It’s time for our final regular season edition of the Power Rankings Roundup for the Minnesota Vikings, as we get a chance to take a look around the internet and see what the pundits think of our favorite football team going into the final week of the 2017 regular season. Last week, the Vikings had pretty well solidified themselves as a Top 4 team in the National Football League, and after pitching their first shutout in 24 years, there’s no reason to expect them to drop. . .is there?
Well, let’s find out as we take our weekly spin around the interwebs.
Associated Press: T-#2 (Last week: #3)
No Vikings-centric analysis from the AP this week.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #3 (Last week: #3)
No Vikings-centric analysis from MMQB this week.
SB Nation: #2 (Last week: #4)
No Vikings-centric analysis from SB Nation this week.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #2 (Last week: #2)
The Vikings didn't have the most convincing victory at Lambeau. Their defense was awesome, but the offense needed to do more against a skeleton-crew defense that was already horrible before the injuries.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #3 (Last week: #2)
It was an uninspired, lackluster win for the Vikings on Saturday. Quarterback Case Keenum wasn't at his best, and the defense wasn't as disruptive as we've seen. Because the game was cold and the field was soft, Minnesota's team speed wasn't as much of an asset against the Packers.
It wasn't a great game for the Vikings, but I'm not going to let one subpar performance that still resulted in a 16-0 victory sway me from my belief that Minnesota is Super Bowl material.
Yes, the Vikings are a Super Bowl contender, even with Case Keenum at quarterback. Yep, they can win it with a quarterback who's completing over 67 percent of his passes and has 21 touchdowns with just seven picks.
I'm saying Keenum is good. Got it? Thank you very much.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #2 (Last week: #2)
The offense wasn't there Saturday night ... in fact, Lambeau was devoid of it. Thankfully for Minnesota -- and appropriately, for the purposes of the No. 2 team's blurb -- the Vikings' defense > the Packers' defense. For that matter, Minnesota's defense > the preponderance of the league. The interesting factoid to come out of the Vikes' win in Green Bay was that it was the first shutout Minnesota has pitched since Week 14, 1993 against the Lions. Because I am such a nerd, I looked the game up. Vikings linebacker Jack Del Rio -- yes, that Jack Del Rio -- picked off Rodney Peete twice and Andre Ware once.
Trivia: Who was Minnesota's starting quarterback in '93? (@HarrisonNFL) No cheating. Hint: He was there one year and took the Vikes to the playoffs.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #3 (Last week: #4)
The Vikings’ offense has cooled off a little in the chill of winter, but as long they protect the ball and finish drives when needed, their defense will allow them to go deep into the playoffs.
ESPN: #3 (Last week: #4)
8.5 wins: Minnesota blew by its projection back in Week 12. Case Keenum's surprise season keeps making waves, but give it up for Minnesota's defense. It ranks second in the NFL in both points allowed (16.1 per game) and yards allowed (280.9 per game).
USA Today: #3 (Last week: #3)
As long as S Harrison Smith receives deserved recognition as an all-pro, we can slough off his ridiculous exclusion from Pro Bowl.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #6 (Last week: #7)
They are the No. 2 seed in the NFC. There's a chance they could not play away from their stadium the rest of the way - Super Bowl included.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #4 (Last week: #4)
Is having their first shutout in 24 years something to brag about or something not to really mention all that loudly?
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #5 (Last week: #5)
The door almost opened up wide open for the Vikings to grasp the No. 1 seed, but the Raiders couldn’t get out of their own way against the Eagles, and Philadelphia clinched the No. 1 seed. Still, the Eagles looked vulnerable, especially on offense. That had to pique the Vikings’ interest.
The most popular thing to do among our outlets this week was to hold the Vikings’ steady, which is what six of the twelve rankings we use as part of the roundup did. Five of them pushed the Vikings upwards, with four of those being a one-spot bump and the other one being a two-spot move.
And then one outlet. . .because there’s ALWAYS GOTTA BE ONE. . .decided to move the Vikings down a spot. This week it was Chris Simms over at Bleacher Report, but I’m not going to get too bent out of shape about it because he was one of the first to start really believing in this team, if memory serves me correctly. And he still has them as his top team in the NFC, as the two teams he has the Vikings behind are New England and Pittsburgh.
Overall, the Vikings’ average ranking among the pundits in our roundup went up a little bit, moving from 3.5833 last week to 3.1667 this week.
Here is the always embiggenable graphic depiction of this year’s trends to date.
That’s a look at the Power Rankings around the internet for this week, ladies and gentlemen. We’ll see how the various outlets handle their Power Rankings for the postseason and how we’ll continue doing them going forward.