Vikings Maintain ‘Meh’ Power Ranking, per

Aug 3, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings place kicker Greg Joseph (1) during training camp at TCO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

All offseason long, the Minnesota Vikings have been classified as a lucky team from 2022 that will probably cliff-dive per wins and losses in 2023.

The Detroit Lions are tabbed by oddsmakers and NFL pundits to emerge and snatch the NFC North, while the Vikings play second fiddle in the division.

Vikings Maintain ‘Meh’ Power Ranking, per

And nothing epitomized the mediocre or middling opinion regarding the Vikings more recently than’s latest power rankings. Minnesota lived at No. 16, smack dab in the middle of the league. Exactly average.

Vikings Maintain
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell comes off the field after the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Lions led Eric Edholm’s power rankings among the NFC North foursome, checking in at No. 11. Then the Vikings slid in five spots later at No. 16, with the Green Bay Packers at No. 22 and the Chicago Bears at No. 25.

On the whole, folks don’t expect the NFC North to be too daunting this year.

Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) hands the ball off to running back Alexander Mattison (2) against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Edholm explained the Vikings middle-of-the-league placement, “The Vikings are in a fascinating spot, coming off a 13-win season but also shedding a lot of skin from the roster this offseason. They moved on from big chunks of their defense, although the expectation is that new coordinator Brian Flores will run a far more complex, aggressive scheme that won’t get bullied as much as the unit that allowed the second-most yards in the league last season.”

Flores takes over a Vikings defense that ranked 30th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed last season while the team still somehow finished 13-4.

Vikings to Showcase
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

“But can the offense sustain or exceed its 2022 performance with Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen gone? Kirk Cousins is entering a pivotal season with his contract up in the spring — and Justin Jefferson likely looking for a new one. Minnesota was 11-0 in regular-season games decided by eight points or fewer last year. Can the Vikes win all the tight ones again without a lot of familiar names?” Edholm concluded.

Minnesota hopes to do precisely that — win several games with younger and more affordable personnel. In an offseason widespread with change, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said goodbye to veterans Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Eric Kendricks, Za’Darius Smith, Patrick Peterson, and Dalvin Tomlinson, among others.

Lottery Ticket QB
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Adofo-Mensah evidently believes homegrown, organically-drafted speed and youth will supersede the experience provided by the departed veterans.

Atop the power rankings lived the Chiefs (No. 1), Eagles (No.2), 49ers (No. 3), Bengals (No. 4), and Bills (No. 5). The Rams (No. 28), Raiders (No. 29), Buccaneers (No. 30), Texans (No. 31), and Cardinals (No. 32) scraped the bottom.

The Vikings preseason kicks off Thursday night at Seattle.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by