The winning streak for the Minnesota Vikings now stands at seven, thanks to their 30-23 defeat of the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thanksgiving. Will the victory equate to a move up the Power Rankings, particularly given that it was coupled with a loss by one of the few teams that was (almost) universally ranked higher going into the week’s action?
It’s time to find out, as we take our weekly spin around the interwebs for this week’s Power Rankings Roundup.
Associated Press: T-#3 (Last week: #4)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the Associated Press this week.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #4 (Last week: #5)
No Vikings-centric commentary from MMQB this week.
SB Nation: #3 (Last week: #5)
The Vikings are the owners of a seven-game winning streak after beating the Lions, 30-23, on Thanksgiving.
It essentially closed the door on the NFC North race, giving the Vikings a three-game lead with five weeks left in the season. But it also bumped Minnesota into the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
That Week 11 win over the Rams looks even better a week later, and the tiebreaker over Los Angeles could prove important.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #4 (Last week: #5)
If the NFL voted for MVP like Major League Baseball and the ballot included 10 names (NFL MVP voters only vote for a winner, not for second or third place), wouldn’t Case Keenum have to be on a 10-man ballot? Keenum has played very well for a team that lost quarterback Sam Bradford after Week 1 and didn’t get Teddy Bridgewater back until recent weeks. Quarterbacks always get too much credit or blame, but it’s hard to deny that Keenum has been a big part of a team that would get a first-round bye if the season ended today.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #3 (Last week: #5)
I still don't believe in Case Keenum, but I know what's going to happen. I'm going to keep saying that Keenum is going to cost the Vikings every single week, and Keenum will prove me wrong every single week. Then, when the Vikings are 14-2 and heading into the playoffs, I'll finally admit that I was wrong about Keenum, only to watch him score six points in a postseason loss. I guarantee this will happen.
It's happening. As Keenum was converting countless third downs against the Lions, I began wondering if he could be the next Tom Brady. Honestly. I mean, Brady was a sixth-round pick, and Keenum was undrafted, so maybe he can be the next Brady by leading the Vikings to a Super Bowl victory this year, and then another one two seasons later, and then a third one the following year, and then two more down the road. And then he'll get stupid haircuts that I'll make fun of.
By the way, I can't wait to see how much Roger Goodell fines Everson Griffen for a "uniform violation" where he asked people what he should name his newborn child.
USA Today: #4 (Last week: #4)
Judging by the numbers anyway (70 catches, 1,005 yards in 11 games), Adam Thielen deserves to be mentioned in conjunction with Randy Moss.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #4 (Last week: #5)
Case Keenum keeps balling out, perhaps motivated by the fact that Mike Zimmer is going week-to-week on starting him. But how about the replacement running game with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon, and a defense that's stout on every level? That's a good foundation for any QB's success.
This week: at Falcons, a re-rising NFC power
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #4 (Last week: #4)
They’re starting to feel like a potential Super Bowl team. Which means that the inevitable implosion is coming.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #3 (Last week: #4)
The Vikings prove every week that they are a principal player in the Lombardi chase. Case Keenum might not be in the MVP stratosphere, but the journeyman has certainly tabled the "When will Teddy Bridgewater start again?" discussion for now -- and the foreseeable future. Keenum provides Minnesota with the best chance to win the Super Bowl this year, and that is what the Vikes should be playing for ... right? Wonder if last Thursday the Lions noticed Minnesota using Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon -- neither of whom is the Vikings' RB1 -- and thought, So THAT'S what a running game looks like! Wow. Cool. Can we get one of those? Jim? Jim Bob? Bueller?
ESPN: #5 (Last week: #4. . .WTF?)
Sam Bradford played well before his injury, and Case Keenum has been great with Bradford out. As a result, the Vikings have the best team Total QBR (74) this season. Give credit to the pass protection, too. The Vikings have allowed 12 sacks this year, tied for fewest in the NFL.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #4 (Last week: #5)
Case Keenum has proven he should be the quarterback, but now must show it again on the road against Atlanta. The Vikings defense shows up every week.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #3 (Last week: #4)
We've known this Vikings defense is for real for a while. That isn't some urban myth.
The thing that is surprising is how well the offense and Case Keenum are playing. Mike Zimmer needs to start showing Keenum more support and more respect in press conferences. The way he has handled Keenum and the potential return of Teddy Bridgewater is disrespectful.
Right now, the Vikings are hands down one of the best teams in football. They showed that against Detroit, despite some questionable calls going against them. Minnesota continues to answer every question that comes its way down the stretch.
The Vikings possess unreal defensive talent, have Latavius Murray going in the run game and have three playmaking pass-catchers in Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Opponents cannot just game-plan to stop one guy or one area of the team and hope to win.
The Vikings are capable of winning a Super Bowl this year.
So, of the 12 outlets that we use to make our Roundup, nine of them moved the Vikings up at least one spot. Two of them left the Vikings in the same place they were the previous week. . .and then there’s ESPN, who actually pushed the Vikings down a spot following their seventh consecutive victory. Even better. . .one of the teams ahead of Minnesota in ESPN’s rankings (after having jumped from 6th to 3rd, no less)? The Los Angeles Rams. . .you know, that team the Vikings thumped a little over a week ago.
Nevertheless, with the exception of the ESPN ranking, everyone else seems to be of the mind that the Vikings are a top four team in this league as things stand right now.
As always, here is your picture that you may click to embiggen to see the trends for the Vikings from the beginning of the season to right now.
That’s your Power Rankings Roundup for the Minnesota Vikings for this week, folks. The Vikings have another tough one coming up on Sunday when they take on the Atlanta Falcons. We’ll see where the trends take our favorite team after that game at this time next week.