In our last Power Rankings Roundup, the Minnesota Vikings were riding high after a thorough beatdown of the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. Then, they were on the other end of a pretty solid thumping, this one courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So, after their first loss of the season. . .without their starting quarterback. . .how hard will the experts across the internet hit the purple in their rankings?
Well, let’s take a spin around with this week’s Power Rankings Roundup. I removed the rankings from Real Clear Sports because I have no idea where the heck their new rankings are, and if I can’t easily find your rankings then what’s the point, really? But, we still have 11 different sets of rankings to look at.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #13 (Last week: #10)
It’s hard to take much from Sunday’s loss without Sam Bradford. The problem is, he’s no sure thing to stay healthy for the final 14 games.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #13 (Last week: #14)
Where did Sam Bradford's injury come from? Seriously? There were reports that he was banged up throughout the week, but he was perfectly fine last Monday night when he was thrashing the Saints. So, how and when did he get hurt, and should the Vikings expect this to continue? As great as Bradford looked versus the Saints, it's hard to imagine Minnesota having much success with this guy as its quarterback.
USA Today: #17 (Last week: #15)
If they could stitch Sam Bradford, Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater together, Minnesota would have one pretty good, functional quarterback.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #16 (Last week: #15)
Now there's sudden knee injury-related mystery about two quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford. With Case Keenum, it's case closed on having an effective and sometimes explosive offense.
SB Nation: #18 (Last week: #5)
No commentary provided
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #17 (Last week: #14)
An old-school NFC Central fight with the Bucs could go a long way toward revealing whether the Vikings are for real.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #17 (Last week: #11)
Hard to gauge the Vikings without Sam Bradford involved on Sunday. The defense received very little in the way of help from the offense -- a la the Giants in Week 1 -- as the Case Keenum-led "attack" managed all of 25 minutes in time of possession, with much of it coming in the fourth quarter, after the game was no longer really in doubt. The question now is whether Bradford will be ready for the Buccaneers in Week 3. Tampa, uh, looked pretty doggone good on defense.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #17 (Last week: #9)
If there’s one thing I learned while working toward my M.D. at Columbia Medical School, it’s that they don’t consider an applicant with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a 2.1 undergrad GPA to be a “good fit” (that was a long morning on the Upper West Side). So, my best guess is that Sam Bradford’s knee has been subjected to some sort of biblical curse. Regardless, it seems like he won’t be around for a few weeks (which really throws a wrench into my Vikings Super Bowl and Sam Bradford darkhorse MVP candidate predictions). The defense is still one of the NFL’s best (Xavier Rhodes is a gift from the heavens!), and rookie Dalvin Cook has proven capable of creating yards where there are few to be had. But let’s face facts: I personally think No. 17 is low, but this team is going to have a tough time scraping out nine wins if Case Keenum is their starter for half a season.
ESPN: #16 (Last week: #12)
Sam Bradford's injury is concerning, but the Vikings have to feel good about Dalvin Cook. He's averaging 5.6 yards per rush and has the most rushing yards (191) by any Vikings player in his first two career games, topping Adrian Peterson by 22.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #16 (Last week: #14)
I didn’t think they would win at Pittsburgh with a healthy Sam Bradford, but now his knee might be an issue going forward.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #12 (Last week: #11)
It's a shame Sam Bradford couldn't go at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. It would have been nice to see if the team was able to build on an impressive Week 1 offensive performance.
The Vikings defense played well against an explosive Pittsburgh Steelers offense. Unfortunately, it spent too much time on the field and eventually tired out. With the offense unable to orchestrate any sustained drives, Pittsburgh was able to eventually pull away.
This isn't to say Case Keenum played horribly at quarterback. He didn't. However, he isn't a quarterback capable of elevating the talent around him or even fully taking advantage of it the way Bradford did in Week 1. Rookie tailback Dalvin Cook was again a bright spot, but the Vikings couldn't rely on him alone.
Hopefully, Minnesota will be able to get Bradford back sooner rather than later because this is a talented squad.
So, the Vikings appear to have settled into the middle of the pack in most of these rankings, with most of the rankings having them in the 16 to 17 range. The drop from Week 2 to Week 3 hasn’t been as large as the rise from Week 1 to Week 2, in most cases.
So, now that we have enough to create a trend, let’s take a look at that in the graph below.
I’m not sure if any embiggening can be done by clicking on the picture, or if it will even be necessary, but it never hurts to try.
(Apparently the embiggening is not a thing, but you can see a larger version right here.)
That’s a look around the various sets of NFL Power Rankings for this week, ladies and gentlemen. We’ll be back at around the same time next week to have another look.