After yet another convincing victory to wrap up the 2017 NFC North division crown, the Minnesota Vikings have well and truly established themselves among the top teams in the National Football League. They’ve had a pretty significant rise up the Power Rankings across the internet that started in about Week 5, and hasn’t really slowed down over the past two and a half months.
Where are the pundits placing the Vikings going into Week 16 action? Let’s take a look, as we take our weekly spin around the interwebs for our Power Rankings Roundup.
Associated Press: #3 (Last week: #4)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the Associated Press this week.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #3 (Last week: T-#2)
No Vikings-centric commentary from MMQB this week.
SB Nation: #4 (Last week: #6)
No Vikings-centric commentary from SB Nation this week.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #2 (Last week: #2)
The Vikings were as dominant as can be against the Bengals. That's exciting, and it shows how dangerous Minnesota can be. The Vikings continue to answer all the questions.
Coming off a big road loss, Minnesota came back and played one of its most efficient games of the year. Quarterback Case Keenum continues to play phenomenally. The running back duo of Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon gives the Vikings the ability to run both inside and outside.
Minnesota can do it all offensively and defensively. It's one of the best teams in football.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #7 (Last week: #7)
The Vikings are playing for the No. 1 seed the next two weeks. If they get it, Mike Zimmer might be the coach of the year.
ESPN: #4 (Last week: #5)
It's pretty remarkable that one of the four teams with at least 11 wins this season has no player on its roster with more than two Pro Bowl selections. The four Vikings with multiple Pro Bowls all play on defense, though -- a unit that ranks third in the NFL, according to FPI.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #2 (Last week: #3)
OK, so it's not a cute story anymore. No more Case Keenum sure is doing a nice job for the Vikings... they're a pesky team ... If Carson Wentz was a certifiable MVP candidate, then Keenum is, too, regardless of his (lack of) draft pedigree, whether or not he was only supposed to be a backup and his status as the fourth-most-famous starting quarterback in the NFC North. Against the Bengals on Sunday, all that the former Houston Cougar, Houston Texan and Los Angeles Ram did was go 20 of 23 for 236 yards, two touchdowns and zero picks. That's 10-plus yards per attempt, broham. Couple that with a defense that doesn't take any sh$#, and you're seeing a Super Bowl team.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #4 (Last week: #4)
Can a coach and a quarterback with limited playoff experience win against a coach and a quarterback with plenty? That question could be answered in the divisional round.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #4 (Last week: #4)
The defense dominated and the running game delivered in a get-well outing against the hapless Bengals. The Vikes have fewer holes than any NFC team with a high floor, but the key in the playoffs will be hitting the ceiling with Case Keenum.
USA Today: #3 (Last week: #3)
Was there a more heartwarming moment league-wide this season than the way Minnesota's fans officially welcomed Teddy Bridgewater back to action?
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #2 (Last week: #2)
It was nice to see Teddy Bridgewater on the field again, but you can ignore what Kenny and I said about benching Case Keenum for him on the podcast about a month ago? Bridgewater panicked and threw an interception right away, which shouldn't have been too surprising. Keenum, meanwhile, is in complete rhythm with his receivers, and the Vikings were able to get back on the winning track with four of their five offensive linemen back on the field.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #5 (Last week: #4)
According to @NFL_Stats on Twitter, cornerback Xavier Rhodes has held Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham and A.J. Green to nine catches for 94 yards when he’s been in coverage on them, dating back to last season. Coverage stats assume we know when a cornerback is solely responsible for a receiver, and a catch isn’t a result of a mistake by the safety in coverage or whatnot, but even if the numbers are a bit off, it’s unquestionable that Rhodes is one of the NFL’s best corners. It’s going to be very tough to pick just two cornerbacks for the All-Pro team.
Not a lot of shifting this week, as you can see from the numbers above. The Vikings find themselves in the top four teams in ten of our 12 sets of rankings, with the outliers having them at #5 (Yahoo! Sports) and #7 (CBS Sports. . .not sure why Pete Prisco thinks there are six NFL teams better than Minnesota right now).
Half of the experts that make up our rankings held the Vikings steady at the same position they were the previous week. Four of them managed to move them upwards, while two of them, for whatever reason, pushed the purple down one spot. Overall, the Vikings’ average ranking rose about a quarter of a place, with last week’s ranking being 3.833 and this week’s being 3.583.
Here, as always, is your trend graph, which you can click to embiggen as per usual.
That concludes our look around the Power Rankings across the internet for this week, folks. We’ll be at it again next Tuesday to aggregate all of the opinions for your reading ease and pleasure.