We were hoping that the Minnesota Vikings could get above .500 for the first time in 2020 last week when they took on the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, that was not to be, and now it appears that the competitive portion of the season for the purple is over.
Is that same attitude reflected in the Power Rankings around the internet? Let’s find out, as it’s time for this week’s Power Rankings Roundup!
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #16 (Last week: #16)
Losing to the Cowboys at home is a damning blow to their playoff chances. The defense let them down in a big way.
Danny Kelly, The Ringer: #19 (Last week: #16)
There’s actually quite a bit about the Vikings/Cowboys game in this piece, but it has about half a dozen embedded tweets so I’m not going to put it in here. Check it out, though!
Nate Davis, USA Today: #21 (Last week: #18)
Decent chance WR Justin Jefferson can become sixth Minnesota player named offensive rookie of the year during the Super Bowl era, which would be most of any franchise.
The Athletic: #15 (Last week: #14)
Be thankful for: The Justin Jefferson experience. The Diggs trade appears to be the rare case of a deal working out well for both teams. The Vikings used the 22nd pick on Jefferson, and he’s currently seventh league-wide with 848 yards. Jefferson would have to average 42 yards per game in the final six to hit 1,100 yards. Do you know how many rookie wide receivers have had 1,100 yards in the last 10 years? Two! Odell Beckham Jr. and Michael Thomas. That’s the whole list. The Vikings are 4-6, but Jefferson looks like he’s going to be a difference-maker for years to come.
Matt Williamson, Pro Football Network: #18 (Last week: #18)
Dalvin Cook had a fine game as usual, but Kirk Cousins’ ability to find his top two receivers ended up with a 314-yard passing day. Adam Thielen, in particular, shined in Dallas. The Vikings led the league in average yards per offensive play coming into this game and kept that up by averaging 7.0 on Sunday. This looks like a terrible loss against the Cowboys, but Dallas played a very good game.
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: #16 (Last week: #16)
On Sunday against the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins played his best game of the season, Dalvin Cook ran for 100 yards, Justin Jefferson had another long touchdown and Adam Thielen added two scores of his own ... but it all went for naught, because the Mike Zimmer’s defense took a huge step back. The Cowboys have been one of football’s worst offenses since Dak Prescott’s season-ending ankle injury, but Andy Dalton had no issues finding open receivers, while the Minnesota run defense allowed Dallas to pile up 180 yards on the ground. The Vikings kicked away a golden opportunity to move within a game of the Cardinals in the NFC wild-card race and now put themselves in a position where they might need to win out to extend their season. Not an ideal circumstance.
Reddit: #19 (Last week: #16)
Dalvin Cook leads the league in rushing touchdowns, Adam Thielen leads the league in receiving touchdowns, Justin Jefferson is on pace to break Randy Moss’s rookie receiving record, Kirk Cousins ranks 6th in PFF grade... and yet none of it matters because half of the Vikings’ defense is on IR.
ESPN: #19 (Last week: #19)
What they’re thankful for: LBs Eric Wilson and Eric Kendricks
These two are the glue that has held the Vikings’ defense together. Kendricks is having another All-Pro-type season while Wilson has emerged in the absence of Anthony Barr and leads all NFL linebackers with three interceptions. Minnesota’s defense has experienced constant ups and downs given injuries and the youth/inexperience on the defensive line and in the secondary. Kendricks and Wilson are critical factors in maintaining stability, and Wilson’s play on special teams (he blocked an extra point against Dallas) is worth noting, too.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #18 (Last week: #16)
Kirk Cousins threw for 300 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions (140.1 passer rating), and still lost to a 2-7 Cowboys team at home. That’s really, really hard to do. According to Football Perspective, that’s just the fifth time in NFL history a quarterback has posted a rating of at least 140 with 30 pass attempts and his team lost.
Associated Press: #17 (Last week: #16)
No commentary from the AP, as per usual.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: #18 (Last week: #16)
It was fun while it lasted.
MMQB, Sports Illustrated: #16 (Last week: #17)
The Vikings had virtually no margin for error if they were going to make the playoffs, and the home loss to Dallas likely does them in. Mike Zimmer’s defense has overachieved this year considering the turnover at cornerback and loss of Danielle Hunter, but they gave up too many plays in the fourth quarter of that Cowboys loss.
Bleacher Report: #19 (Last week: #18)
Over the past several weeks, the Minnesota Vikings have built up a decent head of steam. Sunday’s tilt with the Dallas Cowboys offered the Vikings a chance to win a fourth straight game and get back to .500.
Instead, many of the same issues that plagued the Vikings during the team’s 1-5 start manifested again in a three-point loss.
Offensively, the Vikings played well. Dalvin Cook had another 100-yard rushing effort, quarterback Kirk Cousins had a nearly flawless 314-yard, three-touchdown effort and Adam Thielen caught eight passes for 123 yards and two scores.
But Cousins and Cook each lost costly fumbles, and the Minnesota defense struggled mightily, allowing 376 total yards, 31 points and conversions on five of 11 third-down attempts.
“The Vikings don’t have a terrible schedule down the stretch,” Davenport said. “Just two of the Vikings’ last six games are against teams who are currently above .500. But with six losses already on the season, it’s probably going to take winning out to make the postseason. If Sunday was any indication, that ain’t happening. The question then becomes the future of Mike Zimmer in the Twin Cities.”
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: #19 (Last week: #18)
What was that? The Vikings overlooked the resting Cowboys and their pass defense went back to being burned all over the field, all throughout the game. It’s such a waste, given what Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are all doing offensively.
Well, not everybody dropped the Vikings in this week’s rankings, I guess. There were four outlets that kept the purple exactly where they had been ranked the previous week, and one (MMQB) that even moved them up a spot. All in all, it shakes out to the Vikings’ average ranking not changing a whole lot from where it was at this time last week. The average for Minnesota this week sits at 17.86, a little more than one spot below last week’s average of 16.71.
Here’s what it looks like on the graph for this week. If you wish, you may click on the below picture so that you can embiggen it.
That’s your look at the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, folks. Hopefully this team can get back on the upswing with a victory on Sunday afternoon.