Once again. . .and a day later than usual. . .it’s time for us to take a look around the interwebs and see what pundits everywhere are saying about the Minnesota Vikings, particularly where they have them ranked in relation to the other 31 less-important NFL teams. We know which direction the purple are likely heading in after Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots, but just how far in that direction are they going to move?
Let’s find out, as it’s time for our weekly Power Rankings Roundup!
Associated Press - #11 (Last week: #9)
No Vikings-specific commentary from the AP this week.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football - #14 (Last week: #12)
SB Nation - #15 (Last week: #11)
No Vikings-specific commentary from the mothership this week.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated - #9 (Last week: #7)
No Vikings-specific commentary from MMQB this week.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk - #12 (Last week: #10)
This is the team that allows Vikings fans to sleep peacefully. Because they know it’s over.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports - #13 (Last week: #10)
The offense just wasn’t good enough against the Patriots. They need more from Kirk Cousins in big games.
Bleacher Report - #11 (Last week: #9)
It’s tightrope time for the Minnesota Vikings after the team lost by two scores in New England in Week 13.
If the Washington Redskins beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, a Vikings team that entered the season a Super Bowl front-runner will find itself on the outside looking in where the NFC playoffs are concerned.
Frankly, Minnesota has no one to blame but itself. Every time in 2018 this team has been tested, it has failed. There was the seven-point Week 4 loss to the Rams. The 10-point defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Saints in Week 8. Another loss in Chicago in Week 11. And Sunday’s second-half collapse against the Patriots.
The Vikings are 0-4 against teams with a winning record this season—a number that doesn’t bode well given a Week 14 trip to Seattle to face the 7-5 Seahawks.
”On paper,” Davenport said, “this looks like a loaded roster—a team that should absolutely make the playoffs. But in reality, something’s missing. Something intangible. It’s simple at this point; if the Vikings lose in Seattle next week, they aren’t making the playoffs. And I have little faith they won’t.”
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports - #12 (Last week: #9)
When the Vikings got blasted by the Bills in September, that was a sign of where this season was headed. None of their other losses are bad (Rams, Saints, Bears, Patriots) but their best win is probably against the Eagles. They’re just a mediocre team, a season after they were really good.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News - #12 (Last week: #9)
The Vikings continue to lose tough marquee road games in the Mike Zimmer era. Kirk Cousins’ inconsistency is one thing; the breakdowns in defense are another that can ultimately hold Minnesota back.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com - #12 (Last week: #9)
The Vikings fall out of the top 10 this week, with the offense unable to follow its strong Week 12 showing. The peaks-and-valleys fortunes of this outfit boggle the mind, as Minnesota is easily a top-five team in terms of talent at the right spots. An area that most analysts will point to is the offensive line -- and yet, even when provided time to survey the secondary, QB Kirk Cousins was ineffective at Gillette. Cousins barely breached the 200-yard mark despite 44 pass attempts. That kind of ratio won’t win many games, especially against other playoff contenders. Fortunately for the Vikings, at least in terms of the wild-card race, both the Panthers and Packers lost. The Seahawks didn’t. Guess who Minnesota plays next?
USA Today - #12 (Last week: #9)
They can’t get going on ground. Defense isn’t nearly as effective as 2017. And they’re only half-game better than Case Keenum’s Broncos.
ESPN - #12 (Last week: #9)
We’re No. 1 in: Third-down defense. For a second straight season, the Vikings are leading the league in third-down stops, allowing teams to convert on just less than 30 percent of their attempts. This is a critical facet for Minnesota’s defense in forcing its will on opponents so the offense, which has gone through ebbs and flows all season, can get back on the field and attempt to score.
Yep, drop offs from everyone across the board this week, which should be expected. While all of the rankings still have the Vikings in the top half of the National Football League, that’s an awfully far cry from where this team has been in the past, and in particular early on in the season.
Overall, the Vikings’ average ranking this week is down to 12.08, which is the second-lowest it’s been this season. It was at 13.75 following the Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and if this team doesn’t pull off a victory over Seattle on Monday night, I have a funny feeling we’re going to see a new low-water mark for this team.
Here are the trends. Click to embiggen, if you dare.
That’s your roundup for this week, folks. I’m not sure if it’s going to get any better when we do this again next week, but there’s always hope.