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NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: Vikings Drop Down After Loss to Eagles

How far did the Vikings fall back in the weekly power ranks after a rough loss in Philly?
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Week 1 of the 2022 season went about as well as the Vikings could've hoped. Week 2 was the polar opposite in so many ways.

Week 1: the Vikings played great football against the Packers. Their offense was explosive, especially through the air. Their defense was stifling and created some big takeaways. Green Bay missed some opportunities to score, including dropping a long would-be touchdown pass, but the Vikings were the better team.

Week 2: the Eagles played great football against the Vikings. Their offense was explosive, especially through the air. Their defense was stifling and created some big takeaways. Minnesota missed some opportunities to score, including dropping a long would-be touchdown pass, but the Eagles were the better team.

Even the scores were nearly identical: 23-7 and 24-7.

The end result is a Vikings team that sits at 1-1 along with the rest of the NFC North. They probably were never as good as they looked against the Packers, and they probably aren't as bad as they looked against the Eagles. There are reasons to be encouraged and reasons to be concerned. Week 3 against the Lions should tell us a lot.

For now, let's take a look around the internet to see how far the Vikings fell back in this week's national power rankings.

Conor Orr, SI.com: No. 15 (Down 2 spots)

Kirk Cousins & Co. were stunned by a suddenly blitz-happy Eagles defense and a stellar coverage performance against Justin Jefferson. Was this the norm, or just a good learning experience for rookie coach Kevin O’Connell?

Bo Wulf, The Athletic: No. 9 (Down 4 spots)

There’s no joke you can make about Kirk Cousins’ “Monday Night Football” record that wouldn’t be semi-believable. Other than just statistical noise, the most realistic reason is probably just that he’s a huge “Garfield” fan. Imagine him throwing one of those big ol’ tire steaks in the middle of some pasta in an effort to make lasagna. Cracking himself up in the huddle by making a joke about just wanting to be “Nermal.”

Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: No. 11 (Down 4 spots)

Eight days after an impressive season-opening win over the Packers, the Vikings went to Philadelphia and got humbled by an Eagles team that was superior in every facet of the game. Minnesota's defensive game plan almost seemed tailored to make Jalen Hurts as comfortable as possible, while Kirk Cousins labored through yet another disastrous prime-time performance. Cousins was pressured constantly and routinely threw the ball up for grabs, resulting in three interceptions. Even Justin Jefferson had a rough night: The prodigious young wideout was held to just 48 yards and was largely erased when covered by Darius Slay, who had two picks while in Jefferson's orbit. An ugly night all around.

ESPN Staff: No. 11 (Down 1 spot)

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Biggest early adjustment: Target Adam Thielen more

One of the more curious aspects of the Vikings' season is the relatively low involvement of receiver Adam Thielen. He took a clear back seat to teammate Justin Jefferson in Week 1, but even when Jefferson was slowed Monday night by the Eagles, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins looked elsewhere. He didn't target Thielen once until midway through the third quarter — a play that led to an interception. If defenses focus on Jefferson, Thielen needs to be a more prominent option. — Kevin Seifert

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: No. 11 (No change)

Kirk Cousins was pressing and looked awful in Monday night's loss to Philadelphia. We've seen that before from him. It's not a reason to give up on the Vikings being good this season. The Eagles might just be that much better.

Bleacher Report Staff: No. 8 (Up 1 spot)

Monday's matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles marked the 12th time in Kirk Cousins' career that he has started a game on Monday night. In his previous 11 starts, Cousins had won twice. No quarterback in NFL history with 10 Monday night starts has a worse record. You can make it 2-10 now. To be fair, it's not entirely Cousins' fault that the Vikings were blasted on the road by the Eagles. He didn't allow almost 500 yards of offense or give up a huge game to Eagles signal-caller Jalen Hurts. But Cousins was abysmal, throwing three interceptions. It's an act that has become all too familiar with the Cousins-led Vikings. They beat up on bad teams. Occasionally peel off a big win against a good team, ala Minnesota's big Week 1 win against the rival Packers. But just when you start buying into the Vikings, they lay an egg. Minnesota will probably rebound this week against the Lions because that's what it does. The Vikings don't play another 2021 playoff team until a home date with the Cardinals on October 30. But the confidence level in these Vikings got a lot shakier in Week 2.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: No. 7 (Down 4 spots)

They didn't do anything on offense against the Eagles. Then again, it was a Monday night. We know how Kirk Cousins plays on Monday night.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: No. 9 (Down 2 spots)

The Vikings are matching Miami's McDaniel hire early with Kevin O'Connell in the way he's scheming up Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. The new-look defense with healthier personnel is the reason, however, is why they can keep pushing the Packers, whom they already beat, in the NFC North race.

Mike Florio, PFT: No. 23 (Down 5 spots)

Changing coaches fails to make Kirk Cousins better in prime time

Nate Davis, USA Today: No. 9 (No change)

It's not all bad, Minnesota fans. QB Kirk Cousins only has one more scheduled prime-time game in 2022 and won't see Philly CB Darius Slay any time soon.

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