After the Minnesota Vikings’ victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season, there were still plenty of doubters, due in large part to just exactly how the team won. You would think that after defeating the Green Bay Packers in prime time in Week 2 those perceptions would change.
Have they? Well, let’s take our weekly spin around the NFL Power Rankings around the internets and find out, shall we?
SB Nation - #5 (Last week: #8)
No accompanying commentary from SB Nation about the Vikings this week.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com - #7 (Last week: #10)
Boy, that Sam Bradford sure made Vikings fans (and Cris Collinsworth) light up like it was 1998 and Randall Cunningham was firing moon shots to Randy Moss. The former Oklahoma standout wowed everybody. The man who deserves more credit: Norv Turner, Minnesota's grizzled veteran of offensive coordinating. Old Norval has pulled this off before -- once getting newly acquired Bernie Kosar ready to play in two days of practice with the Cowboys after the Browns had let the quarterback go. Turner won that game back in 1993, too, with Kosar posting a 109.0 passer rating on his 21 throws after relieving Jason Garrett (who was starting in place of an injured Troy Aikman). Actually, Dallas went on to win the Super Bowl that year. Of course, Aikman only missed two games. Can the Vikings pull off the feat with Bradford starting the rest of the season?
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports - #9 (Last week: #13)
We’ll see where the Sam Bradford era goes, but the first night of it was really good. And it seems obvious that Stefon Diggs is a clear No. 1 target for him to throw to.
Cameron DaSilva, Fox Sports - #4 (Last week: #10)
No Teddy Bridgewater? No Adrian Peterson for part of Week 2? No problem. The Vikings have shown exceptional resilience in the wake of two crushing injuries, and they have new quarterback Sam Bradford (and their defense) to thank. Minnesota’s victory over the Packers was a statement win and one that has moved them up as the top team in the NFC. Hopefully Peterson can return from his torn meniscus quickly.
USA Today - #4 (Last week: #10)
Talk about deep (guts). QB Sam Bradford, who barely speaks Minnesota's language, shredded Green Bay without help from ineffective and injured Adrian Peterson.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports - #7 (Last week: #11)
Without Adrian Peterson, things will be a lot tougher. But trading to get Sam Bradford was the right move.
ESPN - #7 (Last week: #12)
Maybe Sam Bradford is good? Or maybe Stefon Diggs is just that good. Bradford was 9-of-10 for 182 yards when targeting Diggs in his Vikings debut. Bradford will need another big game from Diggs to win at Carolina in Week 3.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football - #3 (Last week: #6)
Underrated NFL Team: Can you have an underrated, undefeated NFL team? Apparently, as the Vikings opened as 7.5-point underdogs at Carolina this week. What is it going to take for the public to respect Minnesota? The Vikings arguably have the best defense in the league, while Stefon Diggs is blossoming into becoming one of the top receivers in the NFL. Sam Bradford has proven to be competent, so if he stays healthy - a big if, obviously - the Vikings will continue to be ranked among the best teams in the NFL, regardless of whether Adrian Peterson plays or not.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report - #6 (Last week: #10)
In a new stadium. With a new quarterback. Against an old division rival.
Minnesota had plenty on the line Sunday night. The Vikings responded with a masterful defensive performance that places them in the NFC North driver's seat for now.
Aaron Rodgers' deep passing created plenty of penalties, but not much else. Coach Mike Zimmer's defense swarmed No. 12 before he could pull off something spectacular. Then, it forced him into a few uncharacteristically bad throws.
Sam Bradford looked up to the task of carrying this team. He might have to if Adrian Peterson's knee injury proves serious.
Chris Burke, SI.com - N/A (Last week: #16)
SI’s Power Rankings come out on Wednesdays. I suspect that Mr. Burke is going to have our favorite football team making a significant move up this week after a ridiculous four-spot drop in last week’s rankings.
Also want to give a quick Honorable Mention to Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB. Vrentas, who decided last week that the Vikings were not among the top 15 teams in the NFL after Week 1, has seen the error of her ways and put the Vikings into the countdown this week at #6.
So, it appears as though the Vikings are now, at worst, a Top 10 team, and a Top 5 team in plenty of eyes. There’s plenty of season ahead of us, obviously, but for now that sounds pretty damn good to me.
We’ll throw our trend graph in here once SI gets their Power Rankings posted tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that.