Here's a matchup to watch in Monday night's Vikings-Jets game:
Vikings DE Jared Allen vs. Jets OLT D'Brickashaw Ferguson
When asked how his defensive line was performing this week, Vikings head coach Brad Childress hardly gushed. He did single out Allen as one player who "has seen a variety of different looks." Allen, who has one sack through three games, is not off to a bad start, but we have yet to see him explode off the edge and make a game-changing rush in those games. Allen is coming, though, and his rip and club moves are as good as any weak-side end in the NFL.
Ferguson is coming off a terrific run-blocking game against the Bills, as the Jets had two 100-yard rushers in the contest. He has good feet and can use his long arms to steer and direct defenders. Allen likes to wear down his opponents and get them frustrated, but since last season Ferguson has showed better patience and less emotion on the field. That's a good thing; it means he's playing under control and up to the level of his athletic ability.
The Jets' offensive line is starting to assert itself as a group. The Vikings' defensive line had a solid game in Week Three against the Lions after a few mistakes in the first two contests and has shown itself to be one of the finer units, year in and year out, the past four seasons or so. This could be a classic strength-vs.-strength matchup, and Allen and Ferguson will be an entertaining trench battle to follow.