It comes as no surprise that after back-to-back losses and two tumultuous weeks, the Minnesota Vikings have fallen back near the bottom of the NFL in this week's power rankings.
Not only have the Vikings lost their biggest playmaker – Adrian Peterson – indefinitely, but injuries have taken their toll on the team as well.
Matt Cassel is out with broken bones in his foot, Kyle Rudolph is also out after having surgery on Tuesday to repair a sports hernia. Linebacker Chad Greenway (ribs) and guard Brandon Fusco (chest) are also dealing with injuries and could miss Sunday's game.
Of the various rankings, none has the Vikings any lower than ESPN's 29th place assessment.
"With Matt Cassel's injury, Teddy Bridgewater is the Vikings' starter for Week 4. He'll likely be going forward without Kyle Rudolph as well as Adrian Peterson."
Pro Football Talk agrees. They also placed the Vikings 29th, ahead of only the league's three winless teams. "A season of quiet optimism has yielded to loud pessimism," writes PFT's Mike Florio about the Vikings.
NFL.com also dropped the Vikings quite a few places after Sunday's loss. They moved the Vikings five spots down to 28th.
"So Teddy Bridgewater – like the Raiders' Derek Carr before him and the Jags' Blake Bortles this week – will be making the first NFL start of his career. The youngster didn't fare too badly in his first official regular-season action (12 of 20 for 150 yards) while filling in for injured Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel on Sunday, and he certainly looked like a kid in a candy store fraternizing with Drew Brees after the loss to the Saints."
SB Nation dropped the Vikings down to 26th this week.
But at the end of a largely disappointing roundup there is a little ray of hope.
"The offense continued to struggle without Adrian Peterson until Matt Cassel went down to injury and Teddy Bridgewater entered the game. Bridgewater showed poise under heavy pressure and extended several plays with his legs. The defense made adjustments and slowed down the Saints offense. Rookie Anthony Barr picked up a sack, two additional pressures and a batted pass. With Bridgewater at the helm, there may be hope going forward."