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NFL Power Rankings: Experts Rank the Vikings Heading Into Bye Week

The Vikings are now 5-3-1, and the team will have this weekend off to watch the NFL action play out.

Minnesota defeated the Detroit Lions 24-9 at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Experts from across the internet updated their power rankings, heading into the Vikings weekend off.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 8 – Elliot Harrison,

Welcome back, Mr. Dalvin Cook. The Vikes' defense put on a stellar show -- and Cook stole it, just by virtue of being out there on the field. Fans in Minnesota have waited weeks (and the lion's share of last season) to watch Cook rumble, which he did against these particular Lions. While he might not have had a workhorse day at the office, Cook made enough of his opportunities, picking up 89 yards rushing on only 10 carries and catching four passes for 20 more yards. Back to Mike Zimmer's defense: 209 yards allowed, with Detroit converting on just four of 15 third downs.

Side note: Adam Thielen's streak of games with 100-plus receiving yards came to a close Sunday. The good thing: The Vikes didn't need him to do much. And he still caught a touchdown pass, by the way.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 8 –

With a new quarterback stepping into a new offense, there were bound to be some bumps in the road. Kirk Cousins has exceeded expectations at times but also has had his growing pains. The running game was expected to be better, but injuries to Dalvin Cook and the offensive line's early struggles hindered production. With Cook back, Minnesota's rushing attack has the explosive spark it was missing. All in all, racking up five wins before their Week 10 bye is something the Vikings are understandably proud of given the brutal stretch of games they faced over the first nine weeks. -- Courtney Cronin

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 8 – YAHOO! Sports, Frank Schwab

It's not like the Lions are that bad on offense. The Vikings just made them look bad, with 10 sacks. Is that the sign the somewhat dormant Vikings defense is back? If that's a sign of things to come, don't sleep on the Vikings the rest of this season.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 9 – Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

The Purple People Eaters Part III could be the thing that propels Minnesota to an Atlanta Super Bowl.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 9 - Bleacher Report Staff

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the harder teams in the NFL to get a read on this year.

The Vikings entered this season as a Super Bowl favorite and the No. 1 team in these power rankings. But every time it has appeared the Vikings were going to realize those expectations this season, Minnesota has suffered some sort of setback.

This was a team that got rolled at the Buffalo Bills.

However, against the Detroit Lions in Week 9, the Vikings again looked like one of the better teams in the NFC. This was a game the Vikings controlled throughout and one in which the defense was absolutely dominant.

Not only did the Vikings keep the Lions out of the end zone, but Minnesota held quarterback Matthew Stafford under 200 passing yards and sacked him a jaw-dropping 10 times.

The Vikings are still behind the Bears in the NFC North, but this week at least, they looked like the most balanced team in the division.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 9 – Sporting News, Vinnie Iyer

The Vikings get a bye after their get-well game at home against the Lions that included the return of Dalvin Cook. The complementary football has yet to hit its peak.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 9 – Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

The defense is starting to play like expected. The 10 sacks against the Lions were impressive.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 9 – Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports

Balanced offense, return of a smothering defense — this probably pretty close to type of team Mike Zimmer envisioned all along.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 9 – Sports Illustrated, MMQB Staff

There's that Minnesota defense we were expecting all year. The Vikings go into the bye week as our panel's favorite in the NFC North.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 8 – Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune

They enter their off week hoping to find a way to get their 29th-ranked ground game going.