Saturday, November 6, 2021

Minnesota Vikings Week 9 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 18.2 (T-17th)
  • Best ranking: 16th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 20th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 9 roundup for the Vikings in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 19

Biggest Achilles' heel: Offense

A seven-game sample size reveals the Vikings' offense is not cut out for the modern NFL. Minnesota has routinely come out of the gates swinging and scoring on its first possession, but the offense has disappeared after that to the tune of no second-half touchdowns in five of seven games. In a loss to Dallas, the game plan turned quarterback Kirk Cousins into a predictable checkdown machine whose average depth of target was 4.5 yards and totaled a measly 184 yards passing. This unit went from explosive to dull and conservative in a year's time and has evolved into Minnesota's chief downfall this season. -- Courtney Cronin -- Rank: 19

The prime-time stage was set up for the Vikings on Sunday night. Dak Prescott was inactive, and when Kirk Cousins led Minnesota on an immediate touchdown drive, it looked like the start of a four-hour Halloween party at U.S. Bank Stadium. But the Dallas defense took control after that, and the Vikings' defense wilted against Cooper Rush in the final minutes. I'll repeat: The Vikings' defense wilted against Cooper Rush in the final minutes. Mike Zimmer's team had a chance to make a statement and instead came off as an also-ran exposed.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

The offense wasn't good against the Cowboys. They just seemed too predictable. That has to change.

USA Today -- Rank: 17

They keep getting close ... but aren't accruing sufficient cigars, even with all four losses by seven or fewer points. Matters won't get easier with DE Danielle Hunter down for the count with a torn pectoral muscle.

The Athletic -- Rank: 20

How's the head coach? Feels like the heat's rising, doesn't it? Mike Zimmer botched the end of both halves during Sunday's loss and his team plays four of its next five on the road, starting with the Ravens and Chargers. That Halloween night visit from the Cowboys felt like a borderline must-win. And the Vikings allowed backup QB Cooper Rush to throw for 325 yards, 75 of those coming on a game-winning touchdown drive. Trouble.

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