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Minnesota Vikings Power Rankings Roundup: Week 14

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The trend for the Minnesota Vikings continues downward, for the most part.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

We’re a little late to the Power Rankings Roundup this week. My apologies for that. This season is starting to take a toll on this end, too. . .you’ll notice that there haven’t been Game Balls the past couple of weeks, because it’s getting harder to justify bad football. We might make them up over the next few days. Then again, we might not.

In any event, following the Minnesota Vikings’ sixth loss in their last seven games and them officially falling back to the .500 mark, the trend for the purple continues to be largely downwards. How far down? Let’s take a look around the interwebs for our Power Rankings Roundup.

SB Nation: #22 (Last week: #19)

No commentary about the Vikings this week.

Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #18 (Last week: #15)

Tough loss for a team trending in the wrong direction. Once again, the offensive line said ole! time and again, as Sam Bradford was under fire for most of the night. That's bullfighting "ole!" not Oil of Olay, although Bradford could've used the latter on that wicked hands-to-the-face on the failed two-point conversion. In fairness, Bradford airmailed the football in anticipation of a rush that had been steadily in his face all night, not because of the blow to the head. That said, it was a badly missed call. The official right there couldn't see the arm that hit Bradford in the head, but this is a hurting team that sorely needed the crew to get it right.

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #17 (Last week: #14)

One thing that would help the Vikings over the rest of the season – other than turning around this miserable skid and somehow making the playoffs – would be to get first-round pick Laquon Treadwell a little confidence going into the offseason. He has one catch for 15 yards all season. The Vikings already traded their first-round pick next season, and it’s tough to get nothing out of the first round over a two-year stretch. It’s not too late for Treadwell though, even though he hasn’t shown anything yet.

Cameron DaSilva, Fox Sports: #17 (Last week: #14)

The Vikings hung tough with the Cowboys on Thursday night, but they gave the game away with a fumble on a punt return, essentially handing Dallas a free touchdown. If not for that blunder, they easily could have won that game. Alas, they did not and are now squarely on the outside looking in.

USA Today: #16 (Last week: #18)

Maybe they should have re-hired Bud Grant on a one-game basis. Mike Priefer's special teams dissolved while he was standing in for Mike Zimmer.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #17 (Last week: #17)

That fast start looks like it was a long time ago. They just don't do enough on offense.

ESPN: #15 (Last week: #18)

There's no better cure for your ills than a game against the Jaguars, and that's exactly what the Vikings have this week. Since Week 7, Minnesota is averaging 16.3 points per game, which ranks third worst in the NFL.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #16 (Last week: #17)

Underrated NFL Team: The Vikings are once again underrated in the wake of their two recent losses. They may have beaten Dallas if it wasn't for Adam Thielen's muffed punt despite not having their head coach. On Thanksgiving, they were missing Stefon Diggs, Captain Munnerlyn and Terence Newman, plus they lost stud center Joe Berger to a concussion. Despite all this, the Vikings were winning in the fourth quarter against the Lions, and they may have prevailed had Cordarrelle Patterson not lined up incorrectly on the final offensive drive. As I said a couple of weeks ago, the Vikings will be playing better when everyone returns from injury.

Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated: #24 (Last week: #24)

The lowest rushing total Minnesota has ever posted during a 16-game season is 1,467, in 2005. To reach that mark this year, the Vikings will need 149.5 yards per game in Weeks 14-17, about 77 yards more than what they’ve averaged so far.

Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #20 (Last week: #19)

Minnesota’s defensive-minded head coach couldn’t roam the sidelines, so his special teams coach took his place. Yet those two phases—defense and special teams—cost Minnesota a chance to upset the NFC’s current No. 1 seed. It’ll pay the price come playoff time.

Minnesota’s front seven did a bang-up job containing Ezekiel Elliott. But come crunch time, the secondary couldn’t do the same on two plays: a Dez Bryant catch on a slick double move and a 3rd-and-13 Dak Prescott scramble. Both plays were backbreakers.

So was Adam Thielen’s muffed punt return. Factor that out, and maybe Sam Bradford doesn’t need to mount a game-tying drive (and a referee’s call) at the end of regulation.

Looking forward: It'll be tough sledding for the Vikes against Jacksonville's defense. But that secondary? Against Blake Bortles? C'mon.

So yes, half of the rankings we use to track these sorts of things did drop the Vikings down after yet another loss. There were two that held them steady from the previous week, and three that actually ranked them higher than they had the week before. I don’t know if those three were because they were impressed with Minnesota’s performance against Dallas or more out of straight-up pity, but either way that was what they chose.

Here’s a look at the trend graph for this week. As always, you may click on the picture to embiggen.

That’s a look at the Power Rankings Roundup for this week. Let’s all hope. . .for the sake of our sanity, if nothing else. . .that we can get a slight upward trend next week following Sunday’s contest in Jacksonville.