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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Move Back Up

The Vikings bounced back in Week 11.

Minnesota (6-4) defeated the Arizona Cardinals 30-24 to stay tied with the Detroit Lions atop the NFC North.

The Vikings will play none other than the Lions on the road this week on Thanksgiving Day.

Let's see where the experts placed the Vikings on their power rankings lists for Week 12.

The Vikings' front four would've steamrolled your grandmama had she worn a Cardinal on her helmet Sunday. For the love of Jim Marshall, Alan Page, Gary Larsen, Doug Martin, Chris Doleman, Keith Millard, Henry Thomas, John Randle and Jared Allen -- that was unreal Sunday. Nonstop pressure on Carson Palmer allowed the Vikings to end a painful skid at four games and stay above .500. An important win, too, with the Lions prevailing at home. Guesssssssssss who plays in Detroit on Turkey Day?


The Vikings have played three games this season in which the defense and special teams scored as many (or more) touchdowns as the offense. That's great for the defense and special teams but not a ringing endorsement for the offense. The NFC North lead is on the line in Detroit on Thanksgiving.

Vikings #12ESPN

The Vikings' defense and special teams came alive Sunday. They each accounted for a 100-yard touchdown, lifting the Vikings to a win over the struggling Cardinals. The offense still has no signs of life in the running game, which will be a big problem going forward.

 Vikings #11FOX Sports

The defense found the end zone.

The special teams made a few "wow" plays.

Sound familiar? It should. Minnesota replicated the formula for its 5-0 start in Week 11. In doing so, it looked like the team that once climbed as high as No. 2 in these power rankings.

That's not to say the Vikings are back to that level of play. Concerns still remain, particularly with *Kyle Rudolph's protection and a predictable offense chock-full of shallow cross routes.*

Minnesota's other phases masked all those problems, though. Xavier Rhodes turned in the pick-six this defense missed since its bye week. Then, Cordarrelle Patterson broke the long touchdown return that snapped a losing streak.

Looking forward: I'm thankful for a first-place showdown on Turkey Day. The NFC North is up for grabs on Thanksgiving with Vikings-Lions.

Vikings #18*Bleacher Report*

*One quarter of their 24 touchdowns this season have come courtesy of defense or special teams. Not a sustainable formula for success. *

Vikings #12USA TODAY

Thursday's game at Detroit is enormous for the Vikings, because they've already lost to the Lions. If the Vikings lose, the Lions will lead by a game in the division and own the tiebreaker over Minnesota. It's hard to see the Vikings being two games better than the Lions over the last five games of the season.

Vikings #11Yahoo Sports

*They snapped their losing streak by beating the Cardinals, but have no time to rest with a game at Detroit on Thanksgiving. *

Vikings #13CBS Sports

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