NFL Power Rankings, Week 11: Vikings Bounce Back
Having risen as high as the top five in the power rankings, according to some outlets, the Vikings slipped back after a narrow road loss to the Chiefs two Sundays ago. To many, it was further proof that Kirk Cousins would never beat a good team on the road, and that these Vikings aren't real contenders.
Well, that narrative has been squashed, at least for now.
The Vikings went into Dallas and beat the Cowboys – and their top-ranked offense – in primetime, with Dalvin Cook having another monster day and Cousins playing mistake-free football.
Let's see how much the Vikings rise in this week's power ranks as a result of that impressive win.
SI MMQB: No. 6 (No change)
SI's voters have the Vikings ranked as high as No. 4 and as low as No. 8.
"Kirk Cousins (23-of-32, 220 yards, 2 TDs) continued a strong season, Dalvin Cook stomped all over the ‘Boys for 97 rush yards, 86 receiving yards and a touchdown and Kyle Rudolph reeled in this ridiculous one-hander. The defense stepped up late, and Minnesota appears primed to snag a wild-card spot in the NFC even if Green Bay holds serve."
NFL.com: No. 7 (Up 3 spots)
"The big narrative headed into Sunday night's huge matchup against the Cowboys centered on Kirk Cousins and whether he could rise to the occasion in prime time against a quality opponent, the type of setting that has seemingly unnerved the quarterback in the past. But then the game started, Cousins played with a steady hand, and we were reminded who the true star of Minnesota's attack really is. Dalvin Cook delivered another All-Pro performance in Dallas, finishing with 183 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in a 28-24 win. Cook and Cousins didn't do it alone: The Vikings' defense was in bend-but-don't-break mode against a high-powered Dallas attack, typified by Eric Kendricks' breakup of a pass intended for Ezekiel Elliott in the final minute that ended the Cowboys' final scoring chance. Kendricks has been one of the best cover linebackers in football this season ... Dak Prescott picked the wrong 'mismatch.'"
ESPN: No. 7 (Up 2 spots)
This week, ESPN listed the biggest game remaining for each team. Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin selected the Dec. 8th MNF game in Seattle.
"The Vikings took the first step to proving why they belong in the postseason by beating a contender in Dallas. If they want to cement themselves further in the playoff picture, they need to do it again by going to Seattle and coming away with a win. Playoff seeding comes into play between the seven-win Vikings and the Seahawks, who are currently seeded No. 6 and No. 5, respectively. A victory could boost Minnesota's postseason standing even further and earn it a more favorable matchup."
CBS Sports: No. 6 (Up 5 spots)
"That was a big-time road victory for Kirk Cousins against the Cowboys. Dare I say it: Cousins is in the MVP conversation."
Washington Post: No. 7 (Up 7 spots)
"Kirk Cousins orchestrated a meaningful win in prime time on the road against a good team. So maybe this really is a different version of Cousins and a transformed Vikings team. Or perhaps it was merely a one-night aberration. It will be interesting to find out."
Chicago Tribune: No. 8 (Up 4 spots)
"If Christian McCaffrey wasn’t putting together a monstrous season for the Panthers, there probably would be chatter about Dalvin Cook as a potential MVP candidate. The running back had 183 yards from scrimmage in Sunday night’s win against the Cowboys, the fourth game this season he has topped 170 yards. He leads the NFL with 991 rushing yards — two ahead of McCaffrey. Cook also has 424 receiving yards, putting him 38 ahead of McCaffrey, but it’s important to note Cook has played one more game."
NBC Sports PFT: No. 7 (Up 5 spots)
"In 20 days, we’ll find out whether Primetime Kurt has more staying power than the Great Pumpkin."
Bleacher Report: No. 9 (No change)
"As statement wins go, the Minnesota Vikings may have had the biggest of Week 10. Thanks to a huge game from young tailback Davin Cook and an outstanding performance from Minnesota's run defense, the Vikings defeated the Cowboys in Dallas and solidified their status as one of the best teams in the NFC."