Xavier Rhodes didn't get his ultimate goal of a Week 2 win, but his personal performance at Pittsburgh garnered attention nonetheless.
Former cornerback and current NFL.com analyst Ike Taylor on Thursday released his weekly rankings of corners across the league, bumping Rhodes up a spot* *from last week's order to seven. Taylor wrote:
*My hat's off to Rhodes for the way he played against the league's best receiver, Antonio Brown. Rhodes held Brown to three receptions for 28 yards on eight targets and allowed a 47.9 passer rating against. Not bad, not bad at all. *
Taylor then focused on Minnesota's next game against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Rhodes turns right around to face Mike Evans, the most-targeted player in the NFL since 2016 (182 targets). Rhodes' rebounding skills had better be decent, because this matchup is going to be a basketball game.
Among Taylor's full rankings, Seattle's Richard Sherman stayed put at No. 1, and Denver's Aqib Talib jumped five spots up to No. 2 after a big game against the Cowboys. Jaguars corner A.J. Bouye fell six spots to No. 9, while his teammate, Jalen Ramsey, made the list for the first time.
On "Ike's Island" as the week's standout cornerback performance was Atlanta's Desmond Trufant, who snagged an interception and recovered a fumble against the Packers. The Falcons (2-0) visit the Lions (2-0)* on Sunday. *
Primed for a pick?
The Vikings defense hasn't yet notched a turnover, but Everson Griffen reminded media members earlier this week that it's "only been two games" and that "takeaways will come."
Mark Craig of the *Star Tribune *pointed out in his Thursday notebook that Sunday's game against the Bucs could offer Minnesota's secondary a chance to make a big play. Craig wrote:
*Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has played 33 NFL games. He's thrown 33 interceptions. *
*Game 34 is Sunday in Minneapolis. You do the math. *
Craig then added, however, that "it might not be that easy."
*Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards said the 23-year-old is making his biggest strides by being more careful with the ball. Winston didn't throw an interception in last week's rout of the Bears. *
Craig quoted Edwards' podium session with Twin Cities media, during which he said that Winston has most improved his decision-making in the start of his third professional season.
"He wants to make all the throws," Edwards said. "I think, the one thing he's tried to do when you look at him through the preseason compared to last year is you can see him being a little bit more protective as far as the decisions he's making."