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Minnesota Vikings Week 15 Power Rankings Roundup

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For the first time in a long time, we get to see how a loss affects the Vikings

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since the first week of October, our weekly Power Rankings Roundup gets to see how a loss affects the Minnesota Vikings and their standing in the eyes of the pundits across the interwebs. Yes, the Vikings lost a tough game to a very good Carolina Panthers team on an afternoon where they didn’t play their best, but how much of a drop will they suffer for that? Will they suffer a drop at all?

That’s what we’re here to find out, as it’s time to take a spin around the web for our weekly Power Rankings Roundup!

Associated Press: #4 (Last week: #2)

No Vikings-centric commentary from the Associated Press this week.

MMQB, Sports Illustrated: T-#2 (Last week: #2)

No Vikings-centric commentary from MMQB this week.

SB Nation: #6 (Last week: #2)

No Vikings-centric commentary from SB Nation this week.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #2 (Last week: #3)

The Vikings have moved up despite the loss because of Carson Wentz's injury. Besides, I think they'll bounce back as long as their offensive linemen are healthy. Minnesota fans must have had flashbacks from 2016 based on how poorly the line played in Carolina. The center and right tackle were ruled out prior to kickoff, and the left tackle was lost during the game.

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #4 (Last week: #4)

Nobody wants to see an injury, of course. However, the team that benefits the most from Carson Wentz’s torn ACL is this one. The Eagles would have likely won out against that remaining schedule with Wentz, but perhaps if Foles stumbles the Vikings can steal the No. 1 seed. And while the Vikings defense is very good and might have beaten Wentz anyway, the most obvious statement of the season is the Vikings would rather see Nick Foles in January than Wentz. The NFC has some tough teams and it won’t be easy, but there’s a possibility we’ll finally see a team play a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

USA Today: #3 (Last week: #3)

Who would have suspected battle for home-field advantage in NFC might come down to whether Case Keenum could outgun Nick Foles down stretch?

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #4 (Last week: #3)

The Vikings had a big hiccup in Carolina as their main strengths — running the ball and stopping the run — didn't manifest. They can't afford any more lapses as they try to take advantage of the Eagles' situation and steal back the No. 1 seed.

This week: vs. Bengals

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #4 (Last week: #3)

Glass half full, the Vikings never gave up on Sunday. Glass half empty, the injuries are piling up.

Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #3 (Last week: #3)

The Vikings remain in the No. 3 spot despite a tight road loss to the Panthers. Minnesota simply couldn't stop Cam Newton when it mattered. Actually, the Panthers QB posted putrid passing numbers, but those 62-yard runs kinda count, you know? All in all, Carolina put up 216 rushing yards on Mike Zimmer's defense. Still, I'm keeping the Vikings at No. 3 because that was their first loss since Oct. 1, and it came at the end of an extremely tough stretch where they played the Redskins on the road, returned home to face the Rams, then had three straight roadies against teams that currently boast winning records (Detroit, Atlanta and Carolina). So there you go, Minnesotans -- you happy? No fan base has complained about its team's ranking more than Vikes supporters, as evidenced by the YouTube comments of the "NFL Power Rankings" show. Honestly, at least half the section each week consists of Minnesota fans saying they're getting no respect and should be ranked higher. Well, in order to be No. 2, you gotta beat No. 8.

ESPN: #5 (Last week: #3)

There's no bigger breakthrough for the 2017 Vikings than Case Keenum. Even after Sunday's loss to the Panthers, Keenum still ranks third leaguewide in Total QBR and has led Minnesota to an 8-3 record in his starts. He entered the season with a career 9-15 record as a starter.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #7 (Last week: #3)

Playing three consecutive road games was tough, but going 2-1 in that stretch is impressive.

Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #2 (Last week: #3)

The Minnesota Vikings are still one of the best teams in the NFL. They've gone through a tough schedule in recent weeks: Rams, Falcons, Panthers. Did I expect them to go 3-0 in that stretch? No. Therefore, I don't think a loss in Carolina is cause for panic.

Case Keenum, who had two interceptions, has had better days. Vikings receivers dropped passes, and Minnesota never got the run game going. The defense had some untimely penalties as well.

When you have untimely penalties, have three turnovers and miss field goals on the road, it's hard to win. Yet, the Vikings had a tied ballgame in the fourth quarter before Cam Newton ripped off a long run to set up the winning score.

Make no mistake: The Vikings are still Super Bowl material.

Well, it was a bit more of a mixed bag than I expected this week. Of the 12 outlets we look at to make up our Roundup, only six of them moved the Vikings down in their rankings this week. Granted, that includes a couple of fairly sizeable four-spot drops, which is a bit of a surprise. It’s a surprise to me, anyway. I wouldn’t think that a tough loss to a very good Carolina team would have merited that much of a hit, but that’s just me.

Of the remaining six, four sets of rankings left the Vikings right where they were in the previous week’s rankings. Two of them actually managed to move the Vikings up one spot in their rankings from last week, which is nice. Both of those outlets moved the Vikings from #3 to #2. I’m guessing that might owe as much to the big injury news coming out of Philadelphia from this past weekend than it does with the Vikings.

Overall, the Vikings’ average position fell exactly one full place. Last week, the average ranking was 2.833, while this week’s average ranking was 3.833.

Here’s a look at the trend graph for this week, which you can always click to embiggen.

That’s a look at the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks. Hopefully next week the climb back upward can begin anew.