We’re a bit late with this week’s installment of the Power Rankings Roundup, owing to the fact that we took a bit of a holiday on. . .well, a holiday. . .and then yesterday watched the local college team win their bowl game, which was fun. But, now it’s time to take our weekly spin around the internet to see what the experts think of the Minnesota Vikings as we go into the regular season finale. With a win, you’d expect a little bit of upward movement, but will that be the case?
Well, it’s time to find out, as it’s time for the weekly Power Rankings Roundup!
Associated Press: #13 (Last week: #13)
No Vikings-specific commentary from the AP this week.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #16 (Last week: #16)
SB Nation: N/A (Last week: #11)
It doesn’t appear that the mothership put together a set of Power Rankings this week. For purposes of the trends graph later, we’ll assume the same rankings as last week.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #12 (Last week: #11)
No Vikings-specific commentary from MMQB this week.
Bleacher Report: #13 (Last week: #13)
That the Minnesota Vikings were led to victory in Detroit in Week 15 by a guy named Rudolph is just about the most Christmas thing ever.
But Kyle Rudolph’s huge game (9/122/2) wasn’t the only story from Minnesota’s big win. Or the biggest one.
The Vikings appear to be figuring things out.
In back-to-back convincing wins over the last two weeks, the Vikings have looked like the Super Bowl contender we expected them to be. The offense has been balanced and prolific. The defense has been stout and opportunistic.
Gagnon shared a fun fact about this streaky team:
”The Vikings really bounced back from that Monday night stinker two weeks ago in Seattle, crushing half-decent opponents on consecutive Sundays to give themselves some momentum for a potential Super Bowl run in this wide-open season. If only they could keep playing matinees on local television, because they’re 5-0 with an average margin of victory of 17.8 in their last five 1 p.m. ET kickoffs. Meanwhile, they’re 1-4 this season on national TV.”
However, despite playing arguably their best football of the season, nothing is guaranteed yet. With Philadelphia also in the mix for the NFC’s remaining Wild Card spot, the Vikings need a third straight win in Week 17 to advance to the tournament...
...Over a Chicago Bears team fighting for a first-round bye that thumped the Vikings in Chicago a few weeks ago.
At least it’s not a night game.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: N/A (Last week: #13)
Apparently Mr. Prisco didn’t do new rankings for this week, either.
ESPN: #13 (Last week: #13)
Non-QB MVP: DE Danielle Hunter. He went from underrated up-and-comer to elite pass-rusher during his breakout season in 2018. The fourth-year defensive end is earning every penny of the mega-contract extension he signed this offseason and currently ranks No. 2 in sacks (14.5) behind Aaron Donald. Hunter may be young, but he is one of the most important players this franchise boasts, regardless of position. What he does makes the entire defense go, from the front end to the back seven.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #12 (Last week: #12)
The Vikes inch closer to a playoff berth, their destiny squarely in their hands. With the Bears coming to town and their sights on a possible first-round bye, Minnesota will have a major league tussle in Week 17. It’s no exaggeration to say that it could be the most important game of the Mike Zimmer era. Last year’s NFC championship appearance felt like a gift. But the pressure to get back to the playoffs -- and make it to Atlanta in February -- has been mounting ever since Minnesota shelled out a truckload of money for Kirk Cousins this offseason, a move that was universally seen as an upgrade at the position. For his part, Cousins looked the part, throwing for three touchdowns in a near-perfect (and lucky) performance Sunday after the Lions had charged out of the gate to a 9-0 lead.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #13 (Last week: #14)
The playoffs hinge on Kirk, not Kurt, showing up in Week 17.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #11 (Last week: #14)
The Vikings have quietly put together two strong performances to fix the things that have ailed them. While everyone’s focused on Foles’ magic in Philly, there’s a good chance it’s rendered totally moot because of how Minnesota is playing.
USA Today: #12 (Last week: #14)
If you think Week 17 is kind of game Minnesota paid Kirk Cousins to win ... welp, it’s actually kind of game they paid him to render meaningless. Alas ...
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #14 (Last week: #14)
The Vikings probably could have used a 49ers win on Sunday. That would have ended the Bears’ hopes of getting a first-round bye, and presumably Chicago would have rested starters. Now Minnesota plays a Bears team that will be taking this game seriously, and handled the Vikings on a Sunday night earlier this season.
Well, the majority of our outlets actually kept the Vikings at the same spot they had been the previous week, counting our two spots that apparently didn’t do new rankings over the Christmas holiday. Seven of the twelve places we use to do this roundup kept the Vikings at the same spot, while only four of them gave them any sort of upward bump after their victory over the Detroit Lions last week. Then, there was the folks from Sports Illustrated’s MMQB, who actually decided to move the purple down one spot from their previous ranking. Why? I don’t know. They just did.
The end result is a slight move up in the Vikings’ average ranking for this week. Last week’s average was right at 13.17, while this week the number comes in at 12.67. Hopefully it moves upwards a little bit more after this upcoming Sunday. . .because, if it doesn’t, the season is more than likely over and that would pretty well suck.
Here is the trend graph for this week, which is always clickable for embiggening should you desire.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. We’ll be back next week with another installment of your Power Rankings Roundup!