With Sunday’s 33-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns in London, the Minnesota Vikings are officially halfway through their 2017 schedule, and go into their perfectly-placed bye week with a record of 6-2. When the schedules came out in April, I think a lot of people would have agreed that the first half of the schedule for the Vikings didn’t look especially tough, but it’s still nice to see them with a solid record and a spot among the NFL’s best teams.
Exactly where do the Vikings sit among those teams, according to the experts? Well, let’s take a look and find out, as he go through this week’s Power Rankings Roundup.
SB Nation: #9 (Last week: #9)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the SB Nation rankings that I fully realize are actually “hope” rankings and not “Power” rankings and don’t need to be reminded of again.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #7 (Last week: #6)
No Vikings-centric commentary from MMQB.
Associated Press: #5 (Last week: #6)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the AP.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #8 (Last week: #7)
The Dalvin Cook injury looked like it would wreck the Vikings, but Jerick McKinnon has taken a huge step this season. He was really good Sunday with 122 total yards and a touchdown. Cook is the superior player but McKinnon has played well enough that the drop hasn’t been too steep.
USA Today: #7 (Last week: #8)
They're already widening gap in Rodgers-less NFC North and could be poised to get nice emotional lift with QB Teddy Bridgewater's anticipated return.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #8 (Last week: #8)
The defense continues to carry this team, but Case Keenum is doing a nice job. Can it continue?
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #6 (Last week: #6)
Isn’t the team hosting the Super Bowl supposed to be jinxed?
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #7 (Last week: #7)
Another win for the Vikings, who are quietly humming along in a division that is there for the taking. The secondary once again looked strong on Sunday. While it's fair to point out that Minnesota has played Mitch Trubisky, Brett Hundley, a slumping Joe Flacco and DeShone Kizer over the last four weeks, the Vikes didn't allow any of those guys to even hit 200 yards passing. In fact, they almost kept Matthew Stafford below the 200-yard barrier in the game that preceded this dominant four-pack. Key for this team will be the consistency of the run game sans Dalvin Cook.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #10 (Last week: #11)
The Vikings desperately need Teddy Bridgewater back. They can beat the Browns and banged-up Ravens all they want, but I think the London game demonstrated Case Keenum's restrictions. The Vikings needed the Browns to melt down so they could pull away from Cleveland. If Keenum has to start a playoff game against a good defense, Minnesota won't score any points.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #7 (Last week: #8)
Purple is the color of the night when the Vikings' swarming defense goes bump and the fill-in offense goes grind.
This week: bye, one thing that can slow their roll
ESPN: #5 (Last week: #8)
What do the Vikings have to worry about after winning four straight? Case Keenum really hasn't been tested that much, and who knows if and when Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater could return? Keenum is 2-2 against opponents who entered the game with a winning record, including a win over the Packers when Aaron Rodgers was injured.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #6 (Last week: #5)
This is not the same old Vikings team. Minnesota has a legit offense this year, regardless of who is in at quarterback. The Vikings weren't at their best offensively in Week 8, but that Cleveland defense is really good.
Give the Vikings credit for surviving the Browns. It was a trap game, in London, and Minnesota survived. The Vikings stumbled early, but the defense allowed just three second-half points to get back on top. Everyone expected the Vikings to beat Cleveland—hell, the Vikings probably expected to—but expectations and reality aren't the same thing.
The Vikings are on track to make the postseason and to be a threat there. Minnesota's defense is special, and the offense is good enough to take the team deep into the playoffs or even win a Super Bowl.
It’s a bit of a strange mix in the Roundup for the Vikings this week. Of our 12 rankings this week, five of them moved the Vikings upwards, while three of them actually moved them down, although each of the outlets that moved them down only dropped them one spot. Four of our sources kept the Vikings at the same spot they were the previous week.
When you get into the upper parts of the Power Rankings, I guess moving up depends just as much on other teams losing as it does on your team winning, and not many of the teams above the Vikings in the rankings lost in Week 8. So, if the Vikings can keep winning, while their record will improve, they’ll likely just maintain the status quo in these Power Rankings.
Here is this week’s visual representation of our Power Ranking trends, which you are invited to click on to embiggen if you feel the need.
That’s a look at the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Will the Vikings experience a move upwards after their bye week? We’ll find out next week when we do the Roundup again.