The Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints 29-19 to begin to new season (1-0) at U.S. Bank Stadium.
See where the experts ranked the Vikings in this week's power rankings below:
11 (Up 9 Spots): Elliot Harrison -NFL.com
If ever there was an advertisement for, well, the false advertising that is the NFL preseason, it was Saints at Vikings on Monday night. Minnesota's first-team offense failed to put the ball in the paint even once in August, while the defense looked pretty suspect in Seattle. Then came Monday night, when Kyle Rudolph transformed into Fran Tarkenton, even chucking the football downfield, for crying out loud. Stefon Diggs was snatching footballs out of the air, while the Vikes' defense forced New Orleans to be completely one-dimensional. I mustn't watch preseason football ... I mustn't watch preseason football ... mustn't watch preseason football ...
Sam Bradfordposted the best Total QBR in Week 1 (94), andDalvin Cookhad the second-most rush yards (127).Possible overreaction:* The run-pass balance is exactly what Bradford needs to finally flourish in the NFL. Watch out for Minnesota, NFC.*
14 (Up 7 Spots): Pete Prisco –CBSSports.com
Sam Bradford was sensational against the Saints. The key: The line was better. If that continues, watch out for this team.
10 (Up 9 Spots): Frank Schwab –Yahoo Sports
I'm not sure if the offense is that much better, or it just happened to start the season against the Saints' defense. But it's clear the offensive line has improved, and Dalvin Cook might make a big difference.
11 (Up 6 Spots): Chris Simms –Bleacher Report
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford probably just had the best game of his NFL career. He made some unreal throws downfield and some into really tight coverage.
Man, it's amazing what time in the pocket and a full offseason with the same team can do for a quarterback. Bradford is more in sync with the Minnesota offense, and the offensive line is vastly improved. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur deserves some credit too for devising a great game plan and orchestrating some big plays in the passing game.
Rookie running back Dalvin Cook is a game-breaker. Stefon Diggs played well and made some impressive contested catches. Adam Thielen can do it all. One question surrounding Minnesota in the offseason was whether or not it had enough offensive weapons. It appears the answer is yes.
The Vikings defense gave up some big plays in the preseason, which was concerning. However, the unit was terrific against New Orleans, especially once the team got a lead. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks were awesome with underneath pass coverage and against the run game. Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen caused problems for the Saints all night.
Minnesota looks like a legit team on both sides of the ball.
15 (Up 2 Spots):USA TODAY Sports
QB Sam Bradford, RB Dalvin Cook and WR Adam Thielen looked like quite a set of triplets with a little bit of blocking to help them.
19 (Up 4 Spots): Mark Maske -Washington Post
Things went very well Monday night, with QB Sam Bradford throwing for 346 yards and three TDs and rookie RB Dalvin Cook providing 127 rushing yards in the win over the Saints. But after last year's great start and subsequent unraveling, the Vikings are going to have to prove this season that they have some staying power.
9 (Up 5 Spots):MMQB Staff
Points in MMQB Power Poll: 388
Highest-Place Vote: Fifth
Lowest-Place Vote: 19th
Last Week's Result:Win vs. New Orleans, 29-19
Week 2 Opponent: at Pittsburgh