We’ve been getting our Power Rankings Roundup out on Tuesdays in recent weeks, but real-life events forced me to move it back to today. In any case, the Minnesota Vikings are still coming off an impressive victory last week over the Detroit Lions and are now well into their bye week. How did the team’s first divisional win of the season affect their standing with the pollsters around the interwebs? Let’s take a look in this week’s Power Rankings Roundup!
Associated Press: #8 (Last week: #9)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the AP this week.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #12 (Last week: #13)
Nothing new from Walter Football this week.
SB Nation: #11 (Last week: #13)
The Vikings’ win over the Lions lifted them two spots. Kirk Cousins didn’t play his best game, but the Vikings defense notched 10 sacks, which was enough to effectively limit Matthew Stafford and Detroit’s offense.
Bleacher Report: #8 (Last week: #9)
The Minnesota Vikings are one of the harder teams in the NFL to get a read on this year.
The Vikings entered this season as a Super Bowl favorite and the No. 1 team in these power rankings. But every time it has appeared the Vikings were going to realize those expectations this season, Minnesota has suffered some sort of setback.
This was a team that got rolled at home...by the Buffalo Bills.
However, against the Detroit Lions in Week 9, the Vikings again looked like one of the better teams in the NFC. This was a game the Vikings controlled throughout and one in which the defense was absolutely dominant.
Not only did the Vikings keep the Lions out of the end zone, but Minnesota held quarterback Matthew Stafford under 200 passing yards and sacked him a jaw-dropping 10 times.
The Vikings are still behind the Bears in the NFC North, but this week at least, they looked like the most balanced team in the division.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #8 (Last week: #8)
It’s not like the Lions are that bad on offense. The Vikings just made them look bad, with 10 sacks. Is that the sign the somewhat dormant Vikings defense is back? If that’s a sign of things to come, don’t sleep on the Vikings the rest of this season.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #8 (Last week: #9)
The Purple People Eaters Part III could be the thing that propels Minnesota to an Atlanta Super Bowl.
The MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #8 (Last week: #9)
There’s that Minnesota defense we were expecting all year. The Vikings go into the bye week as our panel’s favorite in the NFC North.
ESPN: #8 (Last week: #8)
With a new quarterback stepping into a new offense, there were bound to be some bumps in the road. Kirk Cousins has exceeded expectations at times but also has had his growing pains. The running game was expected to be better, but injuries to Dalvin Cook and the offensive line’s early struggles hindered production. With Cook back, Minnesota’s rushing attack has the explosive spark it was missing. All in all, racking up five wins before their Week 10 bye is something the Vikings are understandably proud of given the brutal stretch of games they faced over the first nine weeks.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #8 (Last week: #9)
The Vikings get a bye after their get-well game at home against the Lions that included the return of Dalvin Cook. The complementary football has yet to hit its peak.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #8 (Last week: #8)
Welcome back, Mr. Dalvin Cook. The Vikes’ defense put on a stellar show -- and Cook stole it, just by virtue of being out there on the field. Fans in Minnesota have waited weeks (and the lion’s share of last season) to watch Cook rumble, which he did against these particular Lions. While he might not have had a workhorse day at the office, Cook made enough of his opportunities, picking up 89 yards rushing on only 10 carries and catching four passes for 20 more yards. Back to Mike Zimmer’s defense: 209 yards allowed, with Detroit converting on just four of 15 third downs.
Side note: Adam Thielen’s streak of games with 100-plus receiving yards came to a close Sunday. The good thing: The Vikes didn’t need him to do much. And he still caught a touchdown pass, by the way.
USA Today: #8 (Last week: #9)
Balanced offense, return of a smothering defense — this probably pretty close to type of team Mike Zimmer envisioned all along.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #8 (Last week: #9)
The defense is starting to play like expected. The 10 sacks against the Lions were impressive.
Well, nine was the magic number last week for the Vikings, and this week the big number is eight. As in, ten of the twelve sets of rankings we bring together to do our Roundup put the Vikings as the eighth-best team in the National Football League. The only two outliers were the folks from the mothership (#11) and Walter Football (#12).
Nine of the twelve sets of rankings we use moved the Vikings up this week, while three of them held the Vikings steady at their previous spot. As a result, the average position for the Vikings went up almost a full spot, from 9.42 last week to 8.58 this week.
Here is your graphical representation of the rankings for the Vikings thus far. It still isn’t back to the lofty heights it was earlier in the season, but it’s getting closer.
Barring a rash of upsets of the teams above the Vikings in the rankings, I wouldn’t expect them to move too much because of the bye this week. But, I suppose stranger things have happened, so we’ll see how it goes when we’re back here for next week’s Roundup.