PFT All in on Vikings, Walter Football Cries “Overrated” – NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Photo: Minnesota Vikings

After an Eagles loss on Monday Night Football popped the last undefeated dream of this season, the Minnesota Vikings became tied for the best record in the NFL at 8-1. But Sunday’s victory over the Buffalo Bills did more than improve the purple’s already-impressive win/loss record.

The Bills rarely lose at home and they certainly do not blow 17-point 2nd half leads at home. Unless it’s last weekend with Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson and Patrick Peterson in town. So even more important than padding their win column, the Vikings earned the respect of many on Sunday.

Vikings Earn Most’s Respect in Week 11 Power Rankings

Those now drinking the purple Kool-Aid include Sports Illustrated and Sportsnaut, both of which have the Vikings as their #1 ranked NFL team. Who else is on the purple power train? Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk.com) is driving it, apparently. He has the Vikings ranked #1, too. This after listing them much lower than other power rankings entering the season. Now, Florio has dubbed them a “Team of Destiny”.

But others remain unsold, but most outlets have the Vikings as a top-4 team. Power rankings that emphasize overall efficiency metrics, like EPA and points allowed, aren’t as hyped up on what Minnesota has done through 9 games. That’s why Walter Football refuses to lift such “an overrated football team” any higher than 9th. I guess… if this is what you think “overrated” looks like?

Pro Football Talk (Mike Florio): #1 (Last Wk: #2)

Team of Destiny, even if destiny means finding yet another spectacular way to lose in the postseason.

Sports Illustrated: #1 (Last Wk: NA)

To be considered the best, one must beat the best. The Vikings did so, with their lone, blowout loss to the Eagles standing as their only negative on the season. We can attribute this rise to many things, but, most importantly, the Vikings are capitalizing on the moments when luck reveals itself to them and says, “Here, take it.”

Sportsnaut: #1 (Last Wk: #2)

As promised, the Minnesota Vikings maneuver their way up the rankings and receive acknowledgment that they are a Super Bowl contender. Kirk Cousins deserves some credit, but Minnesota’s true hero is Justin Jefferson. With so much firepower on offense and a strong pass rush, Minnesota can cause problems for anyone it faces.

New York Post: #3 (Last Wk: #3)

The Game of the Year featured a nominee for Best Catch Ever. Justin Jefferson’s leaping one-handed grab for a 32-yard gain on fourth-and-18 kept alive the Vikings’ final drive of regulation in a 33-30 overtime win against the Bills. Cousins threw for 357 yards on 50 attempts, and Patrick Peterson sealed the win with an interception on the final play. 

ESPN: #3 (Last Wk: #7)

The Vikings’ new leadership group committed to evaluating Bradbury this season, and he has rewarded that decision. Bradbury has played all but two snaps and ranks No. 10 in ESPN Analytics’ run block win rate metric. As for concern about past struggles in pass protection, he ranks No. 17 in the pass block win rate metric. Add it all up, and Bradbury has been an above-average center in 2022 and is on his way to being a priority free agent this winter. — Kevin Seifert

NFL.com: #3 (Last Wk: #7)

No matter how this season turns out, the Vikings and their fans will always cherish what happened on Sunday in Buffalo. Down 17 points late in the third quarter, Minnesota mounted a furious comeback behind standout performances from their most important players: money throws from Kirk Cousinsmind-exploding catches from Justin Jeffersona game-changing run from Dalvin Cook, and glorious ball-hawking from Patrick Peterson in a 33-30 overtime win over the powerhouse Bills. It was the type of signature win against a Super Bowl favorite that gives the Vikings legitimacy beyond their stellar win-loss record. Said Peterson to the doubters: “Look at us now. Look at us now. That’s all I could say.”

Yahoo Sports: #3 (Last Wk: #6)

It was OK to be skeptical about the Vikings’ start. This wasn’t a classic dominant 7-1 start. But a win at Buffalo, even as close as that one was, validates Minnesota’s start.

The Ringer: #4 (Last Wk: #5)

The easy way out would be to rank Minnesota over Buffalo coming off a game Sunday that the Vikings likely would have lost had Justin Jefferson not made one of the best catches in NFL history, or if Josh Allen didn’t fumble a snap on the goal line in the final minute of regulation. The reality is that the Bills are still the better team and deserve to be ranked accordingly. Breathe, Vikings fans. Yes, your team just beat the Bills in Buffalo, and yes, they have the second-best record in the NFL. You should enjoy it while also understanding that despite Jefferson’s heroics, the Vikings rank just 16th in offensive EPA per drive and 14th in points allowed per game. They rank just tied for eighth in point differential (35) and have won seven consecutive games by eight points or less. Without a dominant four-quarter win since Week 1, I just can’t put Minnesota into the top tier of this list.

The Athletic: #4 (Last Wk: #8)

As for whether the Vikings are actually one of the league’s three or four best teams, that’s beside the point. They have the easiest remaining schedule, according to The Athletic’s Austin Mock, and are listed as favorites in every game but one (this week’s matchup versus Dallas). At 8-1, Mock projects them as having a 55.1 percent chance to capture the NFC’s No. 2 seed and a 31.1 percent chance to capture the No. 1 seed. Special seasons like that don’t come along very often, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Walter Football: #9 (Last Wk: #11)

Overrated NFL Team: See why the Vikings are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.