7 things to know about the Vikings and Packers heading into Week 8

(Photo by Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Ifeadi Odenigbo – Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota’s defense isn’t very good, but they play well on third down and in the red zone

This is paradoxical happening.

The Vikings ranking third-to-last in points allowed per game (32.0). It’s terrible, and you will find no sugarcoating of this metric on The Viking Age. The mark is virtually insurmountable for a team that fancies itself on running the football.

But there is an odd anomaly. Minnesota obviously stinks in allowing too many points. The purple and gold, however, are very astute on third downs. They allow opposing teams to convert third downs 34 percent of the time, a statistic that is third-best in the NFL. The Vikings are forcing teams into fourth-down decisions (where things later get dicey.)

And, it’s not just the third-down intangible. Minnesota allows the opposition to score touchdowns in the red zone on 52 percent of trips. That is sixth-best in the league. So, the Vikings bend sometimes but then flex inside the 20-yardline.