Take a look at how the experts are placing the Minnesota Vikings among the NFL’s elite entering Week 17 of the 2017 NFL season in the Power Rankings.
On paper, Week 17 was a great one for the Minnesota Vikings. They shut out the division rival Green Bay Packers on the road to move to 12-3 and solidify their place among the best teams in the NFC and tighten their grip on a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Beneath the surface, a season-ending injury to a starting offensive lineman and another injury to the long snapper that will take several weeks to recover from could set the team back at important, yet undervalued, positions.
Still, the experts believe that Minnesota is among the NFL’s elite and place them near the top of their power rankings. Here are where the Vikings are being slotted heading into Week 17 against the Chicago Bears:
- Elliott Harrison – NFL.com: “the Vikings‘ defense > the Packers‘ defense. For that matter, Minnesota’s defense > the preponderance of the league.” (No change)
- Mark Maske – Washington Post: “The Vikings probably will enter the playoffs as the favorite in the NFC given the diminished state of the Eagles.” (Up 1 spot)
- Chris Simms – Bleacher Report: “It wasn’t a great game for the Vikings, but I’m not going to let one subpar performance that still resulted in a 16-0 victory sway me from my belief that Minnesota is Super Bowl material.” (Down 1 spot)
- ESPN.com: “Case Keenum‘s surprise season keeps making waves, but give it up for Minnesota’s defense.” (Up 1 spot)
- Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News: “as long they protect the ball and finish drives when needed, their defense will allow them to go deep into the playoffs.” (Up 1 spot)
- USA TODAY Sports: “As long as S Harrison Smith receives deserved recognition as an All-Pro, we can slough off his ridiculous exclusion from Pro Bowl.” (No change)
- Brandon Lee Gowton – Bleeding Green Nation: “Case Keenum has looked more like the Keenum you’d expect in two out of Minny’s last three games. Something to keep an eye on.” (No change)
- John McClain – Chron.com: “If the Vikings win at home against Chicago, they’ll secure a first-round bye in the playoffs.” (Up 1 spot)
- Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk: “Is having their first shutout in 24 years something to brag about or something not to really mention all that loudly?” (No change)
- Mark Craig – Star Tribune: “How strong a Case (Keenum) does Mike Zimmer have for Coach of the Year?” (No change)
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- Ron Clements – Sporting News: “The Vikings are a win over the Bears away from getting a bye.” (Unknown change)
- Pete Prisco – CBS Sports: “There’s a chance they could not play away from their stadium the rest of the way — Super Bowl included.” (Up 1 spot)
As can be seen, there is still a lot of discrepancy as to how the media is viewing the Minnesota Vikings heading into week 17. Plus, the placement of the Vikings compared to the Eagles on these lists are interesting as well, considering they are the favorites despite some other teams in the NFC turning on the heat!
What do you think of the ranking of Minnesota in the Power Rankings heading into Week 17? Where would you place them? And who do you think had some of the best analysis of the team? Let us know in the comments below.