Just a little bit. . .just a little bit. . .
As you well know, there are various sports sites around this vast Interweb of ours that put out weekly NFL "Power Rankings." These rank the 32 NFL clubs in comparison to each other to determine who, in the opinion of a particular journalist, is the best team in the league and where the rest of the teams fall.
At the start of this season, most of these sites had the Vikings ranked right around the 18-22 range, suggesting that the Vikings were a below average team. And, indeed, most of the pre-season magazines were picking Minnesota to be no better than an 8-8 football team.
Well, a few games have certainly changed that perception.
Here now is a look at where the Vikings stand in the Power Rankings in the eyes of many different sources.
SI.com's Peter King: #6
Talk about a leap up the rankings. Can't avoid respecting the Vikings any longer, not after they've held six foes this season to 16, 13, 19, 17, 17 and 13 points and beaten the defending NFC champs at their impregnable home by 18.
SI.com's Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman: #6
Here they come, folks, the parade of 4-2s, no fewer than eight of them, a thrashing unruly mess to sort out. Am I anxious about the Vikes' appearance on ESPN's Monday-night show? You bet. Forget the game. I understand the special guest in the booth will be Rep. Mark Foley.
The Seattle win was impressive. Still, we have doubts. Now, beat New England on Monday night and we'll say it loud and proud (or at least in all caps) that the Vikings are Super Bowl contenders.
Yes, ESPN still has the Seahawks rated higher than Minnesota, the team that the Vikings just did their best Ike Turner impression on. Yes, that's idiotic. If there was anything on ESPN television worth watching any more outside of the World Series of Poker and Monday Night Football, I'd be outraged.
CBS Sportsline: #11
That was a big-time victory at Seattle. Brad Childress has this team playing really good football. The defense is playing well.
Football Outsiders DVOA Rankings: #16
I made it clear that I thought Minnesota's early success was a fluke. But while the first two wins required a lot of luck, the last two wins saw the Vikings significantly outplay their opponents. I've been saying since the preseason that there was very little chance of quarterback Brad Johnson staying healthy for 16 games, but at this point the Minnesota defense is playing so well that a Johnson injury wouldn't even matter. By the way, check out the Vikings' schedule in November: San Francisco and Miami on the road, Green Bay and Arizona at home. Holy playoff spot, Batman.
Point #1, Football Outsiders is a great site. There's a link over on the right-hand side of the page. If you're a stat-head like I am, feel free to check them out. The reason the Vikes' ranking is so low in their estimation is that their rankings are pretty much entirely statistically based. There's a whole explanation of DVOA rankings on the Football Outsiders website.
Point #2, the text that goes with the above ranking is from FO.com's commentary, which is posted over at Fox Sports. Fox Sports has another set of power rankings as well, in which some nitwit moved the Vikings up exactly zero places after their victory this weekend. I'm not even going to dignify that jagoff with a link.
And those are pretty much all the Power Rankings I've found to this point. I thought they were kind of interesting.
Tomorrow we start looking more intensely at Monday Night's tilt, and ask ourselves the question. . ."Is Billy McMullen really going to be Minnesota's #1 wide receiver this week?"
Have a good one, folks!