UPDATE: Yahoo! Sports finally put out their last regular season Power Rankings. They have been included at the end of the list, and the numbers/graph have been updated accordingly. -Chris
Across the internet, the various experts and pundits are still putting together their weekly Power Rankings, so it appears it’s time for another installment of the Roundup. This is the final installment of the regular season, obviously, and I’m not sure how these different places are going to handle these as they go through the playoffs, but I assume there’s going to be some big season-ending version when the dust settles and the smoke clears in February.
With that, let’s take a look at where the various outlets have the Minnesota Vikings ranked as we get ready to start the postseason.
Associated Press: #2 (Last week: T-#2)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the AP this week.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #2 (Last week: #3)
No Vikings-centric commentary from MMQB this week.
SB Nation: #2 (Last week: #2)
No Vikings-centric commentary from SB Nation this week.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #3 (Last week: #3)
Let's be serious: Did we need one more good performance from Case Keenum to be sure he's a playoff-worthy quarterback? That's what we got from him in an efficient effort against the Bears on Sunday.
Minnesota is for real. It has talent on all levels of the offense, and the defense is special. The Vikings match up well with every team they might face in the postseason.
The Vikings can win the Super Bowl, and that's the easiest way to explain how I view them moving forward.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #4 (Last week: #6)
They have a defense and the running game has come to life. Mike Zimmer is coach of the year.
ESPN: #3 (Last week: #3)
Opponent winning percentage: .492; tied for the 12th-easiest. The Vikings' schedule trended on the easier side, but look at how other teams did with backup quarterbacks this season (see: Packers, Texans, Colts and Dolphins). The Minnesota defense allowed the fewest points, but Case Keenum also finished second in Total QBR.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #2 (Last week: #2)
The league's second-best team continued as such, handling its business in Week 17 and not letting up on the gas pedal, as so many teams do. In other news, I find it impossible to not root for quarterback Case Keenum. While realizing he won't even get half an MVP vote, his importance to this football team can't be overstated. Side note No. 2: While Minnesota fans surely weren't watching Jets-Patriots, I heard Tony Romo saying on that broadcast that teams like the Eagles and Vikings (and their front sevens) could give New England trouble. Well, I agree with one of his two choices.
USA Today: #3 (Last week: #3)
So QB Sam Bradford is returning to practice this week? We forget, did Mike Zimmer ever commit to Case Keenum as his starter rest of the way?
Sporting News: #2 (Last week: #2)
The Vikings have a great chance to make history this year.
Walter Football: #2 (Last week: #2)
The Vikings truly had a dominant performance in Chicago. The Bears didn't even cross their own 33-yard line until the fourth quarter, which is just absolutely insane!
Speaking of Minnesota's defense, Viking fans might be happy about the MVP race listed below.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #4 (Last week: #5)
The Saints and Panthers lost in Week 17. The Eagles offense looks like it won’t be Super Bowl caliber. The Vikings have already beat the Rams this season. The Falcons have been underwhelming all season. The Vikings should feel like this season is ending with a Super Bowl in their own stadium.
It appears that one of the outlets we use (Pro Football Talk) did not. . .or, at least, hasn’t yet. . .put out Power Rankings for this week. If they decide to do so, I will go ahead and update the data in the post here.
From what we have now, the Vikings are where one of the top two seeds in each conference should be, and that’s as a consensus top four team. Even Pete Prisco and Frank Schwab got their respective acts together long enough to elevate the Vikings to where they probably should be. Of the eleven outlets that have put their rankings out so far, three of them moved the Vikings up at least one spot, while the other eight kept them right where they were.
Overall, the average ranking for the Vikings in this installment of the Roundup is now 2.6364.
Here is the graphic representation of the trends for this week, which you may click to embiggen. Again, if Pro Football Talk puts out their rankings for this week, I will update this to include them.
That’s our Roundup, such as it is, for this week. We’ll have to see if the various outlets will continue to update this throughout the postseason, or if the next time we’ll update this is when the playoffs have come to their conclusion.