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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Hang in Top Half

The Vikings lost their third game of the season on Sunday against the Detroit Lions in overtime.

Minnesota (5-3) sits atop of the NFC North.

The Vikings will head back on the road this week to face off with QB Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins.

Let's take a look where the experts list the Vikings on their power rankings heading into Sunday's matchup.

This one* stings. The Pat Shurmur offense barely murmured in the first half. The special teams botched an extra point and had a field goal blocked. And yet, the Vikings fought back, #skol-ing their way to a lead, with a great chance to win in the fourth quarter. All they had to do was stop Matt Stafford from moving the ball 35 yards in less than 23 seconds, with the top scoring defense in the league, the home crowd screaming their lungs out and the Lions having no timeouts. This loss could be one that keeps Mike Zimmer's suddenly-reeling squad home in January. *

Vikings #11****

2.7:It's easy to knock QB Kyle Rudolph, but he isn't getting much help. The Vikings are averaging an NFL-worst 2.7 yards per rush this season.
1953: To put that 2.7 yards per rush into perspective: If it holds, it would be the lowest average since the 1953 Giants averaged 2.6 yards per rush. It would also be the worst mark in franchise history.

Vikings #10 — ESPN

*Week 9 was even more volatile in the NFC. Minnesota's fall from the league's elite continued with a third straight loss. New offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur failed to jump start the Viking offense as Detroit rallied to pull off an improbable overtime win on the road to push its way into the postseason picture. *

Vikings #13**SB Nation**

One bad line ain't enough, Jack.

I was quick to compare Minnesota's defense to Denver's last month. And for that, I apologize.

Would Denver's defense surrender a 17-play touchdown drive? Would it leave a must-win rivalry game with only one sack? I take it all back; Mike Zimmer's defense is on a precipitous decline after three weeks in the loss column.

Of course, it doesn't help when *Sam Bradford and Co. move backward as much as they move forward. This Vikings offense lacks A) any sort of pass protection and B) a running back who has speed to make opposing defenses at least a little concerned.*

So why is Minnesota still ranked ahead of Detroit? I can't give up on this team's talent, despite its issues. And I still believe Mike Zimmer can right the ship on both sides of the ball (plus whatever's going on inside Kevin McDermott's head) in time to save their season.

Vikings #12* ***Bleacher Report**

*Vaunted defense buckled in fourth quarter Sunday before completely collapsing in overtime. It must be much better as offense adapts post-Norv. *

Vikings #13***USA TODAY***

The Vikings are averaging 2.7 yards per rushing attempt. Nobody has posted an average that bad since the 1953 Giants averaged 2.6.

Vikings #8**Yahoo Sports**

*The fast start seems like a long time ago after three consecutive losses.

Vikings #11 —**CBS Sports**

The offense was different Sunday under new coordinator Pat Shurmur. QB Sam Bradford was sacked only twice and he got the football out of his hand quickly with short throws, averaging only 8.8 yards per completion. But it wasn't much more effective than it had been under Norv Turner before his abrupt resignation last week, and the Vikings' downward spiral continues. **

Vikings #11***Washington Post***

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