Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Minnesota Vikings Week 5 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 5 roundup for the Minnesota Vikings in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 24

Biggest issue on defense: Organic pass rush

The Vikings have spent most of the season struggling to generate a pass rush, even as they've blitzed more frequently (55%) than any other team in the NFL. Part of the issue has been an ankle injury to outside linebacker Marcus Davenport, who played in only four snaps over the first three games. When Davenport returned in Week 4, he recorded a sack and helped spur the Vikings to five sacks in the second half of a 21-13 victory. But Davenport and Danielle Hunter are the only rushers the Vikings can depend on at this point to win one-on-one battles. -- Kevin Seifert -- Rank: 25

This team is still learning how to turn in a complete performance, but a win is a win. Kirk Cousins had his worst outing of the season, throwing two picks, both in the red zone, including a 99-yard pick-six. But the run game woke up and the defense made enough plays. Harrison Smith had a great day, recording three sacks, including the game-clincher, and his forced fumble was run back by D.J. Wonnum for the go-ahead touchdown. Wonnum was everywhere, too, with a sack and a near pick-six. After falling behind 10-0 early, the Vikings notched a hard-fought road victory. Baby steps.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 29

They won their first game at Carolina, but it sure wasn't pretty. They have to cut down on the mistakes as the Chiefs come to town.

USA Today -- Rank: 25

Harrison Smith — "Harry the Hitman" — is still a lethal football assassin. The safety had three sacks Sunday, double his previous career best, including the strip-sack that led to a Minnesota recovery and TD return that finally flipped a game into the W column.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

The league's third-most prolific passing offense (287.3 passing yards per game) finally got its first victory Sunday. Kirk Cousins leads the league in touchdown passes (11), but Sunday's most chaotic play may have come when he threw a touchdown to the Panthers and then sprinted almost the length of the field only to get obliterated by a block.

FOX -- Rank: 19

On paper, the Vikings went on the road and covered the spread to stop their losing streak. But if you watched this game, you know it didn't look anywhere near that good. Kirk Cousins' two red-zone interceptions — one of them a pick-six — make you wonder if Minnesota can kick its turnover habit. Better than losing, though. And Justin Jefferson is still really fun.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 24

Safety Harrison Smith is still fantastic. He had 14 tackles and three sacks on Sunday, including sacks on second-and-goal and then fourth-and-goal with the Panthers trailing 21-13 in the final two minutes. Even at age 34, he's a top safety in the NFL.

PFT -- Rank: 25

The coin that always landed on heads last year finally got back there again.

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