With all of the dust having officially settled for Week 5 of the 2016 NFL regular season, there is just one undefeated team remaining. Yes, your Minnesota Vikings stand atop the league with a 5-0 record, which you think would put them on top of just about everyone’s Power Rankings.
Is that the case? Well, let’s take our weekly spin around the interwebs and find out. Also, we’ve moved this to Wednesday so that we can get the rankings from SI included right away rather than having to wait an extra day and do an edit.
SB Nation - #1 (Last week: #2)
After five weeks only one team has a zero in the loss column and the Minnesota Vikings haven’t given a single reason for anyone to believe they aren’t the best team in the NFL.
There’s no Teddy Bridgewater and there’s no Adrian Peterson, but the Vikings don’t really need an offense that lights up the scoreboard the way the Atlanta Falcons have. With such a dominant defense, the offense can really cruise to victory by avoiding mistakes.
Through five games, Sam Bradford and the Vikings offense have zero turnover. The only turnover on the year was a fumble by safety Andrew Sendejo after a fumble recovery of his own. The team’s struggles to run the football could end up creating an issue at some point, but it’s hard to imagine Minnesota going on a slide at any point in the year with a defense that’s been so good.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com - #1 (Last week: #2)
How do you keep the Vikings out of the top spot? They're the only undefeated team left, have beaten three playoff participants from last season and are allowing the fewest points per game in the NFL. What makes this new No. 1 even more fun: This our fifth different pole sitter of the young season. Minnesota smacked around the Texans on Sunday, giving Houston receivers little room to breathe while making Brock Osweiler look like a pedestrian quarterback. (Maybe he is a pedestrian quarterback.) The Texans went a combined 1 for 14 on third and fourth downs while totaling 214 yards of offense.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports - #3 (Last week: #4)
What impressed me most about Sam Bradford on Sunday was that he was without Stefon Diggs, and first-round pick Laquon Treadwell can’t get on the field (12 offensive snaps in three games, inactive for two others). And he still made plays, to guys like Adam Thielen and Cordarrelle Patterson. We’ve never seen Bradford play anywhere near this well before.
Cameron DaSilva, Fox Sports - #1 (Last week: #2)
The Vikings are the best team in football, and not just because they’re the lone undefeated squad remaining. They’ve overcome numerous devastating injuries only to completely dominate each and every week. They made the Texans defense look mediocre, even without Stefon Diggs. They’ll remain No. 1 for another week, too, with a bye coming up.
USA Today - #2 (Last week: #3)
With league's worst rushing attack and an alarmingly battered O-line, it's a good thing that defense is virtually impenetrable.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports - #1 (Last week: #2)
Winning without much offense speaks volumes about the defense. Mike Zimmer is the Coach of the Year right now.
ESPN - #1 (Last week: #5)
Is there any doubt Mike Zimmer is the league's front-runner for Coach of the Year right now? He lost his starting quarterback before the season started, yet has the Vikings unbeaten heading into a bye thanks to a defense that is allowing the fewest points per game. The Vikings ranked last in PPG allowed in 2013, the season before Zimmer arrived in Minneapolis.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football - #1 (Last week: #1)
I'm proud to say that I've had the Vikings at No. 1 or 2 for most of the year, so I'm not reacting to their previous two blowout victories. They're the best team in the NFL; there's no doubt about that. Sam Bradford is playing very well; the coaching staff is amazing; and the defense is completely dominant. Maybe too dominant. Take a look at what they've been getting away with.
Chris Burke, SI.com - #1 (Last week: #2)
Since the NFL changed to a 16-game schedule for the 1978 season, only a small handful of teams have allowed fewer than 200 points in a single year—the last team to do it was the 2002 Super Bowl champion Bucs. Five games into this season, the Vikings are on pace to give up 201 points this year. They’re trending toward having not just a great defense, but having a historically great defense.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report - #2 (Last week: #2)
You can't. Mike Zimmer's club just shut down another "contender" with tough defense and big chunk plays on offense and special teams. The Vikings are the new Carolina Panthers or Seattle Seahawks.
Keep in mind: These Vikings were down a starting quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater), running back (Adrian Peterson) and receiver (Stefon Diggs). Their offensive play didn't drop off one bit. Sam Bradford is running this offense with such efficiency that the parts around him might not matter.
Meanwhile…that defense. Four sacks. Four tackles for loss. Thirteen quarterback hits. DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller were non-factors. Just an outstanding effort.
In nine of the ten Power Rankings we use to put together our roundup, the purple are either #1 or #2. There’s one outlier. . .which, I suppose, isn’t awful or anything. Not terribly surprising, either, to be honest.
Here’s a look at this week’s graph. The black line is the average of all the Power Rankings each week, while the other multi-colored lines are labeled on the right-hand side of the graph. As always, you may click to embiggen.
That’s the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks. With the Vikings not taking the field in Week 6, it will be interesting to see how things fluctuate as the Vikings remain the league’s lone undefeated team.