With Thursday Night Football nearly upon us, it’s finally that time of the week where we take a look around the internet at the Power Rankings and see where the Minnesota Vikings are now sitting in the eyes of the pundits. The purple were riding high last week after a fourth consecutive win, but that streak was snapped by the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday on a last-second field goal. How is that going to affect where they’re ranked?
Well, let’s take a look around and find out, as it’s time for our Power Rankings Roundup!
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #9 (Last week: #5)
That loss at Kansas City won’t do much to disrupt the “can’t beat good teams” label for the Vikings. They’re talented and look like a championship team against bad opponents. It needs to look like a championship team against better opponents as well.
USA Today: #8 (Last week: #5)
Time for Kirk Cousins to prove he’s over that whole prime time bugaboo. Four of Minnesota’s next six games are Sunday or Monday nighters.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #8 (Last week: #5)
The Vikings will need to keep answering questions about their big-game struggles on the road, but don’t blame Kirk Cousins. It’s more about the overrated defense being gashed at the wrong times against the run and also giving up backbreaking plays in the passing game.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #12 (Last week: #7)
Things are falling together perfectly for an eventual loss in Week 17 with a playoff berth riding on the outcome.
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: #10 (Last week: #5)
The Vikings’ offense had its chance to make ... A Statement. Kirk Cousins and friends took the field with 2:30 to play in the fourth quarter, game tied at 23. For Cousins, it was a chance to exorcise a few demons acquired by failures in similar high-leverage scenarios in the past. For the Vikings as a whole, it was an opportunity to knock off the Chiefs in Arrowhead and move into a first-place tie with the Packers in the NFC North. What came next: Incomplete pass. Screen for negative-7 yards. Incomplete pass. Punter Britton Colquitt jogged out, shanked a punt, and soon, Kansas City players were swarming the Chiefs’ kicker at midfield. It’s not embarrassing to lose to the Chiefs on the road -- even without Patrick Mahomes on the field. But doubt remains as to whether a Cousins-led team can rise to the occasion when called upon.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #6 (Last week: #5)
The Vikings had the ball with the game tied late before an inexplicably awful final two-and-a-half minutes sealed their fate. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen reverted back to their ineffective early-season selves (though Thielen reaggravated his hammy early), but Minnesota didn’t lose any ground on the Packers in the divisional race—though Green Bay did slide in this week’s rankings.
ESPN: #9 (Last week: #8)
Scary trend: The interior offensive line allows too much pressure
Kirk Cousins was 0-for-9 passing under duress against the Chiefs on Sunday, the worst mark of his career. The Vikings’ offensive line has played well at points this season, but interior line play is still an issue. Both Pat Elflein and Garrett Bradbury have each allowed 20 pressures this season, which accounts for a handful of Minnesota’s issues in pass protection. The O-line was among the biggest storylines for the Vikings entering 2019, and the team did quite a bit to try to improve this unit. If the guard and center play doesn’t improve, the entire offense is affected -- both in the running and passing games.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #6 (Last week: #11)
At some point, they have to win games like they lost in Kansas City. You can’t lose to the Chiefs with a backup passer and now comes a tough one at Dallas.
Bleacher Report: #9 (Last week: #5)
Just when you thought it was safe to trust the Minnesota Vikings as a Super Bowl contender.
Usually, there would be no shame in losing to the Chiefs in Kansas City. But these Chiefs weren’t led by MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes. They were led by journeyman backup Matt Moore.
And Moore played every bit as well as Kirk Cousins in Week 9—maybe better.
Cousins wasn’t the only Vikings star who didn’t have the best game. Tailback Dalvin Cook had 116 total yards, but he averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were complete non-factors in the game, with the latter aggravating his injured hamstring.
The Vikings have beaten the teams they were supposed to for the most part. But just one of Minnesota’s six wins this year came against a team with a winning record. All three of Minnesota’s losses happened in outdoor stadiums.
Things aren’t going to get easier from here, either—two of the Vikings’ next three games are on the road against playoff contenders in the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks.
At least one of those games will be indoors.
”The Vikings like to occasionally remind us not to overrate them,” Gagnon said. “Reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Month Kirk Cousins was terrible in a game Minnesota had no business losing, and games like those remind me that I shouldn’t trust Minnesota in December and January.”
Associated Press: #8 (Last week: #5)
No Viking-centric commentary from the AP this week.
So, as expected, every one of the outlets we take into account for our Roundup did drop the Vikings. How much varied quite a bit, though. . .there were a couple of outlets that dropped them just one spot, and a few that dropped them by as much as five places. When you do all of the math, the Vikings’ average ranking is a nice, round 9.0. That’s an overall drop of 3.6 spots from their ranking of 5.4 last week.
Here is your embiggenable graphic representation of the rankings so far this season for your viewing pleasure.
That’s your Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks. Hopefully this team can get back on the upswing the next time we get together and review things.