Now that we have a couple of sets of Power Rankings in the books, it’s time to take a look at how our favorite team is trending as we head into Week 2 of the regular season. Yes, we know that the Minnesota Vikings should be trending upward with just about everyone after their embarrassment of the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, but how far up are they going to go?
Well, I’m going to surf the interwebs for a bunch of different sets of Power Rankings each week, and once we get enough to establish trends (which will likely be next week), we’ll graph them out and see how the team is doing. For now, however, here are a bunch of Power Rankings and their comments about our favorite football team. I’ll vary up the order on these every week as well.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #11 (Last week: #17)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford probably just had the best game of his NFL career. He made some unreal throws downfield and some into really tight coverage.
Man, it's amazing what time in the pocket and a full offseason with the same team can do for a quarterback. Bradford is more in sync with the Minnesota offense, and the offensive line is vastly improved. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur deserves some credit too for devising a great game plan and orchestrating some big plays in the passing game.
Rookie running back Dalvin Cook is a game-breaker. Stefon Diggs played well and made some impressive contested catches. Adam Thielen can do it all. One question surrounding Minnesota in the offseason was whether or not it had enough offensive weapons. It appears the answer is yes.
The Vikings defense gave up some big plays in the preseason, which was concerning. However, the unit was terrific against New Orleans, especially once the team got a lead. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks were awesome with underneath pass coverage and against the run game. Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen caused problems for the Saints all night.
Minnesota looks like a legit team on both sides of the ball.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #11 (Last week: #20)
If ever there was an advertisement for, well, the false advertising that is the NFL preseason, it was Saints at Vikings on Monday night. Minnesota's first-team offense failed to put the ball in the paint even once in August, while the defense looked pretty suspect in Seattle. Then came Monday night, when Sam Bradford transformed into Fran Tarkenton, even chucking the football downfield, for crying out loud. Stefon Diggs was snatching footballs out of the air, while the Vikes' defense forced New Orleans to be completely one-dimensional. I mustn't watch preseason football ... I mustn't watch preseason football ... mustn't watch preseason football ...
ESPN: #12 (Last week: #17)
Sam Bradford posted the best Total QBR in Week 1 (94), and running back Dalvin Cook had the second-most rush yards (127). Possible overreaction:The run-pass balance is exactly what Bradford needs to finally flourish in the NFL. Watch out for Minnesota, NFC.
MMQB (at SI.com): #9 (Last week: #14)
No commentary provided
Pro Football Talk: #14 (Last week: #20)
It only took them a decade to realize they had too many eggs in Adrian Peterson‘s basket.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #10 (Last week: #19)
I’m not sure if the offense is that much better, or it just happened to start the season against the Saints’ defense. But it’s clear the offensive line has improved, and Dalvin Cook might make a big difference.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #14 (Last week: #21)
Sam Bradford was sensational against the Saints. The key: The line was better. If that continues, watch out for this team.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #15 (Last week: #19)
Sound the horn. Sam Bradford, Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen all came through as expected against that Saints D at home, indoors. Blitzburgh on a short week is a totally different story.
This week: at Steelers, where their mettle will be tested, Sunday.
USA Today: #15 (Last week: #17)
QB Sam Bradford, RB Dalvin Cook and WR Adam Thielen looked like quite a set of triplets with a little bit of blocking to help them.
SB Nation: #5 (Last week: #22)
No commentary provided
Walter Football: #14 (Last week: #25)
I don't know what to make of the Vikings. They were 25th heading into the season, as I assumed their offensive line would suck again. That was not the case on opening night. Sam Bradford had all the time in the world, and he looked like an elite quarterback as a result. Was this the result of improved blocking, or was it just a byproduct of New Orleans' horrific defense?
Real Clear Sports: #10 (Last week: N/A)
The Vikings started last season 5-0 and then their offensive line completely disintegrated. Well, the offensive line stood tall in Week 1 and provided a clean pocket to Sam Bradford, who picked apart the Saints secondary to the tune of 346 yards passing on 27/32 and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns went to Stefon Diggs, and what a talent he looks to be.
So there you have an initial look at where the pundits have the Minnesota Vikings going into what promises to be a tough Week 2 matchup at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The ranking from SB Nation looks like it might be a bit of an outlier, but it appears that pretty much everybody was thoroughly impressed with the team’s Week 1 performance (as they should have been).
As I said, we’ll get a trend graph up here next week, since two rankings really doesn’t make for much of a “trend,” and be back here at the same time next week to bring you more.