It's no secret that Jared Allen has long been one of the best defensive ends in football. He is on pace to break Michael Strahan's single-season sack record. He has fourteen sacks on the year and got one on Aaron Rodgers on Monday night. He is a shoe-in for the Pro Bowl this year and is a challenge for even the best offensive tackle.
This week the Raiders' left tackle, Jared Veldheer, will have the unenviable task of trying to stop him. Veldheer, the second-year pro out of Hillsdale, has quickly become the Raiders' best all around offensive lineman. Veldheer is a giant at 6-8, 315, but Allen is only slightly smaller at 6-6, 270. Veldheer has only given up two sacks all year, but has not faced a defensive end as good as Jared Allen.
This matchup will be extremely important because the only way the awful Vikings defense is going to slow down the Raiders at all is with pressure. Jared Allen is the Vikings' best pass rusher and if he can't get pressure, Carson Palmer will have all day to throw to his speedy receivers who are facing a very suspect secondary. If Jared Veldheer has a good showing in this game, it may help establish him as one of the premier left tackles in the entire league.