Everyone should agree the meeting between Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long and defensive end Jared Allen was a clash of two high-quality guys.
I'm not absolutely certain who won the one-on-one matchup. There seems to be a difference of opinion on the matter, if you ask the folks involved. And While no one declared outright victory -- perhaps because there was no clear, blowout winner -- I think it fair to say both men landed blows against the other's armor on Sunday afternoon.
Long's best play was the block in which he took Allen upfield and out of the picture on Ronnie Brown's 51-yard run. The run, by the way, went left just inside of where Allen should have been if Long had not blocked him.
Allen, meanwhile, had a sack and did draw help from left guard Richie Incognito a couple of times. The sack is a little misleading because it means Allen got a good at-bat even while the Dolphins threw only 15 passes. Usually, a team throws 30 or so passes and then one sack is a very good day. So one sack in 15 chances is outstanding.
So when it was over, both men had something to hang their helmets on.
"I knew it would be a battle all game," Long said. "Watching film on him, I knew he plays to the whistle and is very relentless. My mindset was I had to match that or go beyond that. We had some good battles there, it was fun. It was a fun battle."
"I just wanted to come out and let him know I was going to be there all game and not let him intimidate me. I just wanted to go out there and match his intensity and finish every play."
Allen, appearing on the Jim Rome show, admitted he and Long were two well-matched, strong, physical men. But he did make the point he got limited chances to get to Chad Henne.
"It was and I decided to get it hot a little early, why not, have fun with it," Allen said. "I started talking some trash and poking and prodding. Jake's a strong, physical guy. I tend to think I'm a strong pyhysical guy, I don't know if it's true or not. But it was tough because they didn't really throw the ball that many times when you think about it. I think they threw the ball 15 times. So its hard to get into a rhythm
"I thought up front was a hard fought game like we expected, but I thought we were able to dominate from the defensive side and kept them off the board and obviously they did the same."
Bottom line ... Did Long win the battle or did Allen win the battle?
"I don't know, I mean, they won, so I guess they did," Allen said. "But on the other hand I got a sack so I'll take that. I tend to look at things as how many one-on-one opportunities I got. I got a couple of them this game. The quarterback was siutting shallow so I kew it was going to be hard getting around the corner so I just starting taking him up the field and started countering back into the B gap. On the sack I did get, I got chiped. I barely missed another one, he gained a yard. But Jake did a god job. There were some times they were able to get the ball off and shut me down. But I still feel like a draw Richie Incognito he was chipping and there were times he was trying to tear my ribs apart a little bit."