What goes up must come down, and that’s where we find ourselves with the Minnesota Vikings this week. Following their 25-20 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football, it seems inevitable that the purple are going to experience another drop on the roller coaster that has been their Power Rankings this season. How large is the hit going to be? Well, it depends on who you ask, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do right now. It’s time for this week’s Power Rankings Roundup for the Minnesota Vikings, so let’s see what we’ve got.
Associated Press - #10 (Last week: #7)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the AP this week.
SB Nation - #13 (Last week: #11)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the mothership this week.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football - #13 (Last week: #13)
Nothing new or notable from Walter Football this week.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated - #7 (Last week: #6)
The Vikings are currently clinging to the No. 6 seed, which would likely mean a rematch in Chicago. But that would be a tough route to go for a team that learned the value of home field advantage in the playoffs as well as any team last year.
ESPN - #9 (Last week: #8)
Thankful for: The receiving duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Minnesota’s offense runs through Thielen and Diggs, who act as interchangeable chess pieces in John DeFilippo’s system and allow Kirk Cousins to orchestrate a consistent passing attack. Thielen became the first Vikings player with consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons since Randy Moss, and by the end of the 2018 season the Vikings could boast two 1,000-yard receivers (Diggs has 713). It would be the first time the franchise has achieved such a feat since Moss and Cris Carter each surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in 2000.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports - #10 (Last week: #7)
You can’t lay all of the Vikings’ issues at Kirk Cousins‘ feet. Though, they paid him all that money to play better in games like Sunday night. Whoever you want to blame, the Vikings were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders and they’re barely .500, probably resigned to chasing a wild-card spot and having to beat the Rams and Saints on the road in back-to-back weeks to make a Super Bowl. Not good.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk - #10 (Last week: #8)
The playoffs start, as a practical matter, on Sunday night.
Bleacher Report - #9 (Last week: #7)
Before the season, the Minnesota Vikings were a trendy pick to win the NFC North. The Vikings were also the highest-ranked team in the division in the Week 1 set of these power rankings—a ranking they’ve maintained most of the season.
That’s no longer the case, because it’s looking less and less like Minnesota is going to win this division.
By virtue of Minnesota’s five-point loss in Chicago, the Vikings now sit 1.5 games back of the Bears with a head-to-head loss. Minnesota was simply outplayed on both sides of the ball at Soldier Field.
Offensively, the Minnesota ground game was nonexistent, managing only 22 yards on 14 carries. The pass protection wasn’t that much better. Kirk Cousins was sacked twice and threw an equal number of interceptions, including a back-breaking pick-six in the second half. Defensively, Minnesota’s vaunted third-down defense allowed the Bears to convert an even 50 percent of the time.
The Vikings are a good team. But the one-dimensional nature of the offense has showed in a big way against the NFL’s elite. The Vikings have now faced all of the NFC’s leading contenders in the Bears, Saints and Rams.
Minnesota lost all three games.
USA Today - #9 (Last week: #7)
Seven turnovers the past three games. All of 22 rushing yards in Sunday night’s loss. Mike Zimmer must be manic behind closed doors.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News - #10 (Last week: #7)
The Vikings saw their offensive line and running game issues get exposed again by the Bears’ mighty front. There’s still too much on Kirk Cousins and the defense to be impeccable, which they were not.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports - #11 (Last week: #7)
They have a big game this week with the Packers. They better hope the offense plays a lot better than it did against the Bears.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com - #10 (Last week: #8)
Save for a flurry of points down the stretch, the Vikes were overmatched in Chicago, as evidenced by the fact that, midway through the fourth quarter, they had managed 129 total yards of offense against a stout Bears defense. Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray saw a deep-dish pizza’s worth of Chicago’s front seven on just about every carry, mustering a scant 17 yards on 13 carries. Kirk Cousins started dealing late, but it wasn’t enough following two earlier interceptions, including a pick-six. Now the Vikings must navigate their way through treacherous schedule waters: vs. Packers, at Patriots and at Seahawks over the next three weeks. They must win two of those three -- otherwise, winning the NFC North is likely out of the question.
Well, for the most part, the hit wasn’t as bad as it probably could. . .or should. . .have been. Almost every outlet we use as a part of our rankings dropped the Vikings at least a couple of spots, but despite that the Vikings are still right on the edge of being a Top Ten team. In fact, their average ranking this week is 10.08, which is a little more than two spots lower than last week’s average ranking of 8.0.
Here are the trends, and you can see the downward swing at the end once again. If you’d like, you can click to embiggen.
That’s a look at the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks. Hopefully the downward swing this time around will be a short one. . .because if it’s not, the competitive portion of this season could well be over.