The first half of the 2018 regular season ended on a down note for the Minnesota Vikings, as they fell to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football. It snapped a three-game winning streak, which is bad, but there are still plenty of reasons for optimism as the purple get ready for the second half of the regular season and a run towards their third NFC North title in four years.
How did the loss affect the team in the Power Rankings around the internet? Well, it’s the time of the week where we find out, as it’s time for the weekly Power Rankings Roundup. Let’s go!
Associated Press: #9 (Last week: #5)
No Vikings-centric commentary on the Vikings from the Associated Press.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #13 (Last week: #9)
Nothing new or particularly insightful from Walter Football this week.
Bleacher Report: #9 (Last week: #5)
Turnovers are the kiss of death in the NFL.
That axiom was on vivid display in Sunday night’s marquee matchup between the Vikings and New Orleans Saints. Despite dominating statistically, the Vikings fell by double digits thanks to two Minnesota turnovers that both led to touchdowns.
The Vikings outgained the Saints by over 150 yards, held Drew Brees to 120 (!) passing yards—and lost the game. Adam Thielen fumbled in the red zone. Kirk Cousins threw a pick-six.
And Gagnon was left shaking his head:
”I wouldn’t usually beat up on anybody for losing to a team like the Saints, but the Vikings also lost to themselves Sunday night. At home against an opponent traveling for the second consecutive week, there’s no excuse for that kind of performance. It has me concerned that Minnesota might not have the fortitude for big games. Let’s not forget what happened in last year’s NFC Championship Game. They don’t deserve to be listed with the cream of the crop right now.”
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #8 (Last week: #5)
I guess there’s a rush to be the first to call Kirk Cousins a bust. I’m not sure how you could watch the first half of the Vikings season and believe he’s the problem. He has been very good. But everyone was excited to give that opinion since the moment he signed, so here we are.
(Blogger’s HAWT TAEK: People calling Kirk Cousins a bust after eight games in purple are supremely ignorant.)
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #9 (Last week: #8)
They did not look good in the second half of their loss to the Saints Sunday night. That’s a bad home loss.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #9 (Last week: #5)
The Vikings’ offensive line issues resurfaced against a strong Saints front, and their defense is hurting. Because they rely so much on their passing game, they can’t afford any mistakes from Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs.
USA Today: #9 (Last week: #6)
Trick — the gag was on Vikes, whose momentum flatlined Sunday night with no Minneapolis Miracle available to save them from Saints.
ESPN: #8 (Last week: #6)
The Vikings’ inability to consistently win the turnover battle is becoming a concern. Whether it is Kirk Cousins’ untimely miscues (he leads the league in fumbles and fumbles lost since becoming a starter in 2015) or the barrage of mistakes that occurred in the Vikings’ loss to the Saints, Minnesota is 0-3-1 in games in which they are on the wrong side of the turnover differential.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #9 (Last week: #5)
The NFC North is there for the taking, and the Vikings now face all three division foes in consecutive games.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #9 (Last week: #6)
The Vikings desperately need on-field leadership that will keep players from folding the tents after unexpected adversity strikes, like a 14-point swing late in the first half of a game.
SB Nation: #13 (Last week: #7)
The Vikings are also falling after their loss to the Saints. They’ve yet to have an impressive win as they’ve only beaten the 49ers, Eagles (by two), Cardinals, and Jets. Next up they have their division-rivals in three straight games: the Lions, then a bye week, followed by games against the Bears, and Packers.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #8 (Last week: #5)
CBS Radio analyst Jason Taylor was beside himself over the fact that, with Minnesota down 30-13 and eight minutes or so to go in the fourth quarter of the game against the Saints, the Vikings were walking back to the huddle. I’m with him on that. The sense of urgency wasn’t omnipresent for Minnesota, though the team had plenty of time to at least make the Sunday nighter interesting. The Vikes made things far easier for their NFC adversaries than they did last January. Though they rang up a plethora of yards, they couldn’t do much of anything else to even be in the contest for most of the second half.
Well, nine certainly seems to be the operative number this week for the Vikings. Over half of the rankings we aggregate to create our Roundup this week. . .seven of them, in fact. . .have the Vikings in that #9 spot this week. Three others were a little more lenient, putting the Vikings at #8, while two of them dropped the Vikings all the way down to #13 in the NFL. Given the circumstances this week, that seems a bit harsh, but hey. . .I’m biased.
Overall, that means the Vikings’ average ranking this weeks is also in the nines, right around 9.4 (rounding to one decimal place). That’s down from the even 6 that it was at last week. There are some situations were going from a 6 to a 9.4 is a good thing. . .in this case, unfortunately, it is not.
Here’s a look at the trends graph at the halfway point of the regular season. As always, you may click to embiggen.
Yeah. . .it’s been quite the roller coaster for our favorite football team this season, and the graph pretty well reflects that. Of course, all that means is that we’re due for another upward swing, and with three divisional games (two of them at home) and a bye over the next four weeks, this is as good a time as any for it to happen.
That’s the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks! We’ll be back here at the same time next week with our next update.