That was until last Sunday.
The Vikings gave up 119 yards rushing to Packers running back Ryant Grant on 25 carries in Green Bay's 34-0 victory over the Vikings at Lambeau Field. That marked the first 100-yard game against the Vikings defense this season and only the second since the start of 2006.
Minnesota, which had the NFL's top-run defense last season, dropped one spot to third after Sunday.
"I think they did a good job of getting off the ball," Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said of the Packers. "A better job than we did. They knocked us off the ball a little bit in that first quarter. We got better as the game went on against the run but in that first quarter we didn't play like we were capable of playing."
Grant rushed for 81 yards in the first quarter and 92 yards in the opening half. He had a 30-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that came on a play in which the Vikings sent a blitz. A big part of Green Bay's game plan was to go outside on run plays, staying away from Pro Bowl defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams.
The interesting thing about the Packers' production on the ground is they came into the game ranked last in the NFL in rushing. The Vikings might have been lulled into the belief that Green Bay would follow the same formula it did in a Week 4 victory at the Metrodome by relying on the pass.
Minnesota knows that its opponent this Sunday, the Oakland Raiders, definitely will try to run the ball. The Raiders are ranked fifth in the NFL in rushing and 30th in passing.
Linebacker Ben Leber is among those who want to make sure Raiders running backs LaMont Jordan and Justin Fargas don't repeat the Packers' success.
"We pride ourselves on stopping of the run and not very often do we get it handed to us," Leber said. "Obviously, it's very, very disappointing from that standpoint."