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Lunchbreak: Jared Allen Among 25 Modern Semifinalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame

The man who holds the Vikings single-season record for sacks is one step closer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Jared Allen was announced Tuesday as one of 25 modern era semifinalists for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2021.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press caught up with Allen, who is one of four players in their first-year of eligibility, to get his thoughts on being semifinalist.

Tomasson wrote:

Allen played in the NFL from 2004-15, including 2008-13 with the Vikings. With Minnesota, he earned three of his four first-team All-Pro nods and four of his five Pro Bowl berths. He also played for Kansas City from 2004-07, Chicago from 2014-15 and Carolina in 2015.

Allen ranks 12th in NFL history on the career sacks list with 136 (sacks became official in 1982). He recorded 85.5 of those with the Vikings, including 22 in 2011 to top Chris Doleman's franchise record and tie for the second-most in a single season in league history.

"The way I look at it, I'm not arrogant in saying I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame,'' Allen said. "I think my numbers match up well with everyone that ever played. I qualify for the Hall of Fame, absolutely, but I love the process. It's not up to me, it's up to (the selection committee)."

View photos of Vikings Legend Jared Allen during his career with the team. He will be inducted into the 2022 Vikings Ring of Honor Class during halftime of the Week 8 Vikings-Cardinals game.

Allen joined the Vikings in 2008 after being acquired via trade from the Chiefs.

He set the Vikings single-season record for sacks in 2011, surpassing the 21 recorded by Doleman in 1989. Allen reflected on that moment in January after Doleman's sudden passing at the age of 58.

Allen is the only player among the 25 semifinalists with Vikings connections.

The three other players who are in their first-year of eligibility are quarterback Peyton Manning, defensive back Charles Woodson and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

The Athletic Assesses NFL's Opportunities for Women

Kim Ng made history this month when she was hired as the general manager of the Miami Marlins, becoming the first women to hold such a title in baseball.

And while other women have been general managers of professional sports teams — including Cheryl Reeve with the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA — The Athletic took a look at other sports to see where they stand on the possibility of one day hiring a woman as a general manager.

Joe Vardon, Lindsay Jones and Lisa Dillman teamed up for a look at where the three other major North American pro sports leagues (the NFL, NBA and NHL) stand after Ng made history in MLB.

Jones noted the work of Vikings manager of player personnel/college scout Kelly Kleine.

Jones wrote:

Kleine was one of the first women working full-time in a team's personnel department after joining the Vikings in 2012 as a communications intern. She has coordinated the Vikings college scouting program and has been involved in player evaluation.

Cronin: Vikings red-zone defense needs bounce-back effort

One area that Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was disappointed with after Sunday's loss was the defense's performance inside the their own 20-yard line.

ESPN's Courtney Cronin highlighted that stat as an area that needs a bounce-back effort going forward.

Cronin wrote:

Minnesota's red zone defense, which has been a strength in 2020, was anything but in Week 11. The Vikings allowed the Cowboys to convert on three of four trips inside the 20 and twice on fourth down, including a 10-yard reception allowed to Amari Cooper on 4th-and-6 with 2:05 to play that sparked Dallas' game-winning TD drive.

Dalton was pressured on just four of his 34 dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

"He was getting the ball out quick for the most part," Zimmer said. "It was RPOs, quick throws. So if we were tighter in coverage it would've been better. They didn't really try to go deep very often. They ran the ball on third down about three times. So I think it was a combination of that."

The Vikings still rank seventh on the league by allowing opponents to score touchdown on just 55.56 percent of their trips inside the red zone.