Advertise on MSN
About our ads
© 2014 Microsoft