One thing Minnesota did particularly well a year ago when it had the NFL's top defense was avoid allowing opponents to make big plays in the passing game.
The Vikings allowed 35 pass plays of more than 20 yards a season ago — fewest in the NFL. And they allowed just five pass plays of 40 yards or more — one of only six teams that allowed five or fewer.
Conversely, the Vikings have done a lot of things poorly on defense so far in 2018, with a unit ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in both yards and points allowed contributing to a 1-2-1 start.
And one thing Minnesota has particularly struggled with is allowing a ton of big passing plays.
They've already been gouged for 17 pass plays of at least 20 yards — close to half as many as last season in one-quarter of the games. And they've already allowed five pass plays of 40 yards or more — tied for most in the NFL and the same number they gave up all last year.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.