Another week in the NFL season is in the books, and for the eighth consecutive week, the Minnesota Vikings put up more points than the team on the other sideline. The Vikings were in the top four of most sets of Power Rankings around the internet last week, but this week saw one of the few teams ahead of them drop a game when the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.
Would a loss by the Eagles result in another move upward for the Vikings? Would they now be ranked as the top team in the NFC? We’re about to find out, as it’s time for this week’s spin around the interwebs and our Power Rankings Roundup.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #2 (Last week: #4)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the MMQB this week.
SB Nation: #2 (Last week: #3)
No Vikings-centric commentary from SB Nation this week.
Associated Press: #2 (Last week: #3)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the Associated Press this week.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #3 (Last week: #4)
When does “win one more and we’ll believe” finally become “OK, we believe”?
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #3 (Last week: #3)
For all those who complained last week that the Vikings were too high at No. 3 (many were Steelers fans), hope you saw that quality road win in Atlanta. The Vikings' defense didn't produce a gaggle of sacks and interceptions -- rather, the unit put forth solid team defense while yielding just nine points (on three field goals). Also of note: Pat Shurmur and Case Keenum's use of the running backs, flipping the offensive script Sunday on the defending NFC champs, who did that to so many opponents last season.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #3 (Last week: #4)
Case Keenum keeps proving to be the perfect complementary quarterback to their dominant defense.
This week: at Panthers
ESPN: #3 (Last week: #5)
Had he not gotten hurt, Dalvin Cook might have been the rookie to talk about in Minnesota, but how about center Pat Elflein? He has started all 12 games for the Vikings and leads all rookies in snaps played.
USA Today: #3 (Last week: #4)
It's the little things Case Keenum does, like fact no QB is harder to sack. He's gone down just nine times in 369 dropbacks (2.4%) this season.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #3 (Last week: #4)
Case Keenum is playing outstanding football to go with that impressive defense. They face a tough road trip to Carolina this week.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #3 (Last week: #3)
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.
Four more wins for Keenum before I finally begin buying him as the next Tom Brady! It's really going to happen. Plus, is the concept that crazy? Brady, once upon a time, was a sixth-round pick. In his first 10 starts of his initial season, if you were to tell someone that Brady would end up winning more Super Bowl rings than Joe Montana, you'd be locked up in a mental ward.
Ugh. I'm telling you, the Vikings are going to fully drain my wallet in January - even more so than it has been negatively affected already.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #3 (Last week: #3)
Hopefully everyone realizes that this Vikings team is a legitimate Super Bowl contender. It's certainly checking all the boxes. Awesome defense? Check. Dynamic offense? Check. Strong running game? Check. Quality quarterback play? Check.
If you don't think this team can win the Super Bowl by now, you might as well give up and stop watching football. At least, don't watch the Vikings anymore.
Minnesota has an extremely balanced offense. It can control the line of scrimmage up front and make big plays in the run game and in the pass game—and please shut up about bringing in Teddy Bridgewater. Case Keenum is playing great. He had a bit of a down game (just 227 yards) against the Falcons and was still 25-of-30 with two touchdowns and zero turnovers.
The Minnesota defense, as we know, is special. It shut down the Atlanta passing attack and managed to do it without sacking Matt Ryan. That just tells you how special the secondary can be in coverage. Heck, Julio Jones only had 24 yards against it.
The Vikings are for real, and they're one of the best teams in football.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #4 (Last week: #4)
If Minnesota wins at Carolina on Sunday, a 14-2 season is looking like a strong possibility. The Vikings play vs. Cincinnati, at Green Bay and vs. Chicago in their final three games. My guess is most people haven’t yet thought of the Vikings as a possible 14-win team yet.
Well, last week only one set of Power Rankings had the Minnesota Vikings outside of the Top 4. This week, only one set has them outside of the Top 3. So, they’re making progress upward, ever so slightly. If you’re scoring at home, that’s three sets of rankings that have the Vikings as the second-best team in the NFL, eight sets that have them as the third-best, and just one that has them as the fourth-best.
Let’s take a look at this week’s trend graph, which you may fully embiggen by clicking on it.
Man. . .look at all those lines heading up to the top of the chart like that. Isn’t that nice?
This week, the Vikings’ average ranking across our twelve sets of data is 2.833 (repeating, of course). Can you believe that, after the loss to the Lions, the average ranking for this team was below 18 (18.167, to be exact), and that this team hasn’t lost since? That’s quite the jump up in the space of two months, and this team probably isn’t done moving upwards yet.
That’s a look at the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks. There’s one more road game in this five-game “gauntlet” the Vikings were looking at coming out of the bye week, and they have a real shot to finish it with a 5-0 record. Hopefully we’ll be talking about just how awesome that feels at this time next week when we do this again.