NFL Power Rankings, Week 13: Vikings Facing Big Opportunity in Seattle
With a week off to rest and recover, the Vikings had no impact on their place in this week's power rankings. Any potential rises or falls are due to the successes or failures of the teams around them in what was an interesting Week 12 in the NFL.
This week, the Vikings get back into the mix. They have a chance to make a major statement with a win over the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, but a loss would provide further ammunition to those who question their contender status.
Here's where the Vikings are ranked heading into a huge Week 13.
SI.com MMQB: No. 7 (No change)
SI's writers all have the Vikings somewhere between No. 5 and No. 8, but seventh is the consensus again. That trails only the 49ers, Seahawks, and Saints among NFC teams.
"Without having to lift a finger, the Vikings are back in the mix for a first-round bye. They can improve their Plan B path through the playoffs with a win over the wild card-leading Seahawks on Monday night."
ESPN.com: No. 6 (Up 1 spot)
The Vikings leapfrog the Packers' in ESPN's rankings this week, due to the Packers' blowout loss in San Francisco. In the spirit of the season, each local reporter selected the one thing the team they cover is most thankful for. For the Vikings, it's their revamped offense.
"Mike Zimmer waxes poetic anytime Gary Kubiak is mentioned. Kirk Cousins has been lights out since Week 5, and the Vikings' potent rushing attack is a threat no matter who they're playing. The overhaul of Minnesota's offense from a year ago has the Vikings with the league's eighth-best unit, putting up numbers that rival some of the NFL's top playoff contenders. The offense has carried its weight (and bailed out the defense too) through the majority of the season, which is a welcome departure from years past."
NFL.com: No. 6 (Up 1 spot)
"The Vikings hit the bye at 8-3, including a 6-1 mark since Week 5. They're legit Super Bowl contenders in the NFC, and their offense has been a key part of their success, no matter what all the Kirk Cousins Haters at your Thanksgiving dinner table tell you. Dalvin Cook's admission into The Superstar Club has unlocked hidden potential in Minnesota's attack, but Cousins has absolutely held up his end of the bargain in the second season of his three-year pact with the Vikings. With Cook gashing defenses on the ground and Cousins carving up secondaries through the air, the Vikings have piled up 88 "big plays" – which NFL Media Research constitutes as runs of 10-plus yards or passes of 20-plus yards – this season. The Vikes led the NFL in that category entering Week 12."
The Athletic: No. 6 (Up 1 spot)
"If the Vikings weren’t already enjoying a lazy Sunday off, watching the Packers get demolished on national television in the prime-time game must have been quite the thrill. We’ll find out next Monday night against the Seahawks whether the Vikings are definitely a team capable of winning the NFC North."
CBS Sports: No. 7 (Down 1 spot)
The Vikings and Packers were both jumped by the Seahawks in Pete Prisco's rankings. Despite their loss, he still has the Packers one spot ahead of the Vikings. "They come off their bye with a tough road game at Seattle. It really is a big game for Kirk Cousins."
Bleacher Report: No. 7 (Up 1 spot)
"In most seasons, the 8-3 Minnesota Vikings would be considered among the leading Super Bowl contenders in the conference. But in a year where the NFC is positively stacked with good teams, the Vikings entered Week 12 as the No. 6 seed if the playoffs began today. There are reasons for a measure of concern with the Vikes. Minnesota had to stage a furious rally last week to defeat a flawed Denver Broncos team, and the Vikings have struggled away from U.S. Bank Stadium — all three losses came outdoors. However, they also have the makings of a formidable squad. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is playing well. The cadre of skill-position talent at his disposal is deep and talented. The defense has talent at all three levels. Minnesota has little margin for error given its road struggles. It's much easier to imagine this team makes a deep playoff run if it can catch the Packers in the NFC North than if it has to travel on Wild Card Weekend."
Yahoo! Sports: No. 6 (Up 1 spot)
"The Vikings got to rest, and watch the Packers get blown out to give them a share of first place in the NFC North. That’s a heck of a bye week."
USA Today: No. 9 (Down 1 spot)
"They'll be hard pressed to cough up two-game lead for final NFC playoff berth, but two West Coast trips in next three weeks don't help."