As we're all getting ready for tonight's first preseason matchup against the Houston Texans, I wanted to see where the Vikings were at in the early Power rankings. Word on the street is that the Vikings will regress right along with Adrian Peterson as most expect him to fail to reach 2,000 yards rushing. They also expect Ponder to fold like a collapsing lawnchair under a year filled with added pressure, so much so that he's projected to pass for fewer yards and TDs in 2013 than 2012. So just what exactly are all the media experts saying about our beloved Vikings, and do they have any clue at all? Read on...
The Shutdown Corner over at Yahoo! Sports has us near the top of the list....in a reverse ranking where we're 20th, and 4th in the NFC North. There's not much insight to the ranking, but they have this to say:
If the rookies come along fast, not out of the question for them to return to the playoffs.
Over at the National Football Post, they are not very opimistic, ranking us 26th overall and 4th in the NFC North. I'm not sure exactly what this write-up means...but it has words, so I'll give them credit for filling the white space on the website.
Indianapolis as one of our top-2 teams headed for a regression in 2013. Adrian Peterson isn’t running for another 2,000 yards this season, which means that quarterback Christian Ponder will have to elevate his game in order to keep the Vikings relevant. That’s a tall task for a guy with 32 turnovers in just 27 career appearances. In addition, check out the quarterbacks Minnesota has to face this season. Brutal.
Over at ESPN they put us right in the middle, ranking us 16th overall and 3rd in the NFC North. Nothing earth-shattering in their analysis:
FOX Sports "What-if" computer simulations has the Vikings ranked a shocking 10th overall and 2nd in the NFC North. There's no commentary, but they have our offense averaging 22.7 points per game and our defense allowing only 20.9 points per game.
CBS Sports ranked us 19th overall awhile back, and nothing has changed since then. They have us slotted for 3rd in the NFC North and they offer this tidbit of analysis:
They have to be less reliant on Adrian Peterson and more reliant on the passing game. Can that become a reality?
Closing out the rankings, Walter Football has us at 16th overall and 3rd in the NFC North. I like his insights however:
The Vikings selected three first-rounders in the 2013 NFL Draft, so they have to be better than they were last year, right? Well, I'm not so sure. Adrian Peterson, who once again should be outstanding, can't possibly match what he did in 2012. Antoine Winfield is gone, and who knows if Xavier Rhodes will be ready to replace him? And then there's Christian Ponder, who is not going to magically improve because he has Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings at his disposal.
And there you have it, a quick and dirty round-up of meaningless preseason Power Rankings. Only one source I looked at had us in the Top 10, and most of the sources put the Vikings in the bottom half of the league. Not one source picked the Vikings as the top ranked team in the NFC North, despite finishing in 2nd behind the Packers last season. Take it for what it's worth folks.