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Minnesota Vikings Power Rankings Roundup: Week 16

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Very little movement at the top this week

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NFL: DEC 15 Vikings at Chargers Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the heels of their 39-10 thrashing of the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings moved their record to 10-4 and now stand on the precipice of a return to the NFL playoffs. All they need is either one more win (or tie) or one more loss (or tie) from the Los Angeles Rams and they will be back into the postseason party after missing it in 2018.

The Vikings, in a change from how things normally go for this team, went out and absolutely throttled a team that they absolutely should have throttled. How did this affect their standing in the eyes of the pundits that make up Power Rankings around the internet?

Let’s find out, as it’s time for this week’s Minnesota Vikings Power Rankings Roundup!

Associated Press: #8 (Last week: #8)

No Vikings-centric commentary from the AP.

Bleacher Report: #8 (Last week: #8)

Barring an epic collapse, the Minnesota Vikings are headed back to the postseason in 2019. The Vikes need just one win in their last two games to ensure at least a wild-card berth, and the NFC North title remains in play.

The Vikings stamped their ticket in emphatic fashion Sunday in Los Angeles, forcing seven turnovers in a blowout victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

As things stand right now, the Vikings may well be on a collision course with familiar adversary. If the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints finish in a three-way tie, the Saints would drop to the No. 3 seed in the NFC—and potentially face the Vikings in the Wild Card Round.

Anyone for a rematch of the “Minneapolis Miracle?”

”When the Vikings are at full strength and playing like they did on Sunday,” Davenport wrote, “Minnesota’s capable of peeling off three wins in a row and making it to Miami as the NFC representative in Super Bowl LIV. But short a Green Bay loss to Detroit in Week 17, the Vikings are stuck with a wild-card spot this year.”

”I’ll give them this,” Gagnon added: “They know how to stomp on inferior opponents. The Vikings have won an NFC-best eight games by 10 or more points this season. The only problem is they won’t see teams like the Chargers in January, and they certainly won’t feel that welcome on the road in the playoffs.”

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #8 (Last week: #8)

That was an impressive road victory against the Chargers, doing so in dominant fashion. Now they face the game of the year against the Packers.

ESPN: #8 (Last week: #8)

Offseason in two words: Cap decisions

The NFL informed teams last week that the salary cap will be between $196.8 and $201.2 million in 2020. That’s good news for a team with tight finances (ESPN’s Roster Management System currently projects the Vikings at $4.8 million over the cap) and a handful of contract decisions to make this offseason. Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook are in line for extensions. Minnesota has two cornerbacks -- Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander -- who need to be paid or allowed to go on the open market. Decisions on the likes of Everson Griffen, Riley Reiff and Xavier Rhodes also are on the horizon once the season ends.

MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #7 (Last week: #8)

The Vikings continue happily beating up on the lackluster competition set before them, content to convert 20 points from seven L.A. turnovers and do little else aside from watching the game clock run down. But Minnesota’s “best” win this season is against Dallas, something they should look to improve on with Green Bay in town on Monday night and NFC North seeding still not decided.

Dan Hanzus, #8 (Last week: #8)

The combination of Danielle Hunter and Ifeadi Odenigbo changed everything on Sunday. Hunter’s forced fumble and Odenigbo’s subsequent scoop and 56-yard touchdown return served as the turning point in a 39-10 Vikings win that included seven Chargers turnovers. That’s the most forced turnovers for Minnesota since 1995. The Vikings are one game behind the Packers in the NFC North, with Green Bay coming to U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday. Who will be running the football for the home team in that massive division showdown? Dalvin Cook exited in third quarter on Sunday after aggravating his shoulder injury, and backup Alexander Mattison missed the entire game with an ankle injury. A compromised backfield will put more on the shoulders of Kirk Cousins, who could use a prestige W before January hits. The Vikings have yet to beat a team with a winning record this season. If they can set themselves up with a home game or two in the playoffs ... look out.

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #8 (Last week: #8)

Kirk Cousins will have two chances to secure a playoff berth, and he won’t have to do that if the Rams lose to the 49ers.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #9 (Last week: #8)

The Vikings could have fallen into a trap against the Chargers, but their defense finally made enough plays to lift the offense in a tough matchup. Minnesota suffered a tough break in losing Dalvin Cook, but it’s talented enough to take the division away from Green Bay.

USA Today: #7 (Last week: #7)

Seems like forever since Stefon Diggs was pouting. In the interim, he’s put together best season of his career, including 1,073 receiving yards.

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #8 (Last week: #8)

The news wasn’t too bad on Dalvin Cook’s injured shoulder. It appears he could play in Week 16 against the Packers. The Vikings need that game to keep any hope of winning the NFC North alive, but it’s probably moot anyway since all the Packers need to do to win the division title is beat the Lions in the finale.

As you may have been able to gather from the numbers that correspond to the rankings, there wasn’t a whole lot that changed from last week. One of our outlets moved the Vikings up one spot from the previous week, and one moved the Vikings down a spot from the previous week. The other eight sources we draw from for our Roundup kept them in exactly the same spot. Because of that, the Vikings’ overall ranking remains at the same 7.9 that it was at when we did last week’s Roundup.

We’ve said this plenty of times before, but it bears repeating. When you get to the top of the Power Rankings like this. . .and the Vikings are firmly in the top 25% of the rankings here. . .it isn’t so much a matter of what your team does as it is of what the teams above you do. Unfortunately, not enough teams above the Vikings in most of the rankings lost this week, so there wasn’t really anywhere for the Vikings to move up to.

Here is your graphic depiction for this week, which you can embiggen simply by clicking on it.

On Monday Night, the Vikings will get a chance to make a significant move up, as they’ll take on a Green Bay team that is above them in pretty much every set of Power Rankings we use. Maybe a victory there can actually get someone’s attention.