MINNEAPOLIS – While Marshall Newhouse has been a godsend at tackle this season – first as the replacement for an injured Bryan Bulaga at right tackle, and now as the replacement for an injured Chad Clifton at left tackle – the Green Bay Packers’ second-year offensive lineman had his hands full during Sunday’s 33-27 win over Minnesota with Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, the NFL sack leader.
On the Packers’ second offensive series, Newhouse was thrashed so thoroughly by Allen on a running play that he hit James Starks a split-second after Starks got the handoff. Two plays later, he was beaten by Allen for an 11-yard sack on a third-and-2 play from the Minnesota 46, snuffing out the drive.
Allen registered another sack on the next drive, taking quarterback Aaron Rodgers down on a second-and-10 from the Vikings’ 15, a sack that would result in the Packers settling for a field goal. Allen now has 11.5 sacks on the year.
“There were a lot of ups and downs,” said Newhouse, who also allowed Rodgers to absorb a hard hit from Allen on his first touchdown pass. “It’s never going to go smoothly and never going to go the way you think it will, so you just have to keep playing and improve. I definitely have some stuff to work on, but the way we kept battling, it was fun to see.”
After the first sack, the Packers coaches started giving Newhouse more help. On one memorable play, tight end Andrew Quarless pancaked Allen with Newhouse, then got open for a 21-yard gain.
“Especially in a hostile environment, you can’t let one bad play turn into two, three, four. That’s the worst thing that can happen,” said Newhouse, who missed Friday’s practice after flying to Dallas to be with his family following a death in the family. “There are great players in this league, sometimes they’re going to beat you, sometimes you’re going to beat them. Coming back the next play is just as important as what happened on the last play.”
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