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Updated: September 23rd, 2013 1:35pm
Notebook: Jared Allen says Vikings' situational play is 'embarassing'

Notebook: Jared Allen says Vikings' situational play is 'embarassing'

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said he was looking forward to a bulk of one-on-one matchups with Cleveland Browns All-Pro tackle Joe Thomas.

However, the Browns consistently chipped Allen with other linemen and he finished with just one quarterback pressure on 70 snaps in Sunday's loss that featured another last-minute touchdown pass by the opposing quarterback.

"They made me rush outside the whole game. Every time I tried to come inside, [guard John Greco] ear-holed me," Allen said. "Hats off to [Thomas], they won this one. If you consider it a one-on-one battle, I didn't get a sack and they won the game, so they win."

The Vikings defense held the Browns scoreless through the first 29:05 of the second half until third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer's go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron in the corner of the endzone over safety Harrison Smith.

Another lofted pass to a tight end ends in another game-winning touchdown on the opposition's final drive of the game.

"You guys are going to write 'embarrassing loss' but it's the NFL, though. You don't think those guys are getting paid?" Allen said. "That's what I would say: our situational football is embarrassing."

After accumulating just 22 takeaways all of last season, the Vikings have jumped out to grab 10 in the first three games. But the opportunistic nature is hampered by their own inability to makes stops when needed.

The Vikings defense has allowed 33 points per game, more than 350 yards each contest and most importantly -- 14 points on two game-ending drives.

"I go into every game thinking we're going to win," Allen said. "We have talented guys but talent doesn't get it done. You've got to put it together and we're not doing that right now."

Toby trade rumors

Running back Toby Gerhart was reportedly sought after by the Indianapolis Colts before they traded the Browns for Trent Richardson last week.

Gerhart, 26, is due around $950,000 in the final year of his contract. The Stanford alum played for the Colts' offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton while in college.

"I try not to pay attention to any of that stuff, just do what I can do - work out, contribute when I'm on the field and whatever happens, happens," Gerhart said. "It's a crazy business. Things can change in an instant so you never know."

Slated behind running back Adrian Peterson for his entire career, Gerhart has amassed just 241 carries for 1,027 yards in four seasons so far.

"I was like, 'Hey, man, at least some team might want me maybe down the road, potentially,'" Gerhart said. "Like I said, I'm here and happy to be here and just try to help this team win and get in the win column."

Turnovers, turnovers

The Vikings are second in the NFL in takeaways (10), but also have the second-most turnovers (10).

That's partially to blame for three losses by an average of five points.

"That'll be one of the points that I'll mention to our team this afternoon when we met. For us to come away with four takeaways back to back weeks and not win the game, that doesn't happen very often," Coach Leslie Frazier said. "But it's happening when you are giving the ball back and you are not playing as well on special teams, and that's part of why we're where we are."

Quarterback Christian Ponder has five interceptions and two fumbles, but Peterson has fumbled twice as well. The inability to hang onto the football negates the defense's double-digit takeaways and often boils the game down to one series.

"You look back, we can always do more: score the football when we turn it over, create more havoc in the back end, flip field positions, there's so much more we can do," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "Giving up the big plays and stuff is just things we can't do, the breakdown on the field goal, just things we can't do. You look back and just wonder how it got to that point."

Extra points

• Rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson more than doubled his snap count on Sunday, playing 19 snaps on offense after seeing just 11 in the first two games combined. Patterson finished with two catches for a team-high 49 yards on four targets.

• Cornerback Marcus Sherels didn't have much to say about his play when filling in for the injured Chris Cook, but Sherels had an outstanding performance. He was targeted 18 times, allowing just nine catches for 50 yards and made a few impressive open-field tackles.

• Linebackers Desmond Bishop (12) and Marvin Mitchell (13) essentially split snaps at base weak-side linebacker. Frazier said he wants to see more and more out of Bishop, especially after he compiled three tackles in 12 snaps on Sunday.

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
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