Like a few experts in this week’s power rankings, It has taken some time to articulate the mood of this season after the disgusting 12-10 loss last Monday night against the Chicago Bears.
The defense was asked to do too much, our QB did everything that will get you benched in the NFL, our receivers were either shaky or nonexistent, and the play calling managed to regress further. Even Jordan Addison had a decidedly bad game.
It has been a brutal fall from grace after losing to two of the teams (Denver, Chicago) that, through a good chunk of the season, were aggressively fighting for the number one draft pick.
While the Vikings still find themselves on track for a wildcard playoff spot, the hope of that coming true was seriously damaged in the loss to Chicago. While the Vikings can’t relinquish the spot completely tomorrow, they can easily find themselves tied for that postseason birth.
Getting me through the week is the belief that if there is one thing that is certain with this team, it is that nothing is certain. Sure, you can say that about the league as a whole, but the Vikings take that sentiment and turn it up to 11.
It has been a strange last two seasons, and I for one doubt that the football gods are done playing their tricks on this team.
Hey, at least there is something to look forward to: Justin Jefferson is looking more likely than ever to return in week 15.
ESPN: #15 (down 2 from #13)
FPI Rankings: Offense: 19, Defense: 10, Special teams: 26
The Vikings have played more games without injured star receiver Justin Jefferson (7) than they have with him (5) and have started three different quarterbacks, so to have an average offense this season should be considered an accomplishment. Their defense has been perhaps the biggest factor in getting them back in the playoff race after an 0-3 start. From Week 4 to Week 12, it ranked No. 2 in the NFL in defensive efficiency. Their special teams has produced two successful fake punts, but very little in the return game. — Kevin Seifert
For three and a half quarters on Monday night, Josh Dobbs almost undid all the goodwill he’d earned since arriving in Minnesota. It wasn’t all his fault, but Dobbs made some horrendous decisions in key moments. The first pick never had a chance. The secondwent off Jordan Addison’s hands but could have been thrown better. The third hit K.J. Osborn’s hands — and it came on fourth down, so no harm, no foul. The fourth one, Dobbs needed to eat it. It was a screen, and the Bears had it read. These were the kinds of plays Dobbs started making more often in his more recent starts in Arizona. There was some magic early in the desert, but it petered out. Is that playing out all over again in Minneapolis? Despite Minnesota finally putting together a touchdown drive to take the lead in the fourth quarter, Chicago ultimately marched back down the field for the game-winning field goal. Now the Vikings’ strange season has careened into the bye, with the five-game win streak feeling strangely distant now.
Yahoo Sports: Frank Schwab #20 (down 6 from #14)
I’m not sure how to process that Vikings loss to the Bears. Their offense was beyond inept. Joshua Dobbs has been a great story this season but he was inexplicably bad Monday night. It’s possible it was just a one-off performance and Dobbs will bounce back, but it seemed like perhaps the clock just struck midnight.
USA Today: Nate Davis #18 (no change)
And you thought Dobbs couldn’t replace Kirk Cousins. The “Passtronaut” made his “Monday Night Football” debut … and threw four INTs in a 12-10 loss to Chicago. Dobbs is now 0-4 in prime time. But it will be fine – Minnesota’s next three games are Sunday afternoon kickoffs.
Bleacher Report: #16 (down 2 from #14)
Over the past few weeks, quarterback Josh Dobbs was something of a folk hero in Minnesota.
After leading the Vikings to wins in his first two games, fans loved Dobbs. Teammates like wide receiver Justin Jefferson gushed about what his athleticism brought to the offense.
“He’s been doing some tremendous things, things that will keep you speechless,” Jefferson told reporters.
Well, fans were pretty speechless Monday night against the Bears. Or at least the words they said I can’t print here.
Yes, Dobbs led the Vikings on a go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter before the Bears drove back down the field for a game-winning field goal. But that drive came after a horrific outing in which he was picked off four times.
The Vikings had less than 250 yards of offense and lost at home to a Bears team that hadn’t won a game in the division since 2021.
“Who knew that a quarterback on his third team since August might not be a franchise savior?” Davenport said. “Yes, Dobbs’ scrambling ability makes him entertaining to watch, but there’s a reason he only won one start with the Arizona Cardinals—and part of that reason is he makes bad decisions and turns the ball over. If the Vikings want to move on from Kirk Cousins after this season, fine. But the notion that Dobbs could be anything more than a stopgap was always a fantasy. And Monday night, Cinderella turned back into a pumpkin.”
That’s not how the story goes, but you get the gist.
Sporting News, Vinnie Iyler: #16 (down 2 from #14)
The Vikings have hit a sudden snag offensively with Josh Dobbs. They really need Justin Jefferson back to save their wild-card hopes after the bye.
CBS Sports, Pete Prisco: #15 (down 2 from #13)
That was a damning loss to the Bears that really hurts their playoff hopes. Josh Dobbs came back to reality in a big way in that one.
The Ringer: #19 (down 5 from #14)
After four interceptions by quarterback Joshua Dobbs (whose magic might be wearing off) in a Monday Night Football loss to the Bears, the Vikings now lead the league in turnovers, with 24. Seven (!) of those have come in the past two games. The Vikings are still technically in the NFC’s playoff picture, but they won’t stay there for long if they keep playing mistake-prone football, like we’ve seen the past two weeks. —Lindsay Jones —Austin Gayle
Pro Football Network, Dalton Miller, #16 (down 1 from #15)
The Joshua Dobbs magic lamp has officially burnt out. Maybe Dobbs and the Vikings’ offense will come back to life after the bye week, but a four-turnover performance against a Bears defense that is far from sturdy doesn’t provide much hope for the now 6-6 Vikings.
While they are currently still in a playoff position, they don’t have much wiggle room, as three NFC teams are currently just one game behind.
Your Minnesota Vikings on average dropped 2.4 spots over last week and now sit at an average ranking of 16.7.