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NFL Power Rankings: Experts on Vikings Rank Heading into Week 3

The Vikings lost their Week 2 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-9 at Heinz Field but head back home this week to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Bucs are (1-0) after a 29-7 home win against the Chicago Bears at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay's first scheduled game at Miami was moved to November because of Hurricane Irma.

The experts released their Power Rankings lists heading into Week 3 on Tuesday.

We'll take a look at where Minnesota ranks and how their rank changed from Week 2 below:


17 (Down 6 Spots): Elliot Harrison -NFL.com

Hard to gauge the *Vikings without Kyle Rudolph involved on Sunday. The defense received very little in the way of help from the offense — a la the Giants in Week 1. The question now is whether Bradford will be ready for the Buccaneers in Week 3. *


16 (Down 4 Spots): *ESPN.com *

Sam Bradford's injury is concerning, but the Vikings have to feel good about Dalvin Cook. He's averaging 5.6 yards per rush and has the most rushing yards (191) by any Vikings player in his first two career games, topping Adrian Peterson by 22.


16 (Down 2 Spots): Pete Prisco -CBSSports.com

*I didn't think they would win at Pittsburgh with a healthy Sam Bradford, but now his knee might be an issue going forward. *


13 (Down 3 Spots): Frank Schwab -Yahoo Sports

It's hard to take much from Sunday's loss without Sam Bradford. The problem is, he's no sure thing to stay healthy for the final 14 games.


12 (Down 1 Spot): Chris Simms -Bleacher Report

It's a shame Sam Bradford couldn't go at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. It would have been nice to see if the team was able to build on an impressive Week 1 offensive performance.

The Vikings defense played well against an explosive Pittsburgh Steelers offense. Unfortunately, it spent too much time on the field and eventually tired out. With the offense unable to orchestrate any sustained drives, Pittsburgh was able to eventually pull away.

This isn't to say Case Keenum played horribly at quarterback. He didn't. However, he isn't a quarterback capable of elevating the talent around him or even fully taking advantage of it the way Bradford did in Week 1. Rookie tailback Dalvin Cook was again a bright spot, but the Vikings couldn't rely on him alone.

Hopefully, Minnesota will be able to get Bradford back sooner rather than later because this is a talented squad.


17 (Down 2 Spots):USA TODAY Sports

If they could stitch Sam Bradford, Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs together, Minnesota would have one pretty good, functional quarterback.


17 (Down 8 Spots):MMQB Staff

If there's one thing I learned while working toward my M.D. at Columbia Medical School, it's that they don't consider an applicant with a bachelors degree in communications and a 2.1 undergrad GPA to be a "good fit" (that was a long morning on the Upper West Side). So, my best guess is that Sam Bradford's knee has been subjected to some sort of biblical curse. Regardless, it seems like he won't be around for a few weeks (which really throws a wrench into my Vikings Super Bowl and Sam Bradford darkhorse MVP candidate predictions). The defense is still one of the NFL's best (Xavier Rhodes is a gift from the heavens!), and rookie Dalvin Cook has proven capable of creating yards where there are few to be had. But let's face facts: I personally think No. 17 is low, but this team is going to have a tough time scraping out nine wins if Case Keenum is their starter for half a season.

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