I wasn’t sure whether or not enough of the outlets that we use to put together our Power Rankings Roundup would put their rankings out at the end of the regular season. However, after further review, it looks like they’ve done just that, which means we’re going to get one more look at where the Minnesota Vikings are ranked by the experts as we go into the postseason.
As we know, the Vikings went almost entirely with their backups on Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Bears and still nearly came away with a victory. Being locked into the #6 spot in the playoffs, they didn’t have anything to play for, so there was no harm in getting some guys some snaps. Did it affect their ranking very much?
Let’s find out.
Associated Press: #8 (Last week: #9)
No Vikings-centric commentary from the AP this week.
Bleacher Report: #8 (Last week: #8)
Minnesota’s Week 17 loss to the rival Bears meant nothing. After last week’s home loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings were locked into the NFC’s No. 6 seed and knew they would be hitting the road in the wild-card round.
The larger question is whether the Vikings will be able to do anything in the postseason. And frankly, the odds aren’t good.
This season, the Vikings have played three games on the road against teams that will still be playing next weekend: the Green Bay Packers in Week 2, the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9 and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13.
Minnesota lost all three games.
”The Vikings have no shortage of talent, whether it’s Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs on offense or Danielle Hunter and Harrison Smith on defense,” Davenport said. “But Minnesota just doesn’t seem to be able to get over the hump on the road against good teams. Kirk Cousins is a convenient scapegoat for those struggles, but it goes beyond just one player. Minnesota’s season will end this weekend.”
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #8 (Last week: #8)
It’s all about Kirk Cousins in the playoffs. Can he win a big game? It won’t be easy at New Orleans.
ESPN: #8 (Last week: #8)
Most notable 2010s event: Signing Kirk Cousins in free agency, March 15, 2018
Two months after losing the 2017 NFC Championship, the Vikings signed Kirk Cousins to a historic three-year, $84 million, fully guaranteed contract. The Vikings were searching for a franchise quarterback for years, and Cousins was viewed as the missing piece toward its ultimate goal. While the Vikings have been careful as to not utter the exact phrase “Kirk Cousins was brought to Minnesota to win a Super Bowl,” the QB is very much viewed as this franchise’s way to bridge the gap from where it left off in its quest for a Lombardi trophy.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #8 (Last week: #7)
The Vikings had sort of a rollercoaster season, but it ended with more ups than downs and a playoff berth with a week to spare.
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: #11 (Last week: #9)
With nothing to play for in Week 17’s loss to the Bears, the Vikings made the prudent move in resting their starters, but let’s be honest here: No team in The Final 12 enters January with less juice than Minnesota. If nothing else, Sunday was an opportunity to wash out some of the bad taste of that egregiously awful Monday Night Football performance against the Packers. They chose a different path, and now they’ll travel to New Orleans to face a Saints team that’s a mortal lock to stack points on Sunday. Sean Payton’s squad averaged 40 points per game in its final four contests of the season. Contrast that with the Vikings, who managed seven first downs against Green Bay in their final regular-season game of consequence. Sports are weird, and it’s certainly possible Kirk Cousins and friends emerge from their stupor to go punch-for-punch with the mighty Saints ... but you’d understand if doubt has crept into the building.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #9 (Last week: #9)
The Vikings also could afford to be careful with their key players against the Bears, but now they need to hope having objects at rest doesn’t cost them against the locomotive that is the Saints. They can’t rely on a Minneapolis Miracle to get through a playoff game in New Orleans.
USA Today: #10 (Last week: #10)
Not to worry, Kirk Cousins, your playoff opener is at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday ... not Monday night. Also, Dalvin Cook should resurface.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #9 (Last week: #9)
Dalvin Cook should be back this week and that’s huge for the Vikings offense. They have a tough assignment playing at a 13-3 Saints team in the first round, but Minnesota is as good of a No. 6 seed as you’ll find.
Pro Football Talk did not have new Power Rankings up at the time that I was putting this together. If they should manage to put a set of them out there, I will amend this post to reflect where they’ve ranked the Vikings and what they’ve said about them. For now, for the sake of putting together an average and a complete graphic, I’ve put the Vikings at the same spot that PFT had them last week, which was #10.
With that, seven of the ten outlets that we take a look at to put together our Roundup left the Vikings at exactly the same position they had them in the week before. Two places, NFL.com and Sports Illustrated, moved them down, while the Vikings actually moved up a spot in the Associated Press poll for the week.
Put it all together, though, and the Vikings’ average ranking does drop just a little bit. Their average going into Week 17 was 8.7, while their average going into Wild Card Weekend now sits at 8.9. Overall, that’s still a pretty decent season for the Vikings, I think.
Here is your graphical representation for this week. As always, you can click on the graph so that you may embiggen it.
And, as an added bonus, here is the complete list of all the rankings from all the outlets we polled this year so that you can see all the numbers and all the fluctuations throughout the course of the season.
Minnesota Vikings 2019 Power Rankings Roundup
That concludes what I believe will be the final Minnesota Vikings Power Rankings Roundup of this season. Enjoy, everyone!