Well, with one game in the books, it’s time for us to take a spin around the National Football League and see where the pundits have the Minnesota Vikings ranked in the league’s hierarchy.
That’s right, it’s time for the first installment of the Power Rankings Roundup for 2019, and coming off of a win, the Vikings are one of a number of teams that appear to be on the upswing. How much so? Well, let’s take a look around and find out.
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: #7 (previous ranking: #12)
Pretty much a perfect start to the season for the Vikings. Suffocating defense, a punishing ground game, and Kirk Cousins asked to be a facilitator rather than hero. Cousins threw just 10 passes against the Falcons, as Minnesota coasted to the finish line after building up a 28-0 lead in the third quarter. The hype around Dalvin Cook this offseason was absolutely warranted: The third-year running back piled up 111 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, looking very much like the missing piece for Minnesota’s offense. Backup Alexander Mattison also ran with purpose for a Vikings team that finished with 172 yards on the ground. Safety Anthony Harris starred on D with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. This is a well-balanced team that is going to make noise if it can stay healthy.
ESPN: #9 (previous ranking: #12)
How the newcomer starred: While Dalvin Cook stole the show in the Vikings’ 28-12 victory over Atlanta, Mattison -- a third-round draft pick -- had a handful of big runs in a game in which he notched nine carries for 49 yards, including a run to the 1-yard line that set up a Minnesota score. “He’s got a chance to be a good complementary back to Dalvin,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “It was good to see.”
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #8 (previous ranking: #14)
The defense really dominated against the Falcons and Dalvin Cook was special. That’s the Mike Zimmer formula for success.
Associated Press: #7 (previous ranking: #11)
No commentary from the AP.
Bleacher Report: #12 (previous ranking: #16)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Cousins managed only 89 passing yards against the Falcons. The $28 million man attempted only 10 throws the entire game, and yet the Vikings rolled.
Last year, Minnesota had one of the worst rushing attacks in the league. But the Vikings racked up 172 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries against the Falcons, which took pressure off Cousins.
Minnesota’s defense deserves some of the credit, too. Although the Vikings gave up 345 yards of offense, they forced three Falcons turnovers (including two Matt Ryan picks) and sacked Ryan four times.
”I’m still a little skeptical of these Vikings,” Davenport said. “I have my doubts as to whether that throwback game script will hold up in the long term. But there’s no denying that Minnesota got the start to the season it wanted. The question now is whether the Vikings can keep it going next week at Lambeau.”
Gagnon, on the other hand, is onboard with the run-first approach.
”Love the new offensive approach from Minnesota,” he said. “It can’t be easy to essentially take the ball away from your big-money quarterback, but the reality is Kirk Cousins is better used in a low-pressure role, and it appears the Vikings have smashmouth ingredients. We know they have the defense, and if they can keep winning like this, they’ll be a tough out in January.”
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #8 (previous ranking: #11)
The Vikings finally figured out how to best use Kirk Cousins. As little as possible.
USA Today: #3 (previous ranking: #5)
Suffocating defense and a relentless run game with QB Kirk Cousins almost in a complementary role — exactly the type of team that Mike Zimmer wants.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #7 (previous ranking: #12)
Mike Zimmer has re-established the identity he wants. Smash with offense, with Dalvin Cook and the running game behind a stronger line. Smash with defense, with all their accomplished veteran playmakers on every level. That sure makes Kirk Cousins’ job a lot easier, doesn’t it?
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #7 (previous ranking: #14)
Impressive win over Atlanta. Early showdown with division-rival Packers could set the tone for the season in the North.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #14 (previous ranking: #9)
Among all the Week 1 headlines, the Vikings’ dominant performance got overlooked. They trashed the Falcons on both sides of the ball. Kirk Cousins threw only 10 times because the Vikings didn’t need any more. Maybe the Vikings’ hype just came a year too early. They looked as good as anyone outside of New England in the opening week.
You can see that there was quite a significant bump up from each of the ten. . .yes, we’ve cut down. . .outlets that we’re using in our Power Rankings Roundup for this season. While the average ranking for the Vikings going into the opening weekend was down at 12.1, they have made a pretty big jump up after the win. They now sit with an average ranking of 7.7.
That’s a look at the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks! We’ll be back at around the same time next week to see the Vikings. . .hopefully. . .climbing still higher!