Thursday, October 15, 2020

Minnesota Vikings Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Minnesota Vikings rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 20.8 (22nd)
  • Best ranking: 18th (The Athletic)
  • Worst ranking: 24th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 6 roundup for the Vikings in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 18

With two minutes left, the Vikings faced a fourth-and-1 from the Seahawks' 6. They were up 26-21. A field goal there, and at worst, you go to overtime. A conversion there, and you end the game. But Alexander Mattison (there's a million things he hasn't done*) was stuffed, and the Seahawks drove 94 yards to win the game. The win probability numbers were nearly identical. In other words, the math didn't say one way or another whether to go for it or kick the field goal. We should always look at process over results, and I think Zimmer made the right call. Even if they kicked the field goal there, the Seahawks get the ball back with roughly the same amount of time and better field position. The Vikings would not have guaranteed themselves a win. It should be encouraging to Vikings fans that Zimmer told reporters during the week that he had no regrets about his decision. Minnesota is in a 1-4 hole, but this is an improving team. The Vikings had 31 first downs and 449 yards of offense. The defense played well for most of the game too. I'm not counting them out yet for a wild-card berth.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 24

They are 1-4 and in big trouble, but they played well at Seattle. The Dalvin Cook injury isn't a good thing for the run-based offense.

USA Today -- Rank: 22

They needed 1 yard on fourth down deep in Seattle territory to notch huge road win. Didn't get it. Whatever. Mike Zimmer made right call.

ESPN -- Rank: 21

Biggest weakness: Pass blocking

Minnesota is getting great play out of tackles Riley Reiff and Brian O'Neill, but its pass protection on the interior of the offensive line remains an issue. The Vikings rank 22nd in pass block win rate and can't establish an effective dropback game because of it. In Seattle on Sunday, Kirk Cousins got hit nearly every time he released the football out of the shotgun in the second half. The QB's third-quarter fumble after being sacked (a turnover that allowed Seattle to score two plays later) was the direct result of porous pass protection. -- Courtney Cronin -- Rank: 19

The Vikings did just about everything right on Sunday night, but they couldn't close out the Seahawks in a 27-26 loss that will haunt them. The game's final two minutes were harrowing: Minnesota failed to convert a fourth-and-1 from Seattle's 6-yard line, then could do nothing to stop Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf as Seattle marched 94 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Minnesota held the ball for nearly 40 minutes and showed resilience in regaining control of a game that seemed to slip away when Seattle scored three touchdowns in 1:53 of play in the third quarter. In effect, the Vikings controlled 55 of the contest's 60 minutes and still got beat. It's almost impossible.

Previous update: Minnesota Vikings Week 5 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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