In the playoffs, the "top 12 teams" of the NFL compete for the right to eventually do battle in the Super Bowl. (I use quotes there because there are plenty of times where it isn't necessarily the true "top 12 teams", as Patriots fans can attest to.) For a team sniffing a playoff run, it therefore goes to stand that staying in the top 10 of the various weekly power rankings is a good sign that you will, indeed, be going.
Well, after having that threatened after the loss to the Redskins, our beloved Vikings have ‘surged' back into a solid top 10 team, at least in terms of the power rankings. Eric wrote on his rankings piece over at the Minnesota SB Nation hub that the NFL awards nothing in terms of ‘style points'... it doesn't matter how crappy your team played, if you won, it's the same ‘W' as a team that dominated.
Which is really, really good for the Vikings right now. Without further ado, let's go ahead and start, as tradition dictates, with the SB Nation mothership. They raised the Vikings one spot, placing them at #9.
I know, I had to check this twice, putting the Vikings in the top 10. The record speaks for itself, and those wins are not flukes.
I appreciate that, but man, that win over Arizona sure looked like a fluke. I mean, it wasn't... but it sure looked like it. They have our divisional arch rivals at the following: Chicago Bears at #4, Green Bay Packers at #5, the tumbling Detroit Lions at #24, and this week's matchup- the Tampa Bay
Suckaneers Buccaneers at #26.
Eric himself has the Vikings at the same, #9, also a one point bump from last week.
Out of all the ugly wins in Week 7, Minnesota's victory over Arizona had to be the ugliest. The Vikes can't expect to make the playoffs if Christian Ponder (8 completions, 58 yards) plays anything like he did on Sunday.
As Ed McMahon was fond of saying, "you are correct, sir!". We're all just busy praying to Odin it was a weird fluke of a performance. My esteemed colleague also has the Bears at #4, Packers at #7, Lions at #23, and the Bucs at #25.
The corporate overlord ESPN continues the above trend, boosting the Vikings one spot from #10 to #9.
Mistake-prone Christian Ponder (6 INTs in last 3 games) remains an issue, but in Adrian Peterson they trust.
Remember when Adrian Peterson had fumblitis, and ‘trusting' him could be the issue? Yeah, me neither. Anyways, they hold the Bears at #5, Packers at #7, Lions at what I feel to be a generous #19, and the Bucs at #26.
That Brian Billick dude over at Fox Sports actually gave the Vikings the biggest boost, as well as highest overall number thus far, a 4 point jump to #8.
After Adrian Peterson rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Cardinals, he was quoted as saying "there's still a little missing" in his game. That is scary considering his productivity thus far.
Dude, for some reason, that scares me. Anyways, he's got the Bears at #3, Packers at #5, Lions at #18, and Bucs at #22.
Over at CBS Sports, the Beloved Purple continue their return to the top-10 at #9.
Adrian Peterson and that fierce pass rush have carried this team so far. But they can't afford many bad games from Christian Ponder like they had last week.
They also have the Chicago Bears at, in my opinion, a shocking #2. I understand they have been on a bit of a roll, but they haven't exactly been destroying top-tier competition. The idea that the Texans and Giants are both worse than the Bears is a bit of a headscratcher to me. I may sound like a hypocrite after the last Vikings game for saying so... but hey, I wouldn't put the Vikes at #2, either. Continuing, the also have the Packers at #6, the Lions at #20, and the Bucs at #28.
Those yahoos over at Yahoo! Sports offer the first instance of the Vikings not returning to the top 10, as the one point bump only placed them at #11.
When a quarterback goes 8 of 17 for 58 yards and two interceptions, and his team still wins, it tells you two things: One, that team isn't relying on their quarterback for much offensive output, and two, they were probably playing the Cardinals. It also helps that Adrian Peterson is apparently some kind of cyborg with his superhuman recovery from that knee injury. He's getting more than 4.5 yards per carry in each of his last four games.
Oh hey, look at that. Referring to Adrian Peterson as a "cyborg". Why didn't I, or anyone else, ever think of that? Anyways, they also have the Bears at #4, Packers at #7, the Lions at #21, and the Bucs at #25.
To wrap things up, NFL.com has the Vikings staying put at #10.
Who would've thought the Minnesota Vikings would be 5-2? They stay at 10 after beating a pretty beatable Arizona Cardinals team with fresh starters at quarterback ( John Skelton) and tailback ( LaRod Stephens-Howling). The game's biggest play? Rookie starter Harrison Smith's pick-six, on his first career interception, no less. We've pumped up the young safety in this space before, but that was a game-decider.
You know, I get that 5-2 isn't something any of us saw coming, but at what point does the "SURPRISE!" wear off of a surprise team? They have the Bears at #3, which actually DROPS the Giants one point (to #4), despite the Giants huge clutch victory over a good team, and the Bear's basically craptastic overpowering of a crappy team. But whatever. The Packers are at #6, the Lions are at #24, and the Bucs are at #26.
So not bad overall, I suppose. Just one power ranking doesn't have Minnesota returning to the top 10, and just one awards the Vikings no points. I can accept that, considering again it wasn't a win filled with ‘style points'.
But, as Eric said again... style, it don't matter none.