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Minnesota Vikings Power Rankings Roundup, Week 16

See where we stand after the greatest comeback in NFL History

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins and KJ Osborn both had career days last Saturday as the vikings came back and beat the Indianapolis Colts.
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings won after pulling off the greatest comeback in NFL history on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Kirk Cousins put in a performance that earned himself NFC player of the week honors and the Vikings defense looked to finally gain some confidence in the second half of the win. Even though the Vikings would have won the NFC North with just a tie, Kicker Greg Joseph sank a game-winning 46-yard field goal to win the game with 3 seconds left in overtime.

Here are where the Vikings stand in various power rankings from the wider NFL Media after Week 15.

ESPN: #7 - down one from #6.

At one point this season, the Vikings had three of their top four cornerbacks — Cameron Dantzler Sr., Akayleb Evans and Andrew Booth Jr. — on injured reserve. Shelley, a four-year veteran signed to the practice squad in Week 1, has helped them navigate that distress better than anyone could have imagined. He didn’t get a single defensive snap until Week 10, but he has started two games and made game-saving plays in both of them. Although Dantzler is back from injured reserve, it appears that Shelley has supplanted him as the starter opposite Patrick Peterson. He has gotten his hands on five passes since Week 12.Kevin Seifert, Dan Hanzus: #8 - down one from #7.

The Vikings obviously have a sense of humor. They must know the football world has been in an ongoing debate about whether the team is a legitimate contender or an outright fraud — it’s the only possible explanation for falling behind the lowly Colts 33-0 at halftime on Saturday before mounting the greatest comeback in the 103-year history of the NFL. “You just need five touchdowns,” veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson told his offensive teammates at halftime. “That’s nothing.” The final touchdown came from Dalvin Cook, who nearly brought the roof down at U.S. Bank Stadium on the 64-yard screen-pass score with less than three minutes to play in regulation that set up Greg Joseph’s game-winner in overtime. Call them contenders, call them pretenders ... just don’t call them boring.

Yahoo Sports, Frank Schwab: #7 - no change.

If you want to entertain yourself, go to social media and say something like “Kirk Cousins actually isn’t that bad!” People lose their minds ripping Cousins. He’s the same quarterback who has seven fourth-quarter comebacks this season and put up 460 yards and four touchdowns in the greatest comeback in NFL history last week. Is Cousins great? No. He’s just a lot better than his detractors will ever admit.

USA Today, Nate Davis: #7 - no change

Historic, wonderful comeback ... blah, blah. The fact they fell into a 33-point hole — at home — to say nothing of the seven sacks Minnesota surrendered or its three turnovers, is going to give whichever team(s) travels to Minneapolis during the playoffs plenty of confidence it can leave with a victory.

Bleacher Report: #7 - no change

The first half of Saturday’s tilt with the Colts was a disaster for the Minnesota Vikings. Everything that could go wrong did. Turnovers. Bad defense. You name it, it happened. At intermission, the Vikings trailed 33-0 and looked nothing like a Super Bowl contender. But in the second half, we got another “Minneapolis Miracle”—the greatest comeback in NFL history.

Sporting News, Vinnie Iyler: #6 - up from #8

The Vikings pulled off an epic comeback against the Colts and their reward was winning the NFC North. Regardless of the skepticism about their season results, their close-game fun means they made the right coaching hire in Kevin O’Connell.

CBS Sports, Pete Prisco: #6 - up from #7

Rallying from 33 down to beat the Colts could be the game that gets this team going. Kirk Cousins was outstanding in the comeback.

The Ringer, Austin Gale: #7 - up from #9

This Vikings’ season is hilarious. After pulling off the largest comeback in league history on Saturday, the Vikings clinched the NFC North and improved their record to 10-0 in one-score games. They have one of the best overall records in football and yet haven’t beaten a team by more than eight points since Week 1. Their plus-2 point differential is the lowest of any NFL team with 11 or more wins in the first 15 weeks of the season since 2000. But let’s save the regression talk for the offseason; the seemingly destined Vikings are in the playoffs. It’d take an improbable run to make the Super Bowl, but no team has proved better in improbable situations.

Sports Illustrated, Connor Orr: #7 - up from #9

Good for the Vikings, who notched the largest comeback in NFL history. As I wrote at the time, I don’t care that it’s the Colts. This was still a professional football game. While I’m still not picking them to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs (opponent pending), I think this does a great deal for Minnesota’s collective psyche, so long as it’s not completely exhausted.

Pro Football Network, Dalton Miller: #8 - no change

You couldn’t dream up the Vikings’ 2022 fairy tale for a Disney movie. Their incredibly 10-0 one-score record would be enough to suffice a fictional tale. But incredibly, this team of destiny somehow climbed Mount Everest, coming back from a 33-point deficit to defeat the Colts on Saturday.

The Vikings offense tore a page out of the Chiefs’ playbook on Saturday, scoring touchdowns on five of seven offensive drives, only stopped by an interception and a turnover on downs keeping them from six points.

Justin Jefferson also remains on pace to break Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving record.

On average, the Vikings gained .5 spots across this sample of NFL Power Rankings. The overall performance against Indianapolis left many still puzzled as to what this Vikings team is all about. Many across the NFL, including the Vikings' own fanbase, simply cannot put a finger on this team’s identity. One this is sure though, this team is far from boring.

Where do you think they will end up after the Christmas Eve game against the New York Giants?