I was scanning my RSS feed this afternoon and ran across several different sources who released their "Power Rankings" for week 1. Needless to say, the lame-stream media has not been kind to our beloved Vikings. While it is true that we finished the regular season in 2011 ranked 30th in the NFL, I for one think that we've made improvements in exactly the areas where we were weakest (alliteration ftw!). We're probably not improved enough to even be in the top half of the league yet, but I dare say, we're better than 30th overall. Check out what the outsiders say about our Vikings after the jump.
First up, is Pro Football Weekly. They have us ranked 30th, just ahead of the Colts and Rams, but behind teams like the Bucs, Dolphins, Browns and Jaguars. Their justification?
Really? That's your only justification? Let's see...have you seen Toby Gerhart run? He's a more than capable backup. Also, no mention of a completely retooled secondary compared to the end of last season? Of the 4-5 starters that we had back there at the end of the year, 4-5 different players will start for us week 1. No mention of a re-tooled offensive line with Matt Kalil?
Next up are the fine folks at the National Football Post. They also have us ranked 30th, just ahead of the Dolphins and Browns...interesting. But below the likes of the Rams, Colts, Jaguars and Cardinals. Their justification for 30th?
30. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have holes at the WR position and we don’t know when Adrian Peterson will be back at full strength.
Again with the Adrian Peterson bit. At least they touched on a valid weakness in the WR corp. I agree, compared to last year, we've basically swapped out Bernard Berrian for Jerome Simpson. Hopefully this is an upgrade, but WR is an area we definitely need to improve on. But again, no mention of the secondary or offensive line.
Completing the tri-fecta is ESPN. Again, we're ranked 30th, but this time ahead of the Colts and Browns, but behind the likes of the Dolphins, Cardinals and Rams. ESPN had this to say about the Vikes:
Adrian Peterson is on his way back, and QB Christian Ponder shows promise. But this looks like a team in rebuilding mode. (Graziano)
Oh hey, we're rebuilding? I wouldn't have guessed that. While it's true we're in a rebuilding mode, and maybe even only half-way through a 2-year rebuild...we've improved in the weakest places of the team, and our roster is a lot younger (read: upside) than last year.
So anyway, while there is definitely consensus about us being ranked 30th, there isn't much consensus about who we are ranked better than...and who is ranked better than us. On the upside, these sources collectively have us ranked ahead of the Colts, Browns, Dolphins and Rams. But on the downside they also collectively have us ranked below the Colts, Browns, Dolphins and Rams. I find that really interesting, and I think the only conclusion to draw there is...we're surely better than 30th. What do you all think?
UPDATE: The Associated Press just released their power rankings as well. It's only slightly better than the 3 sources above. They have us ranked 28th, ahead of the Browns, Jaguars, Rams and Dolphins, but behind the Colts, Bucs and Cardinals. No comments from the AP unfortunately.