It’s once again time for us to take a spin around the internet and see where the pundits have our favorite football team sitting after another victory. This week, the Minnesota Vikings are coming off of a 24-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night football, solidifying their position in the postseason race and keeping themselves within shouting distance of the Chicago Bears in the NFC North.
At this point of the season, movement in the Power Rankings is almost as much about the teams above you losing as it is your team winning. There are a lot of teams that are entrenched at the top portion of the rankings at this point, and if all of the teams ahead of yours are victorious. . .well, the odds are pretty good that you’re not going to be moving up. Will that be the case with the Vikings this week?
Let’s find out, in this week’s Power Rankings Roundup!
Associated Press: #9 (Last week: #10)
No Vikings-specific commentary from the AP this week.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #12 (Last week: #13)
Second verse, same as the first.
SB Nation: #11 (Last week: #13)
No Vikings-specific commentary from the mothership this week.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #7 (Last week: #7)
The Vikings won practically a must-win game against the Packers. Now all they have to do is go to New England and Seattle in back-to-back weeks. But if they can win just one of those games, they’ll be set up to claim an NFC wild-card spot. Their fans aren’t giving up on the division, but that would be a pretty good outcome at this point in the season.
Bleacher Report: #9 (Last week: #9)
After getting whacked by the Chicago Bears in Week 11, the Minnesota Vikings were at a crossroads ahead of Sunday night’s matchup with the rival Packers. The winner would remain on pace to secure a wild-card berth. The loser would face a steep climb to get back into contention.
Kirk Cousins and the Vikings answered the call. Cousins had an excellent game, throwing for 342 yards and three scores while outplaying Aaron Rodgers. As has been the case all season, Adam Thielen had a big night, reeling in eight passes for 125 yards and a score.
Minnesota’s biggest issue offensively, the ground game, managed just 91 yards on 29 carries. Cousins was able to overcome that deficiency in Week 12, but the Vikings need to continue attempting to find more balance.
Things don’t get any easier from here, as the next two weeks feature brutal road trips to Gillette Stadium to face the Patriots and CenturyLink Field to take on the Seahawks.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #9 (Last week: #10)
Kirk Cousins has the highest completion percentage of his career, and, by three-tenths of a point, his highest passer rating. He’s on pace to blow by his career high in touchdowns. And — this will surprise a lot of folks — he has the lowest interception percentage of his career. He was on fire on Sunday night against the Packers. Cousins didn’t play well in a huge game against the Chicago Bears two weeks ago, but otherwise he’s been what the Vikings paid for. It’s hard to blame him for the Vikings having four losses already, though a lot of people will anyway.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #9 (Last week: #10)
At 6-4-1, the Vikings are in excellent position to grab a wild-card spot in the NFC. This is not to suggest that the NFC North is out of the question. Yet, with three of their next four games on the road-- including at New England in Week 13 and at Seattle in Week 14 -- overcoming the 8-3 Bears will be a lonnnnng walk. Worth noting here is that Minnesota hosts Chicago in Week 17, which could prove crucial, should Matt Nagy’s outfit stumble down the stretch. As far as Sunday night’s win is concerned, guessing the Packers will think twice -- or 20 times -- about blitzing Kirk Cousins (29-of-38, 342 yards, three TDs, 129.5 passer rating) too much again.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #9 (Last week: #10)
The Vikings finished on Sunday night what they couldn’t do in the division the previous Sunday night. Repeating in the North looks like a long shot, and the wild card is still a battle with trips to New England and Seattle straight ahead.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #10 (Last week: #11)
The defense is starting to look like the unit we expected to see. The injury to Xavier Rhodes hurts.
USA Today: #9 (Last week: #9)
My favorite play of weekend was G Mike Remmers taking phrase “human turnstile” to an entirely unfamiliar level. Uh, sorry, Kirk??!!
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #10 (Last week: #10)
With tough road tests coming against New England and Seattle, the Vikings may have to win their last three games (Dolphins, at Lions, Bears) to nail down a playoff berth.
ESPN: #9 (Last week: #9)
Toughest game left: Week 14 at Seattle. The Seahawks are experiencing a timely surge in the NFC playoff picture and will be chasing the Vikings for one of two wild-card spots. Russell Wilson is performing at an elite level and is always a nightmare to contain. Good thing Minnesota has had so much success rushing four linemen because Wilson has been lights out against defenses that send in an extra defender with a 13-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio against the blitz this season. On top of the personnel they’ll need to scheme for, the Vikings will travel from one corner of the country to the other in back-to-back weeks after facing the Patriots on the road in Week 13.
Well, none of the twelve outlets we use to compile our rankings each week moved the Vikings down, which was nice of them. This week gave us an almost even mix of experts holding the Vikings steady versus those that chose to move them up. Seven of the twelve rankings bumped the Vikings up a bit, with six of them moving the Vikings up just one spot (SB Nation moved them up two). The other five kept the Vikings right where they were the previous week.
If you average everything out, the Vikings moved up about half a spot this week from where they were in Week 11. The average following last week’s rankings was at 10.08, while this week’s average is at 9.42. Overall, it keeps the Vikings as a Top Ten team.
Here is the trend graph, updated with this week’s rankings, which you may click to embiggen.
That’s your Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks. If the Vikings can manage a victory this coming Sunday over the New England Patriots. . .one of those teams that’s universally ranked ahead of them. . .we should see a pretty significant jump up in these rankings at this time next week. Here’s hoping we can find out just how big a jump it would be.