My Big NFL 5: Defensive Linemen

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Now that we have been through the offensive side of the ball with this segment, it is time to start on the defense, beginning with the defensive line. The defensive line is a really interesting position. You have responsibilities like stopping the run, getting to the quarterback, and/or opening up holes for your linebackers to get through so they can get to the quarterback. These men are quick, strong, and have to be smart. Here are the five men that did this best:

 

Apr 22, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Giants former player Michael Strahan attends game two in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs between the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

5. Michael Strahan (Giants)

Nowadays, he is a big personality on The NFL Today and Live With Kelly and Michael, but before all that, he was one of the all time great defensive ends. His career started off slow, but in 1997, everything turned around. In 2001, he broke the single season record for sacks at 22.5 on the way to a Defensive Player of the Year campaign. He currently owns the Giants franchise record for sacks at 141.5. He also ended his career with 794 tackles.

 

Sep 25, 2011; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (69) sacks Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) for a 7 yard loss in the fourth quarter at the Metrodome. The Lions win 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jared Allen (Chiefs/Vikings)

A guy who seemed to make an immediate impact, Jared Allen is one of the most feared pass rushers in the history of the game. His career started in 2004 with the Chiefs, where he spent four seasons and accumulated 43 sacks during his time. Now he is with the Vikings still making a huge impact. The Vikings superstar is a nightmare for quarterbacks around the league with the ability to get in the backfield and not only sack, but strip the quarterback of the ball. In 2011, he nearly broke Michael Strahan’s single season sack record, coming up 1/2 a sack short. He currently has 117 career sacks, along with 26 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions, and 4 TD.

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  • 3kolu

    I’m a Jared Allen fan as well. Last year he played with a bad shoulder and he still racked up 12 sacks. If he stays healthy this year and the team can get off to fast starts, I look for him to reclaim the respect he deserves. 20 sacks is not out of the question for this guy. I really believe he is a double digit sack producer for the next 4-5 years, he’s just that good. I believe he is the best 4-3 LDE in the league. He is also a beast versus the run. He is elite when it comes to fumbles caused and blocked passes during his tenure as well.