I don't like Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. . .I'll put that disclaimer on this post from the very start. Late in this past season, I went over how completely nonsensical his NFL Power Rankings were, and you can tell from reading his stuff just how anti-Viking the guy is.
Well, now he's actually come up with a decent idea for a column. . .and, this time, he's managed to completely undervalue the Vikings as a franchise, rather than just dump on their efforts in one particular game.
Prisco has put together what he calls his "Ultimate Power Rankings," where he takes all 32 NFL teams and ranks them based on their history and whatever other arbitrary junk he wants to throw in there. How did the Vikings do? Much worse than they should have, in my opinion.
It's actually really hard to make an argument against most of Prisco's top ten, to be honest. It's once we get into that middle tier where winning championships seems to make a difference for some teams, and doesn't matter at all for others. Keep in mind that, since they were born in 1961, the Minnesota Vikings' winning percentage of .551 is the fifth-highest in the National Football League. The four teams with a higher winning percentage. . .Chicago (.579), Miami (.576), Dallas (.576), and Green Bay (.559) are all listed in the top ten
According to Prisco, the Minnesota Vikings rank at number 21 among NFL franchises in history. In my estimation. . .one that's slightly biased, I'll admit. . .that's too low. In fact, there are a few teams that I have a bit of an issue with being ahead of the Vikings. For example. . .
-New York Jets - We know that the Vikings haven't been to a Super Bowl since the mid-70s, right? Well, it's been even longer since the Jets have been there. . .not since Joe Willie Namath guaranteed a victory over the Colts. But, hey, they won it, so I guess this makes them better. Whatever.
-Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs' Super Bowl drought is also longer than Minnesota's, as they haven't been there since Super Bowl IV. They had a few years not so long ago when they were great on offense in the regular season, and then got beaten in the playoffs, but I still don't get this one.
-San Diego Chargers - Really? Really? I don't get this one at all. Prisco mentions their 1963 AFL Championship. . .well, hey, technically the Vikings won an NFL Championship in 1969, too. If you want to get into current day stuff, the Chargers are in the same boat as the Vikings. . .not getting a stadium and rumored to be moving to Los Angeles.
-New Orleans Saints - Come on. Give me a break. Prisco has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ranked behind the Vikings. . .and, seriously, I have to ask, "What's the difference?" Both of them managed to win one championship and, outside of that one Super Bowl, both of those teams have been awful for the majority of their existences. The Saints' all-time winning percentage is .428, which is the fifth-worst among all NFL franchises. . .but it's still better than Tampa's, who sits at .399, a mark that's is only better than the Houston Texans among active NFL teams. How is one of these teams "better" than Minnesota all-time and one of them "worse?"
Lastly, I'm going to stick up for our friends from Detroit, who Prisco has ranked the worst franchise in the league. There's no way that they're worse than teams like the Cardinals (who have moved not once, but twice in their existence), the Bengals, or the new Browns, in my opinion. I think putting the Lions at #32 all-time is a little harsh.
But there you go. Have at it, ladies and gentlemen!