Well, folks, it’s time for what will likely be our last Power Rankings Roundup of the 2019 NFL season. We’re getting ready to roll into the Minnesota Vikings’ regular season finale against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium, and I’m not sure if a lot of the outlets we use do Power Rankings after the regular season concludes. If they do, we’ll do another one of these, but for now I’m anticipating this being the last one of the year.
So, with that, let’s see how much Monday night’s loss affected the purple, as we take a spin around the internet for your Minnesota Vikings Power Rankings Roundup!
Associated Press: #9 (Last week: #8)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the AP this week.
Bleacher Report: #8 (Last week: #8)
Much like the Buffalo Bills, the Minnesota Vikings had a chance to send a message to the big bad bully of their division in Week 16. Granted, the Packers haven’t won umpteen consecutive division titles like the Green Bay Packers, but the Pack is the most consistently successful team in the NFC North over the past decade-plus.
Like the Bills, the Vikings failed.
Minnesota’s defense kept it in the game in the first half against Green Bay, but the offense was a complete mess without Dalvin Cook. The Vikings had 139 yards of total offense and seven first downs.
Period. For the entire game.
”Yes, Kirk Cousins is still winless on Monday night,” Davenport said. “But expecting him to block for himself feels rather unreasonable. Given how the Vikings O-line looked against Green Bay, apparently expecting anyone to block for Cousins is unreasonable.”
The Vikings are a very good team. But in Week 16, they didn’t look close to capable of going into New Orleans, San Francisco or even Green Bay and getting a playoff win.
At least there are no playoff games on Mondays.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #8 (Last week: #8)
The Packers mauled them Monday night at home. Now they will have to take the rough road in the playoffs as the sixth seed.
ESPN: #8 (Last week: #8)
Team MVP: Dalvin Cook, RB
Fairly obvious answer, no? Cook is expected to be shut down for the final week, given the Vikings have locked up a playoff bid, but the running back’s impact on this offense is the reason they’ll be playing in January. The way the offense was built around him has helped everyone be successful, notably quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose play-action attack has the Vikings firing on all cylinders. When Adam Thielen missed six weeks, Minnesota was able to thrive with the heavy use of its run game, and Cook entered the league-wide MVP conversation in that stretch.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #7 (Last week: #7)
For a team whose only “quality win” of note this season came against the Cowboys, this felt like a much-needed wake-up call ahead of the postseason. Kirk Cousins stunk (16-of-31, 122 yards, TD, INT), the ground game was lost without Dalvin Cook (57 team rush yards) and the Vikes’ offense couldn’t take anything even resembling an advantage from the three turnovers and solid effort produced by their defense. Oh, and Kirk? That’s nine straight Ls on Monday Night Football.
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: #9 (Last week: #8)
The Vikings have to be wondering where they truly stand amongst the league’s power players after a humbling 23-10 loss to the Packers that decided the NFC North for Green Bay. Minnesota’s offense -- playing without star running back Dalvin Cook -- looked utterly lost, managing just 139 yards and seven (yes, seven) first downs all night. It was the team’s fewest number of first downs in a game since 1971. That it came in this spot, against this opponent, at US Bank Stadium, serves as a major red flag for a Vikings team that entered Monday night fancying itself a Super Bowl contender. Kirk Cousins must live with this as well, a prime-time stinker for a highly paid quarterback whose had far too many of them. Cousins, now an outrageous 0-9 on the Monday Night Football stage, will continue to be doubted in money games like these. Now even more so.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #10 (Last week: #8)
The team that showed up on Monday night has no business watching the playoffs.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #9 (Last week: #9)
The Vikings don’t want to be forgotten in the NFC playoff picture with their ticket punched. But their loss to the Packers brought up more skepticism against Kirk Cousins and their defense.
USA Today: #10 (Last week: #7)
Less-than-inspiring Monday night performance (without Dalvin Cook) locked them into sixth seed and strongly suggested this will be one-and-done playoff outfit.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #9 (Last week: #8)
Plenty will be said about Kirk Cousins playing poorly in that moment, and it’s all deserved. But what about Mike Zimmer? The Vikings called timeout to punt in the second half, and if you thought that would be the worst decision of the night, Zimmer decided to punt trailing by two scores with less than four minutes left. That’s inexcusably bad game management from an NFL coach.
Not all of the outlets we aggregate to put together our Roundup dropped the Vikings after the Monday Night Football loss. In fact, half of them kept the Vikings right where they were slotted the previous week. The other five dropped them anywhere from one to three spots, and that pulled down the Vikings’ average ranking for the week. After spending a couple weeks in a row with an average ranking of 7.9, this week that number is down slightly to 8.7. That’s not bad, but man. . .it sure would have been nice if that number had gone up instead.
Here is the graph with this week’s rankings included. You can click it to embiggen it if you feel the need.
That’s your Power Rankings Roundup for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Again, if the outlets that we poll do more Power Rankings after the Week 17 games are in the books, we will put another one together and have it for you in the usual spot.