Eden Prairie — Jared Allen and the Minnesota Vikings had Andrew Luck on the run, with nowhere to throw and nowhere to go on third-and-16.
With Indianapolis leading by 11 points early in the third quarter, this was an important moment, with the Vikings in need of a momentum shift. The punt never came, though, because Allen was penalized for a late hit after lunging to tackle Luck by the ankles after he was fully across the sideline.
The Colts kicked a field goal on that drive and eventually won 23-20. Afterward, Allen was insistent he did no wrong, blaming the replacement official for what he exclaimed then was a bad call. On Thursday, the All-Pro defensive end came closer to acknowledging his mistake, which clearly appeared to be a foul on television replays. But the sequence was another example of the challenge pass rushers face in this era of protected quarterbacks, and Allen refused to relent.
"In the scheme of things, it (stinks) to get the personal foul. You've got to own that. Especially when it costs you a field goal," Allen said. "But I'm not going to stop chasing guys out of bounds, and if I feel like I can get a piece of them on the way out I'm going to do it."
Allen had 22 sacks last season, none yet this year. Though he regularly lists the quarterback takedowns he believed he should've had after every game, with a photographic-like memory of the plays, Allen said his pursuit of Luck wasn't accelerated by the desire to get his first sack of 2012. He claimed Luck had already crossed the line of scrimmage when he reached the boundary.
"If that's a running back, they probably don't call it," Allen said, insinuating that the official's ruling was influenced by the fact that the play occurred on the Indianapolis sideline where coaches and players immediately screamed for a flag on the prized rookie. He also noted he began his dive when Luck was still in bounds.