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Minnesota Vikings Power Rankings Roundup: Week 3

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How much of a drop are we looking at?

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

A little late on this for this week, but it’s that time where we take a spin around the Power Rankings put out by the NFL intelligentsia and see where the Minnesota Vikings are ranked among the league’s 32 teams. After Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, you would expect that the Vikings would see a drop. . .it’s just a matter of how far the various outlets decided to punish them for the defeat.

Let’s do that now, as we take go through our Week 3 Power Rankings Roundup!

Associated Press: #9 (Last week: #7)

No commentary this week from the AP

Bleacher Report: #14 (Last week: #12)

In Week 1, the Vikings rode their run game to a decisive win over the Atlanta Falcons. Tailback Dalvin Cook was great again against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, piling up over 150 yards on the ground.

But the Vikings came up short after falling into a 21-0 hole early—largely because the team’s $28 million quarterback attempted 32 passes.

For lack of a better word, Kirk Cousins was awful against the Packers. Of those 32 pass attempts, just 14 were completed for 230 yards.

OK, 16 if you count the two interceptions—one of which was an absolute back-breaker late and a ball that should never, ever have been thrown.

Cousins’ passer rating for the game was 52.9.

When the Vikings signed Cousins last year to a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million pact, he was supposed to lead Minnesota to the Super Bowl.

He has yet to show he can even lead the Vikings to the playoffs.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #12 (Last week: #8)

If Kirk Cousins doesn’t pick up his play in the big games they won’t even be a playoff team. They have to get more from the passing game.

ESPN: #11 (Last week: #9)

Pleasant surprise: Despite vastly different game situations, Dalvin Cook has consistently churned out high production on offense, averaging 5.2 yards per touch (23 touches on 36 snaps) vs. Atlanta and 8.3 yards per touch (23 touches on 47 snaps) vs. Green Bay. Cook has revitalized the Vikings’ run game at a time when the offense needs it most. Maintaining that output throughout the season is possible and will carry this team if quarterback Kirk Cousins struggles like he did against the Packers. But doing so will require Cook to stay healthy and the Vikings to take the necessary precautions to not place too much stress on him.

MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #10 (Last week: #7)

Kirk Cousins’s performance against the Packers, including that brain-cramp pick in the endzone late, may hint at why Mike Zimmer wants to run the ball.

Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: #10 (Last week: #7)

What a frustrating Sunday for the Vikings, who fell in a 21-0 hole, then took control of the game, but could not figure out a way to get over the hump against the Packers. Much of the failure falls at the feet of Kirk Cousins, the pricey quarterback who was brought in to be a steadying presence in tense divisional showdowns like this. At Lambeau Field, Cousins buckled. His worst moment came with 5:17 to play in the fourth quarter, when he was intercepted on a first-and-goal lob into double coverage. It was a terrible decision, and Minnesota never threatened again. It should be noted that the Vikings were on the wrong end of three questionable offensive pass interference calls, including a penalty buzzed down from upstairs that negated a Stefon Diggs TD. Mike Zimmer won’t sleep ‘til Thursday.

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #10 (Last week: #8)

The defense is good enough. The running game is good enough. The receivers are good enough. The offensive line is good enough. The special teams are good enough. The coaching is good enough.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #9 (Last week: #7)

Dalvin Cook and the defense form the foundation of their success, much to the delight of Mike Zimmer. But they’ll need Kirk Cousins to come up bigger in big games to be a factor in the NFC.

USA Today: #7 (Last week: #3)

In case you were wondering why Mike Zimmer prefers QB Kirk Cousins only throw the ball about 10 times per contest ...

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #11 (Last week: #9)

That Kirk Cousins interception, on first-and-goal with Minnesota trailing 21-16 in the fourth quarter, was awful. The Vikings, aside from the first quarter on Sunday at Green Bay, have played very well. But they’re not going anywhere if Cousins can’t elevate his game.

Hmmmmm. . .seems to be a bit of a theme this week, eh?

The Vikings dropped about two-and-a-half spots in their average ranking this week. While their average ranking was 7.7 going into the Week 2 game at Green Bay, they’re now at 10.3 as they get set to host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Hopefully things will correct themselves next week.