A win is a win, even when it’s an ugly win. On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Tennessee Titans by a score of 25-16 to start their season at 1-0. The purple and gold looked awful in the first half of Sunday’s game, but turned it on in the second half to score a more dominating win than the final score may have indicated.
So, how did this victory change the perception of the experts around the NFL when it comes to the Vikings? Well, let’s take a spin around the internet and find out.
SB Nation - #8 (Last week: #8)
I struggled with the decision to leave the Vikings and the Raiders where they are or drop them a notch or two, albeit for different reasons. The Vikings were very good, especially the secondary — everywhere but on offense, failing to score an offensive touchdown against the Titans. Sam Bradford should be a little better than Shaun Hill at least.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com - #10 (Last week: #10)
Heckuva show-up-and-steal-one-on-the-road rendering from the Vikings. Of course, the defense stole the show Sunday, providing two touchdowns for an offense that sputtered most of the afternoon. Although quarterback Shaun Hill made a few throws the team needed, sporting a sweet little connection with the oft-forgotten Stefon Diggs (103 yards on seven catches). Adrian Peterson could never get going, as the Titans' defense dared Hill to beat them. He didn't, but the entire team did.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports - #13 (Last week: #14)
Anyone worried about Adrian Peterson? Just 31 yards on 19 carries is concerning for a team that is going to rely on him even more than usual. But then again, Peterson had 31 yards on 10 carries in Week 1 last year and won a rushing title. The last time Peterson had 100 rushing yards in the opener was 2009.
Cameron DaSilva, Fox Sports - #10 (Last week: #9)
The Vikings put up 25 points against the Titans, but neither of their two touchdowns came from the offense. Minnesota did next to nothing offensively as Adrian Peterson had just 31 yards on 19 carries. They hardly look threatening without Teddy Bridgewater, which will be a serious issue going forward. They have to hope Sam Bradford can provide a spark.
USA Today - #7 (Last week: #10)
Once Sam Bradford is ready, defenses can't solely focus on Adrian Peterson. But as long as defense produces two TDs per week, they'll be just fine.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports - #11 (Last week: #11)
With their defense, they might not need much from the quarterback. The defense scored twice against Tennessee. Who starts at quarterback next week?
ESPN - #12 (Last week: #12)
The Vikings' defense scored two touchdowns in Week 1 while the offense scored no touchdowns. It resulted in a win, but that was against the Titans. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will provide a tougher test in Week 2.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football - #6 (Last week: #5)
Some guy below said he stopped reading last week when he saw that the Vikings were so high. Well, at least he made it through 27 write-ups. I'll take that as a compliment!
In all seriousness, the Vikings are still one of the better teams in the NFL because of their amazing defense and ability to run the ball, but they need to start Sam Bradford. The Titans did not respect Shaun Hill whatsoever. Besides, I think Bradford has the playbook down pretty well.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report - #9 (Last week: #11)
It doesn't really matter who plays QB.
This Vikings team has a defense that's 2015 Denver Broncos/2013 Seattle Seahawks special. As we saw against the Titans, it can score touchdowns and win games by itself. Just play solid offense and get out of its way.
I like how the Vikes showed up just a handful of days after losing Teddy Bridgewater. There was lots of talk about how the Titans were going to attack them, but like their head coach, this team is prepared, mentally tough and defensive-minded.
Chris Burke, SI.com - #16 (Last week: #12)
As everyone expected when Teddy Bridgewater injured his leg, and as was on display Sunday, the Vikings are going to play some games this season that make you question how much you really want to be watching football. The defense has a 2–0 lead on the offense in touchdowns scored this season, and that might be a tight battle throughout the year.
Seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. . .a few sources left the Vikings where they were the previous week, a couple moved them up a bit, and a couple moved them down a little. Except for the SI.com guy, who seemed a little over the top in his eagerness to drop Minnesota down the rankings.
Hopefully next week all of these experts will have a reason to move Minnesota significantly upward in their rankings. We’ll see if we can start getting the trend graph worked into next week’s rankings as well.