Saturday, January 1, 2022

Minnesota Vikings Week 17 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: 18.4 (18th)
  • Best ranking: 14 (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 22 (ESPN)

Below you will find a Week 17 roundup for the Vikings in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 22

Non-QB MVP: WR Justin Jefferson

The Vikings began to turn their season around when they made a concerted effort to get the ball to Jefferson at the midway point. That led to wins over the Chargers and Packers, and it would have resulted in come-from-behind victories at Detroit and against the Rams had the rest of the team held up its end. Minnesota is 4-2 this season when Jefferson eclipses 100 yards receiving, and it's clear the young wideout -- who now owns the NFL record for the most receiving yards (2,851) by a player in his first two seasons -- is a franchise player the Vikings want and need to build around. Minnesota has shifted its approach and runs most of its offense through Jefferson now, with the 22-year-old accounting for over 37% of his team's receiving yards. -- Courtney Cronin -- Rank: 18

All season, the Vikings have been a fun watch because they can turn any game into a nail-biter -- whether it's against a powerhouse like the Packers or a bottom-feeder like the Lions. But being entertaining and being good are two very different things. The Vikes had the chance to alter the course of their season with a win over the Rams on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium but instead delivered a deeply uneven effort that featured critical breakdowns by the offense, defense and special teams. The inconsistencies under Mike Zimmer have become tedious to the fanbase; it's fair to wonder if it will be considered untenable by the Powers That Be.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 21

At 7-8, they have little room for error the rest of the way. They have to beat the Packers to survive this week.

USA Today -- Rank: 14

Did you know they've only lost twice in their past six trips to Lambeau Field? Just sayin' ... there's (more than) a chance.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

Is he The Guy? Maybe. Kirk Cousins' future is just one of many questions the Vikings will have to address this offseason. His $35 million salary (and $45 million cap hit) for next season is already guaranteed, but it feels unlikely he'd head into 2022 as a lame-duck quarterback. Minnesota could pursue a trade; otherwise, it probably needs to sign him to an extension and lower his salary-cap hit. The latter might be hard to stomach if the Vikings once again miss out on the playoffs.

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