Vikings Handed Same Lousy Power Ranking from 2 Major Sites

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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

This week was evidently the right time for “way too early” 2024 NFL power rankings, a few days removed from Super Bowl LVIII when the Kansas City Chiefs outlasted the San Francisco 49ers.

Vikings Handed Same Lousy Power Ranking from 2 Major Sites

And according to NFL.com and CBS Sports, the Minnesota Vikings are among the bottom half of teams in football.

Vikings Handed Same
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Both sites placed Minnesota at No. 22 in their respective power rankings, an unflattering position for a team already with high hopes for 2024. The Vikings finished 7-10 in 2023, tallying a 3-6 mark after quarterback Kirk Cousins fell injured in Week 8 at the Green Bay Packers. Minnesota’s defense improved from 2022 to 2023, finishing 11th defensively per DVOA.

But none of those factoids translated to offseason momentum, at least not per NFL.com or CBS Sports.

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports dropped the Vikings between the Atlanta Falcons (No. 23) and Chicago Bears (No. 21) and explained the power ranking, “The big question is if Kirk Cousins will be back or not. They should make that a priority after finding out what life was like without him.”

Cousins will hit free agency in March if not re-signed by the Vikings, and Minnesota would presumably be off to the races with a rookie quarterback from the 2024 NFL Draft. It’s a genuine coinflip as of February 14th if Cousins returns to the Vikings for Year No. 7.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Over at NFL.com, Eric Edholm defended Minnesota’s No. 22 spot, “The Vikings find themselves in an interesting spot this offseason. They have to deal with the Kirk Cousins situation first, then figure out where to go from there. While I lean toward Cousins returning to Minnesota, it won’t be stunning at all if he departs in free agency. But then who will be at quarterback for the Vikes? Also, the defensive front and secondary have big holes that must be addressed, and Minnesota still might want to bolster its run game on offense, too.”

On defense, the Vikings could stand to improve its defensive line, especially because Danielle Hunter is scheduled to hit free agency, like Cousins. The secondary is young, and fans will learn in the next 2.5 months if the club trusts its current batch of cornerbacks or upgrades in free agency and the draft.

The Biggest Mistakes
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Edholm added, “So there are quite a few items on the offseason to-do list, and the NFC North could be pretty tough in 2024. This is a critical offseason for the coach-GM combo of Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah one way or another, and the direction they take with Cousins should tell us a lot about how they view the Vikings’ talent. If the veteran QB’s back, it likely means they think they can compete sooner rather than later. If not…”

Edholm did not elaborate after the ellipsis.

The Vikings’ approach to the offseason will become clearer in 26 days when the “legal tampering” period of free agency begins. The NFL Draft is 10 weeks away.

Vegas oddsmakers foresee Minnesota finishing in last place inside the NFC North next season.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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