Thursday, December 24, 2020

Minnesota Vikings Week 16 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: 18.4 (18th)
  • Best ranking: 16th (The Athletic)
  • Worst ranking: 20th (

Below you will find a Week 16 roundup for the Vikings in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 16

Wish: A path out of mediocrity. After a Week 15 loss to the Bears, the Vikings will finish 6-10, 7-9 or 8-8 (assuming no ties). Barring a miracle, they'll miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Since signing Kirk Cousins in 2018, Minnesota has one playoff win. This season was always going to be a soft rebuild, so the final results aren't all that surprising, especially considering Danielle Hunter missed the entire season and the Vikings had other key injuries on defense. But where do they go from here? Is it a matter of just getting guys back on defense and hoping young players improve? Using draft capital to address the offensive line? Changing their run-first approach? Maybe some or all of those things will be enough to make the Vikings legit contenders in the NFC. But it's also fair to question their ceiling as constructed.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 19

So much for the playoffs. All the changes and the moves to more of a younger team have caught up with them.

USA Today -- Rank: 19

They've scored at least 23 points in six of their eight defeats -- just not a stat you'd expect from a team coached by Mike Zimmer.

ESPN -- Rank: 18

Most underrated star: RT Brian O'Neill

The interior of the Vikings' offensive line is where most of the team's pass-protection issues lie, not with the tackles. O'Neill has put together a strong season at right tackle and gives the Vikings long-term security at the position, with an extension likely coming up in the offseason. He has improved every year since he was drafted in 2018, ranking 26th of 83 tackles, according to Pro Football Focus, and he has been a bright spot for a group that has gone through an array of ups and downs this season. -- Courtney Cronin -- Rank: 20

The midseason resurgence is ancient history now. In truth, the Viking were running out of juice earlier this month, even as they were still finding ways to win. But this team has been exposed as the middling outfit it is in back-to-back losses to the Bucs and Bears, setbacks that remove any realistic path to the postseason. Sunday's defeat was a microcosm game: The run defense was gashed by David Montgomery, the pass rush failed to make Mitch Trubisky uncomfortable, and Kirk Cousins too often had defenders invading his space. Throw in some curious in-game decision-making by the coaching staff, and it was the perfect stew for more disappointment in Minneapolis.

Previous update: Minnesota Vikings Week 15 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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