NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: Vikings Plummeting After Winless Start

Will Ragatz

The Vikings didn't get off to a great start in Week 1, surrendering 43 points to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a game that wasn't as close as the final score suggested. But surely they'd bounce back and beat the Colts the following week, right? Going from Rodgers to Philip Rivers would make things easier on the secondary, and the offense was destined to improve with some increased time of possession. This would be the week where the Vikings showed why they're still a playoff contender.

Nope.

That scenario didn't come close to becoming reality, as things actually got significantly worse for the Vikings in Week 2. For a second straight week, they were out-played and out-coached in all three phases. For a second straight week, they were dominated in the trenches and made very few plays on either side of the ball. For a second straight week, they weren't remotely competitive in a disappointing loss.

Now, after just two Sundays of football, it's becoming more and more clear that this probably just isn't a very good team right now. And as a result, the Vikings have plummeted from being a fringe top-ten team in the power rankings to being in the middle of the pack and now being firmly situated towards the bottom.

After ranking between 11th and 23rd in national post-Week 1 power rankings, let's take a look at how far the Vikings fell in the ranks this week.

SI.com MMQB: No. 23 (Down 8 spots)

The Vikings are struggling with the things they normally do well. All around, a hard-to-recognize Mike Zimmer team two weeks into the regular season.

ESPN.com: No. 19 (Down 5 spots)

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: No. 25 (Down 2 spots)

Their start has been a disaster so far and it hasn't been pretty for Kirk Cousins. They are in a big hole with a tough game against the Titans this week.

Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: No. 20 (Down 4 spots)

Everything is going wrong for the Vikings to start the season. A week ago, Aaron Rodgers embarrassed the defense. On Sunday, it was the offense's turn to wear the dunce cap. Kirk Cousins appears to have no connection with pass-catchers not named Adam, and Dalvin Cook is getting buried by early deficits and blown-up game scripts. Cousins threw three interceptions (a first during his time in purple), and the offense finished with a measly 175 total yards. Minnesota's offense is clearly trying to find itself at the same time a defense loaded with new faces is attempting to get off the ground. It's a wicked combination that equals 0-2.

Bleacher Report: No. 19 (Down 8 spots)

In the inaugural set of these power rankings, the Minnesota Vikings ranked inside the top 10.
Last week, after losing at home to the Green Bay Packers, they just barely dropped out of the top 10. They no longer get the benefit of the doubt. On Sunday, the Vikings got pummeled by an Indianapolis Colts team that lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1. The offense was putrid, managing only 175 total yards and one garbage-time touchdown. Quarterback Kirk Cousins finished with all of 113 passing yards and three picks. Heading into the 2020 season, the Vikings were viewed as a Super Bowl contender in some circles. After two games, it looks like the only thing they will be in contention for is a top-five draft pick.

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: No. 23 (Down 7 spots)

Stefon Diggs is valuable, but he's not that valuable. Kirk Cousins was fantastic last season, and without Diggs this season, he was awful in Week 2. Cousins had 113 yards, no touchdowns, three interceptions and a 15.9 passer rating. The only good news is that Cousins started slow last season and turned it around.

Nate Davis, USA Today: No. 23 (Down 10 spots)

Simply put, they're horrendous at just about every level ... and now lose LB Anthony Barr (torn pec). You were warned, Harrison Smith.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: No. 24 (Down 10 spots)

Kirk Cousins has had a rough start because they are more dependent on him. The defense is the most disastrous it has ever been under Mike Zimmer. Minnesota needs to take down Tennessee at home in Week 3 to save the season.

Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: No. 28 (Down 6 spots)

Some teams were prepared for the strangest season ever, some weren't. One team doesn't really seem to care that the season has started.

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