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3 Vikings Atop PFF's Weekly Positional Rankings

Each week, Pro Football Focus posts reviews of the weekend's games and identifies the top performer of the league at his respective position group. After Minnesota defeated Carolina on the road last Sunday, three Vikings were listed as **their position group’s highest-rated players**.

Analyst Sam Monson said Kyle Rudolph led the NFL's tight ends with a grade of 86.0. He wrote:

While Kyle Rudolph has always possessed immense physical talent, this year he is starting to consistently make use of it on the field. Rudolph caught seven of the eight passes thrown his way for 70 yards and a touchdown, snaring the score from over the head of Panthers LB Shaq Thompson.

Kyle Rudolph topped the charts at safety with a grade of 87.0. Monson opined that Smith is currently the best player on "the dominant Vikings defense."

[Smith] recorded five tackles this week against the Panthers, each one a defensive stop. He also notched a sack and allowed just one catch for two yards when in primary coverage.

Monson also highlighted Marcus Sherels as the week's standout return specialist.

*Seattle's Tyler Lockett deserves a mention for the 62-yard punt return he had this week, but Sherels gets the spot for getting into the end zone and sparking the Vikings' victory against the Panthers. *

Diehl: Everson Griffen shares tier with Von Miller

In a recent episode of *Good Morning Football *on, former Giants guard David Diehl praised Everson Griffen's defensive performance **over the first three weeks of the season**.

"Everson Griffen is performing and pass rushing at one of the highest levels in the NFL right now," Diehl said. "He is right now on the same page as [Broncos edge rusher] Von Miller.

"He looks like he's getting fired out of a cannon coming off that edge," Diehl added. "One of the things they [do] in Minnesota for the scheme of their defense is what we call a '3-4 radar' – they have guys standing up and walking around in different positions out of a two-point stance, which makes the offensive linemen and quarterback have to pick and choose who to account for."

Diehl pointed out that no Panthers offensive players interfered with Griffen in last Sunday's game where Griffen disrupted a Cam Newton pass that was then intercepted by Tom Johnson.

"Scheme is not only just working for them, but also that they are getting put in positions to be able to attack the quarterback and play to their advantage," Diehl said. "The Minnesota Vikings right now under [Head Coach] Mike Zimmer are playing fast, they're playing physical, and what are they doing? They're affecting and disrupting everything when it comes to a quarterback."

ESPN deems Patriots, Vikings most likely 3-0 teams to make 2016 playoffs

With Week 3 under its belt, the NFL has five teams that remain undefeated: Denver, New England, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Minnesota.

Using ESPN's Football Power Index simulations as a guide, ESPN writers Evan Kaplan and Marty Callinan took an early look at which team has **the best chance to make the playoffs**. They determined that the Vikings have a 92 percent chance of seeing the 2016 postseason, second-most likely behind the Patriots (94 percent). Kaplan and Callinan wrote:

[Great] play on the defensive side of the ball is what the five 3-0 teams have in common. The Vikings might have the best defense in that group.

They have added more than 26 points to the team's expected total, nearly twice as many expected points as the Eagles, who rank second on that list with 14.

Minnesota has allowed an NFL-low 4.4 yards per play this season.

After the Vikings, the Broncos were given the next-best chance of making the playoffs (87 percent), followed by the Ravens (82 percent) and then the Eagles (52 percent).

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