NFL Power Rankings, Week 14: Vikings Fall Slightly After Loss
The Vikings rallied for an impressive comeback after trailing by 17 points, but wound up falling short against the Seahawks in a 37-30 loss on Monday night.
Though it was a loss, the Vikings played well in some areas and proved they can hang with great teams, even on the road. If they can clean up a few things on defense and get some players healthy, this is still a team that could be dangerous in the playoffs.
Let's see how far Minnesota fell in this week's power ranks.
SI.com MMQB: Tied for No. 7 (Prev No. 7)
Interestingly, SI's eight voters combined to give the Vikings and Packers the exact same number of points. Individually, they have the Vikings as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 10.
"The Vikings stumbled in a tight one against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, but they’re still hanging onto the second wild-card spot in the NFC playoffs. Can they hold off the Rams down the stretch?"
NFL.com: No. 9 (Down 3 spots)
"It was there for the Vikings. Minnesota ball, trailing by four, less than four minutes to play, three timeouts at their disposal. Kirk Cousins took the field looking to build on a strong night and exorcise some Monday night ghosts. But the Vikings went five-and-out and the offense never saw the field again in a 37-30 loss to the Seahawks. Cousins falls to 0-8 on the Monday Night Football stage, but put this loss on a Vikings defense that got carved up on the ground by Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny and through the air by Russell Wilson. Cousins' job was made that much more difficult when star running back Dalvin Cook exited the game midway through the third quarter with a clavicle injury. The Vikings are still in excellent position to claim a playoff spot, but they might have to win out to have any chance at the NFC North title."
ESPN: No. 7 (Down 1 spot)
ESPN had each team reporter pick a player, coach, or executive who is under fire down the stretch. Courtney Cronin went with left tackle Riley Reiff.
"By all accounts, Reiff has been decent – not great, not terrible – which has been the standard since he signed as a free agent in 2017. He's allowed four sacks and 15 total pressures on an offensive line that is improved but still a work in progress. Reiff is "under fire" because he's at risk of being a salary-cap casualty with his $13.2 million hit in 2020. The Vikings have a lot of hard financial decisions to make this offseason, and overpaying for a left tackle you don't view as a franchise player isn't the smartest thing to do when Brian O'Neill might eventually move over to that side."
CBS Sports: No. 7 (No change)
"They lost a tough game Monday night at Seattle, but they showed well. If Dalvin Cook is lost for any length of time, that will be a big hit."
Chicago Tribune: No. 8 (Down 1 spot)
"The Vikings looked to be in good position Monday night in Seattle when they carried a 17-10 lead into the third quarter. That’s when everything disintegrated as the Seahawks scored the game’s next 24 points en route to a 37-30 victory. The Vikings lost Dalvin Cook to a shoulder injury in the third quarter, and any time he misses moving forward will be problematic. It’s a team effort, but Kirk Cousins will take heat as his record on Monday nights fell to 0-8. Granted, he came from the Redskins, who have been absolutely terrible on Mondays for two decades, and he actually played pretty well. Now, the Vikings find themselves a game back in the NFC North with a key against the Packers looming in Week 16."
Bleacher Report: No. 9 (Down 2 spots)
"To be fair, the Minnesota Vikings remain a very good football team more than capable of giving the Green Bay Packers all they can handle in the NFC North. But after they fell in Seattle during the final game of Week 13, a familiar refrain is about to echo around the Vikings—and especially around quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Vikings (under Cousins) just can't win the big ones. In fairness, it wasn't Cousins who allowed over 200 rushing yards to the Seahawks on Monday night. It wasn't Cousins who lost two fumbles, and even his interception was a ball that bounced off the hands of wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Injury was added to insult, too. Running back Dalvin Cook, who has been the focal point of the Minnesota offense this season, left the game with an injured shoulder. Thankfully, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer indicated that the injury isn't believed to be serious. That's good because the Vikings' margin for error has narrowed. At 8-4, they sit just one game ahead of the Los Angeles Rams with four to play for the second Wild Card. Still, the schedule works in the Vikings' favor, as just one of their remaining opponents (the Packers) has a record above .500. That's most assuredly a good thing. Minnesota has lost all three games this season against teams that presently sport one."
The Athletic: No. 8 (Down 2 spots)
"Kirk Cousins would be an easy target here (he did fall to 0-8 on Monday Night Football, after all), but there’s plenty of blame for the Vikings after their loss to Seattle. The Vikings’ formula to win with defense and the running game failed against the Seahawks; they rushed for just 78 yards (losing Dalvin Cook to a shoulder injury certainly hurt), and the defense surrendered 444 net yards to Seattle."
Yahoo! Sports: No. 10 (Down 4 spots)
"It’s not that bad to lose at Seattle, though the Vikings have some tiebreaker problems with the Packers and are a game behind now. What’s concerning is the defense, which was so dominant two seasons ago and still has a lot of stars, simply hasn’t been very good. The Seahawks moved the ball at will, and that’s not too unusual for Vikings opponents this season. Kirk Cousins didn’t get it done in the end, but he certainly didn’t have much help from a defense that is supposed to be a lot better."