Vikings Rocket Up NFL Power Rankings Everywhere… Except at PFT
After running the Green Bay Cheeseheads through an NFL rotary grinder in week one, there is hype building behind the Minnesota Vikings. Naturally, it started here locally, on Sunday night. Blogs and articles were written, podcasts recorded and streams went live.
On Monday, national media members who were mesmerized by Justin Jefferson slung their hot takes on TV and radio stations across the country. There were some doubters lingering, of course, but most were as gobsmacked as Mina Kimes (ESPN).
Justin Jefferson showed up in a BIG way for the Minnesota Vikings ‼️— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 12, 2022
"If you haven't already bought your ticket for the offensive player of the year, that train has left the station." —@minakimes pic.twitter.com/94xzRLfjuR
But now it’s Tuesday morning and football games are over for the week. It is time to comb the fantasy football waiver wire for Dak Prescott replacement and agonize for hours on how much of your waiver budget should be thrown at Jeff Wilson Jr.
Week 1-2 Power Rankings
Oh, and given the Minnesota Vikings won, we have to check the new NFL power rankings lists being posted across the internet. Spoiler: They all love us too, for the most part. Except for one supposed Vikings fan. But we’ll get to Mike Florio later.
Using the ten mainstream media outlets listed below, Minnesota’s average rank is 8.7 (of 32 teams). The Vikings moved up an average of 9.9 spots (only eight outlets reported changes from last week’s rankings)
The Athletic absolutely loves the Vikings, after their week one performance. Bo Wulf ranked the purple at #5 in their updated power rankings, pushing them up 18 spots from last week, to get them there. FOX Sports has jumped on the bandwagon as well. CBS Sports and the NFL.com both ranked them #7. State media (NFL.com) had to raise the bar 13 positions from last week’s rankings. Most ranked the Minnesota Vikings in their top-10, or just outside.
The Athletic: #5 (Last Wk: #23)
Justin Jefferson is so good. (How good is he?) Jefferson is so good he has semi-serious people touting Kirk Cousins as an MVP candidate. (Hahaha) (riotous applause) (confetti falls) — Not to knock Cousins, but let’s be real. Jefferson is among the tier of wide receivers who two-handedly raise the ceiling of an otherwise average offense to potentially elite. On that front, the dichotomy in Minneapolis between the Vikings and Packers was obvious. — Bo Wulf
FOX Sports: #5 (Last Wk: NA)
At this exact moment in time, we don’t know how good the 2022 Packers are. But we do know the Vikings absolutely dominated the reigning NFL MVP in one of the most impressive wins of the week. Justin Jefferson looks like he’s ready to take over the league. — David Helman
NFL.com: #7 (Last Wk: #20)
Here’s something dumb: A wide receiver has never won the MVP award. NEVER. Could Justin Jefferson end the drought? The third-year superstar was untouchable on Sunday against the Packers, piling up nine catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-7 win over the three-time defending division champs. According to ESPN, Jefferson averaged 4 yards of separation on his 11 targets, gaining 138 of his receiving yards on plays when he had at least 3 yards of separation — next-level dominance. Give some credit to new coach and play caller Kevin O’Connell, who moved Jefferson around the field and appears ready to use his top receiver in more imaginative ways than previously seen in Minnesota. Jefferson is a cheat code, and the Vikes look primed to take full advantage. — Dan Hanzus
CBS Sports: #7 (Last Wk: #12)
They got off to an impressive start in beating the Packers in dominant fashion. The defense really impressed and Justin Jefferson was unstoppable. — Pete Prisco
New York Post: #8 (Last Wk: #19)
Justin Jefferson set a franchise-record with 158 yards receiving and heard “M-V-P” chants in the first half of a 23-7 win against the three-time defending NFC North champion Packers. None of the 10 new head coaches had a more impressive debut than Kevin O’Connell. The Vikings’ new-look 3-4 defense generated four sacks. — Ryan Dunleavy
USA Today: #9 (Last Wk: #17)
How good is WR Justin Jefferson? He exceeded 90 receiving yards Sunday both from the slot and while lining up wide. An historic season could be in the offing given his talent, production and versatility. — Nate Davis
ESPN: #10 (Last Wk: #23)
Rookie who stood out: G Ed Ingram — The right guard was one of two rookies, along with punter Ryan Wright, to play extensively from scrimmage in Week 1. Ingram was decent as a run-blocker, ranking No. 11 among guards in run block win rate, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. But he struggled on passing plays, giving up a third-down sack to Rashan Gary and a third-down pressure to Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark. Overall, Ingram ranked No. 29 among guards in pass block win rate. — Kevin Seifert
Yahoo Sports: #11 (Last Wk: #19)
Justin Jefferson will get some MVP buzz at some point. He won’t win because non-QBs don’t get considered anymore, but he’ll have the type of season that gets that kind of attention. He has a chance to set some records with Kevin O’Connell featuring him prominently. — Frank Schwab
Walter Football: #12 (Last Wk: #15)
The Vikings will win every game this year if they play against defenses that leave Justin Jefferson wide open like the Packers did in Week 1. Credit new head coach Kevin O’Connell for designing plays to get Jefferson open like that.
Sports Illustrated: #13 (Last Wk: NA)
This was the team I was afraid I was very wrong about this offseason. While it’s just one week, and the Packers have played some awful games early in the season during the Aaron Rodgers era, Kevin O’Connell’s ability to scheme Justin Jefferson to an average target separation (4 yards) almost double that of Ja’Marr Chase is stunning. — CONOR ORR
Enter Pro Football Talk (Mike Florio)
Then there is Mike Florio, who created ProFootballTalk.com and claims to be a Minnesota Vikings fan. Mr. PFT wasn’t impressed by what he saw unfold at US Bank Stadium over the weekend, apparently, and moved his favorite football team (supposedly) up just four spots in his power rankings, to #18 overall.
That’s five positions lower than any of the above outlets, and TEN spots below the Packers (#8), who the Vikings obliterated on Sunday. Florio’s reasoning for snubbing HIS purple in HIS power rankings? He doesn’t have any. All he wrote was, “Things could get very interesting in the NFC North this year”. On his Green Bay ranking, he wrote, “At least it wasn’t 38-3.”
And that is why Mike Florio is the worst.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan