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Hey, all. . .missed me the past couple of days? Awwwww, you're too kind. Most of you, anyway.
The Minnesota Vikings have five games in the books, and with a 4-1 record and their first three-game winning streak since 2009, they keep moving up in the rankings. Let us celebrate with one of my all-time favorite songs before we take a spin around the NFL's Power Rankings.
And all you teams up in the top ten? Please allow me to bump thee.
As always, we start with the mothership at SB Nation, and they're the first of many that feel that the Vikings have climbed into the top ten teams in the NFL. They move up four spots from last week's rankings, from #11 up to #7.
So, this is what it's come to, huh? The No. 7 ranking for Minnesota. I don't know what else to do -- they really do seem this good. They can win a lot of games if the defense is holding teams under two touchdowns.
I would hope so. As I've said, the Vikings haven't played a ton of world-beaters yet, but you can only play who the schedule puts in front of you. SB Nation's rankings for the rest of the NFC North have the Chicago Bears at #5, the Green Bay Packers at #12, and the Detroit Lions at #21. Minnesota's opponent this week, the Washington Redskins, check in at #18 on the SB Nation rankings.
In a shocker, the folks at ESPN have moved the Vikings into their top ten as well. They've given the Vikings a six-spot boost, from #14 up to #8.
They appear to be legit. They can run the ball and can stop the run. Successful teams have been built on less.
Hey, remember when it didn't matter whether or not an NFL team had a running game? You know. . .last year? ESPN has Chicago at #6 in their rankings, Green Bay at #12, and Detroit at #20, one spot ahead of Washington at #21.
The Vikings find themselves another top ten ranking from Brian Billick at Fox Sports, who moves Minnesota from #14 last week to #9 this week.
Quick, name another defender for the Vikings other than Jared Allen. You better get to know them, because this group is sixth-best in scoring defense and seventh in passing defense.
Well, we can name lots of them. . .then again, we're biased. At least he got #69's name right, which is something. Billick's rankings have Chicago at #4, Green Bay at #12, and Detroit at #23. Billick has the Redskins the same place as ESPN had them, at #21 overall.
Pete Prisco at CBS Sports has gotten into the spirit as well, jumping the Vikings up five spots from #13 to #8.
They are the surprise team of the year. Percy Harvin and that defense make a nice combination.
There are quite a few teams that could fall under the heading of "surprise team of the year" thus far, but the Vikings are certainly near the top of that list. I think anyone would be hard-pressed to disagree with that. Prisco has Chicago at #6, Green Bay at #16, and Detroit at #22. He slotted the Redskins in at #19.
Yahoo! Sports gives the Vikings what appears to be the biggest bump of the week, a seven-spot leap from #15 to #8.
Not only did they prove this week that they can win even when Christian Ponder throws interceptions (his first two of the year), they can blow people out, too. I'd credit them for their continued excellent run defense as they held Chris Johnson to 24 carries on 15 yards, but I'm not sure Chris Johnson wouldn't do that on an empty field right now.
Remember when people thought that Chris Johnson was as good as Adrian Peterson? What was up with that? Yahoo! actually has the Vikings as the best team in the NFC North, with Chicago ranked at #10, Green Bay at #13, and Detroit at #23. Washington comes in at #19 in the Yahoo! rankings.
NFL.com moves the Vikings into their top ten as well, with a five-spot bump from #13 to #8.
Like 'em or not, the Vikings have earned a spot in the top 10. If you want to see a premier pitch-and-catch play, look no further than Christian Ponder's perfect lob to a double-covered Kyle Rudolph in the back of the end zone last Sunday -- ri-DONK-ulous. Yes, the second week of October is crack-of-dawn-ish when it comes to talking about Coach of the Year candidates. No, an early endorsement of Leslie Frazier is not out of line.
All of those people that pegged Kyle Rudolph as a potential breakout candidate at tight end. . .*cough*likewedid*cough*. . .are looking pretty smart so far, aren't they? NFL.com puts Chicago at #5, Green Bay at #14, and Detroit at #20. The Redskins come in at #23.
But, as we know, there are some folks that are always trying to ice skate uphill. Such is the case with the folks from USA Today. Sure, they moved the Vikings up five spots. . .a move that put the Vikings at #11.
Defense has given up 33 points over its last three games combined.
Hooray, numbers and stuff. USA Today has Chicago at #7, Green Bay at #8 (!?), and Detroit at #19. Washington shows up at #20.