Saturday, October 31, 2020

Minnesota Vikings Week 8 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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: 24.8 (24th)
  • Best ranking: 21st (The Athletic)
  • Worst ranking: 27th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 8 roundup for the Vikings in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 21

They come off the bye week in bad shape. My one issue with the Yannick Ngakoue trade: Why didn't the Vikings show more patience and try to tag and trade him after the season if they weren't going to get at least a second-round pick now? In 2019, the Chiefs gave up a first-round pick and a second-round pick for Frank Clark, who was on the franchise tag. The 49ers gave up a second-round pick for Dee Ford on the tag that same offseason. Given how young Ngakoue is, it seems like the Vikings could have gotten similar compensation, rather than the third-round pick they received from Baltimore. There are two possible explanations. One is that the Vikings save money and cap space by trading Ngakoue now. And two, moving on from him now makes them a worse team, which likely means a better first-round pick in the spring.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 27

They come off their bye seemingly in a look-to-the-future mode after trading Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens. The defense also won't have pass rusher Danielle Hunter the rest of the way, which means a lot of high-scoring games.

USA Today -- Rank: 26

Wondering who their starting defensive ends are the rest of the way? Try Jalyn Holmes and Ifeadi Odenigbo. They've combined for 2½ sacks in 2020.

ESPN -- Rank: 24

Who needs to step up: QB Kirk Cousins

The Vikings' QB was brutally honest after throwing three interceptions in the first half of Minnesota's fifth loss of the season. "The reality is, if the pace I'm on in terms of the interceptions, if that were to continue, I won't finish the season," Cousins said. He is tied for the league lead in interceptions (10) after throwing just six last season. If Cousins' poor play continues, the Vikings will need to make a decision about his future. Yes, it would be financially catastrophic to move on from the QB who has two years (basically guaranteed) left on his contract, but if Minnesota is going to try to rebuild and Cousins continues to play poorly, his status will be debated. -- Courtney Cronin -- Rank: 26

When the Vikings acquired Yannick Ngakoue via trade in late August, it was a clear signal the organization was going all-in on a Super Bowl run. His trade last week tells us management now sees the 2020 Vikings as broken beyond repair, a 1-5 team that's as bad as its last-place record indicates. Regaining draft capital for a veteran on an expiring contract makes sense, even if it puts head coach Mike Zimmer in the difficult position of motivating a locker room that knows the bosses are already looking ahead to 2021 with 10 games to play.

Previous update: Minnesota Vikings Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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