Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Mixed on Vikings
We have now entered week 6 of the NFL season and the Minnesota Vikings stand on top of the NFC North, at 4-1. But record isn’t everything and it’s been clear over the first five games that Viking players are still working out the kinks of a new system on both offense and defense. And because of that truth, the NFL power rankings this week are very mixed on Minnesota.
Both the New York Post and ESPN have the Vikings in their top-5 (#4). Others, like Yahoo Sports and Walter Football, have the purple ranked as low as #13. Of the 11 power rankings listed below, the Minnesota Vikings average #8.5.
New York Post: #4 (Last Wk: #4)
The Vikings have won three straight despite trailing with less than five minutes remaining in each game. The Bears held a one-point lead but couldn’t stop the Vikings from converting five third downs on a drive that finished with Kirk Cousins sneaking into the end zone and throwing a two-point conversion to Justin Jefferson to steal a 29-22 win.
ESPN: #4 (Last Wk: #7)
The Vikings already have an excellent chance to make the playoffs thanks to their hot start. But they’ve needed to overcome a late fourth-quarter deficit in each of their past three games, and that pattern probably isn’t sustainable over time. Although it’s an excellent sign that the Vikings had the confidence and leadership to surge back into the lead in each instance, they’ll need to produce some steadier performances in the second half to ensure they are playing with a lead and not leaving it up to the other team to take advantage.
Athlon Sports: #6 (Last Wk: #8)
For all the rough headlines surrounding some rookie head coaches, Kevin O’Connell sure is the lone wolf pressing the right buttons. Three fourth-quarter deficits turning into wins and tied for the second-best record in the league seems a bit unsustainable but there’s a sense of confidence around the Vikings that hasn’t been there before.
Sportsnaut: #6 (Last Wk: #8)
As long as quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings aren’t playing on primetime, this is one of the best NFL teams right now. It’s remarkable how much better the offense looks when Justin Jefferson is fed the football early and it helps set things up for Dalvin Cook. Minnesota should feast on Miami’s defense in Week 6. Speaking of defense, it’s the Achilles’ heel of this team.
NFL.com: #7 (Last Wk: #9)
You can flip the calendar and reboot the coaching staff, but some things will never change with a Kirk Cousins-led offense. Take Sunday, for instance: Cousins completed his first 17 passes against the Bears, leading the Vikings to touchdowns on their first three possessions while building a 21-3 lead. The blowout was on! Until it wasn’t. The offense went cold, and Minnesota allowed Chicago to crawl back in the game and even take the lead in the fourth quarter. Then Cousins and Co. regrouped to score the go-ahead touchdown in an eventual 29-22 win, but the hot-and-cold nature of the Vikings’ attack remains mystifying. “I’m not where I was at the end of last season in that old system,” Cousins said, “but we’re developing it and we’re getting there and I’m excited about that continued growth.”
The Ringer: #8 (Last Wk: #12)
The new favorite on FanDuel to win the NFC North (-130), Minnesota is thriving on offense under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell. The Vikings lead the league in first-down conversion percentage on first down at 29 percent, and the offense is 10th in EPA per drive (0.25). Avoiding third downs is critical to the Vikings’ offensive success, as it keeps quarterback Kirk Cousins out of obvious passing situations where defenses often eat him alive. Cousins ranks 24th in EPA per dropback on third downs (-0.24) through Week 5.
The Athletic: #10 (Last Wk: #14)
Don’t Cameron Dantzler and the Vikings feel badly about what they did to their poor former teammate on the potentially game-tying drive? No doubt, Dantzler made a heck of a play when he forcibly stripped Smith-Marsette from behind, but these guys were teammates like six weeks ago! First, they released Smith-Marsette one day after the initial roster cuts to make room for Jalen Reagor, and then they pants him in the final moments of the game? Just seems mean. Trading with the Bears to get him back would at least let him know he’s loved.
Pro Football Talk (Mike Florio): #11 (Last Wk: #14)
This feels like a house of cards that could be knocked down with the gust from one solid SKOL clap.
Sports Illustrated: #12 (Last Wk: NA)
The Vikings have the third-best play success rate in the NFL behind the Bills and the Chiefs. Is that good? We should stop making fun of every team who hires Sean McVay’s friends. It seems to be working.
Yahoo Sports: #13 (Last Wk: NA)
Don’t look now but the Minnesota Vikings are in first place in the NFC North. Seriously. Next: at Miami Dolphins
Walter Football: #13 (Last Wk: #15)
Overrated NFL Team: See why the Vikings are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan