This past Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings dropped their fourth consecutive game for the first time in the Mike Zimmer era, falling to the Washington Redskins by a score of 26-20. That puts the time where the purple and gold were at (or near) the top of most Power Rankings around the internet even further into the rear view mirror, not to mention putting them entirely out of the playoff picture.
So, we can anticipate yet another drop in the rankings for our favorite football team. Just how big a drop? Well, let’s have a look in this week’s Power Rankings Roundup.
SB Nation: #17 (Last week: #13)
It feels like a safe time to bid the Minnesota Vikings adieu. Even after three straight losses, the Vikings were still atop the NFC North and the defensive rankings. But after yet another loss, the Detroit Lions have officially passed them in the division and it’s hard to imagine things getting figured out.
With Jake Long now done with an Achilles tear, the Vikings are back to shuffling the offensive line and there isn’t much of a light at the end of the tunnel for the offense.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #16 (Last week: #11)
Not a complete freefall here, given the two close losses in a row, but a sizable drop nonetheless. Once again, the offensive line's faults will be underlined. Perhaps not totally fair, but the pressure on Sam Bradford coming from left tackle on the final play was suffocating. Preston Smith galloped around Jake Long replacement Jeremiah Sirles like he was __________________ (insert almost any Vikings lineman here). If you consider that a harsh assessment, grab a telescope and look for the ground "attack." The RBs combined for 36 yards on 20 carries. Where art thou, Gary Zimmerman?
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #12 (Last week: #8)
So, it looks like the Vikings spent a first-round pick for a playoff-less season with Sam Bradford, eh?
Cameron DaSilva, Fox Sports: #13 (Last week: #9)
The Vikings are officially in a freefall as they’ve now lost four straight and look lethargic on offense. Even the defense has been underwhelming in recent weeks. The Vikings have to get back on track if they hope to make the playoffs. They need production out of someone not named Stefon Diggs.
USA Today: #17 (Last week: #13)
Defense has just three sacks during four-game skid and has allowed at least 20 points per week, something that never happened in 5-0 start.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #16 (Last week: #11)
They've lost four straight after opening the season 5-0. The bad offensive line play is killing this team.
ESPN: #15 (Last week: #10)
QB Sam Bradford's average pass has traveled 6.4 yards past the line of scrimmage this season, which ranks as the shortest in the NFL. That average is fine when your team is winning, but when you've lost four straight, you need a little more from the passing game. The Cardinals are up next.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #11 (Last week: #10)
Underrated NFL Team: The Vikings have lost so much recently that they've entered underrated territory. Much is being made about the fact that they've dropped four in a row, but they definitely could've won their past two games. A 58-yard field goal forced overtime in the Detroit game, while the Vikings were up in the second half against the Redskins, but ultimately lost because Sam Bradford made a terrible decision in Washington territory. It needs to be noted that the Vikings lost Eric Kendricks (hip) and Xavier Rhodes (concussion) to injury versus the Redskins. The Vikings will be better with both back on the field. Plus, Sharrif Floyd has to be returning at some point in the near future. Right...?
Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated: #22 (Last week: #14)
The Vikings scoring 20 points in six minutes Sunday was like thinking you’d seen a UFO, only to realize it was just the neighbor kid shining a flashlight into the sky. Exciting for a second but mostly your mind playing tricks on you. Minnesota did not score before or after that mid-game outburst. This offense is still a mess.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #20 (Last week: #12)
Sam Bradford committed one error in his latest Vikings appearance.
It was one error too many. Preston Smith's incredible one-handed interception sent Minnesota's offense back into the dark ages in the waning minutes of its Week 10 game. The losing streak goes on.
That's four losses for a team ranked as high as No. 2 in these power rankings. It seems like forever ago, doesn't it? Currently, Bradford's arm is the only points-scoring asset his team has. Even the defense, which used to score points itself, could only muster a single Kirk Cousins sack.
Looking forward: Arizona is no NFL heavyweight. Then again, neither are some of the teams that've topped Minnesota in its four-game slide.
So, in some sets of rankings, the Vikings have managed to fall not just out of the top ten, but out of the top twenty. Obviously this team has enough talent where they should be ranked much higher, but after four consecutive losses, it’s really hard to argue with any drop the Vikings take in any of these rankings.
As you can see from the trend graph, the drop is indeed precipitous in some cases. Here is this week’s visual. As always. . .if you’re brave enough. . .you may click to embiggen.
Man, I can remember when there was a time I thought about cutting the graph off about halfway down, because I didn’t think we’d need a lot of those bigger numbers. It would appear, sadly, that it was a good decision on my part not to do that.
There’s a look at the Power Rankings around the internet for this week, folks. Here’s hoping. . .once again. . .that next week we might actually see a slight uptick in the rankings for the first time in a month and a half.