SB Nation has a hub here for power rankings after week one. Not surprisingly, the Vikings have moved up substantially after a pretty solid win over the Saints, which eased some fears about the offensive line, and the Vikings offense in general. Going from in the low 20s in most power rankings just before the season began, the Vikings are now ranked in the 10-14 range.
It’s interesting that in most rankings, six of the top 12 teams come from only two divisions: the AFC West and our own NFC North. Most have both the Packers and the Lions ranked ahead of the Vikings, although the Packers being ranked #1 or #2 overall is more than a little optimistic if you ask me. But yeah, it’s gonna be a battle to win the NFC North the way things are going. Even the Bears gave the NFC Champion Falcons all they wanted before losing in the waning moments.
But apart from the shorter-term movements based on who beat who this week, there are some teams that look like they may be weaker for longer.
One of those teams is the Seattle Seahawks. They will continue to have a strong defense, but their offensive line has gone from bad to worse this year, and it is difficult to see that offense, despite Russell Wilson’s best efforts, scoring many points. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t make the playoffs this year, but as weak as their division is, they still have a chance.
Another team looking weaker in the NFC West is the Arizona Cardinals. They struggled against the Lions, and lost RB David Johnson for 2-3 months, which is going to hamper their offense, likely making it very one-dimensional - which isn’t good for Carson Palmer’s health.
And with both Seattle and Arizona looking weaker- and the 49ers weak too- that opens the door for the LA Rams- who always play their division rivals tough- often beating Seattle - to make a play for the NFC West crown. Of course one game does not a player make- especially a young QB- but if the Rams can get ok performance out of Jared Goff, they could challenge this year. Stranger things have happened.
On the NFC Side, the Cowboys beat down an early challenge from the OBJ-less Giants without any problem, and barring a six-week absence by Ezekiel Elliott, look pretty strong to repeat as NFC East champions.
On the AFC side, while the Chiefs were very impressive in beating the Patriots at home, they lost their top safety Eric Berry in the process for the season, which will likely hurt them down the line, especially playing in a tough division.
Other than that, it looks like the Jets have a death-grip on the #1 pick in the draft next year, and with the trades they’ve made before the season started, and their play and decisions on the field, that seems like their goal for the season.
But for everybody else, it’s only been one game, and anything can happen yet as the season progresses. The Vikings have a tough challenge on the road week two against the Steelers- who are ranked #1 going into that match-up in a couple power rankings, and no worse than 8th.
What should the Vikings be ranked after their week 1 victory over the Saints?
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