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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Move On Up Following Prime Time Victory

The Vikings have won five of their past six games following a victory on the national stage of Sunday Night Football during Week 10.

Minnesota moved to 7-3 and still sits a game behind the Green Bay Packers (8-2) in the NFC North.

The experts released their Power Rankings lists heading into Week 11.

Here’s a look at where the Vikings rank:

7 (Up 3 Spots): Dan Hanzus – NFL.com

The big narrative headed into Sunday night's huge matchup against the Cowboys centered on Kirk Cousins and whether he could rise to the occasion in prime time against a quality opponent, the type of setting that has seemingly unnerved the quarterback in the past. But then the game started, Cousins played with a steady hand, and we were reminded who the true star of Minnesota's attack really is. Dalvin Cook delivered another All-Pro performance in Dallas, finishing with 183 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in a 28-24 win. Cook and Cousins didn't do it alone: The Vikings' defense was in bend-but-don't-break mode against a high-powered Dallas attack, typified by Eric Kendricks' breakup of a pass intended for Ezekiel Elliott in the final minute that ended the Cowboys [final drive in the red zone]. Kendricks has been one of the best cover linebackers in football this season ... Dak Prescott picked the wrong "mismatch."

7 (Up 2 Spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports

Maybe Dalvin Cook needs some MVP consideration. Christian McCaffrey has gotten whatever non-quarterback MVP buzz there is to go around, and that’s fine because McCaffrey is great. But Cook is also having an outstanding season. Cook leads the NFL with 1,415 scrimmage yards and 991 rushing yards, and has 10 touchdowns for an excellent Vikings team. Cook can’t win MVP because non-quarterbacks are forgotten in the voting, but he has a case.

6 (Up 5 Spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

That was a big-time road victory for Kirk Cousins against the Cowboys. Dare I say it: Cousins is in the MVP conversation.

9 (Same Spot): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report

As statement wins go, the Minnesota Vikings may have had the biggest of Week 10. Thanks to a huge game from young tailback Davin Cook and an outstanding performance from Minnesota's run defense, the Vikings defeated the Cowboys in Dallas and solidified their status as one of the best teams in the NFC.

"The Vikings quietly went about their business and built an impressive 7-3 record," Brent Sobleski wrote. "Their standing is even more impressive when you consider they've lost three games by an average of six points. They're in every game and winning most of them because Dalvin Cook emerged as the NFL's leading rusher and the other side of the ball ranks top five in scoring defense. If Kirk Cousins can play at a consistently high level, Minnesota will work its way into the Super Bowl conversation.

The win gave the Vikings their fifth victory in the [past] six weeks and a clean sweep of the four teams in the NFC East. But as well as the Vikings have been playing of late, Minnesota can't let up.

Provided the Vikings get past Denver at home next week, Minny will hit the bye at 8-3. But it will also hit the off week in second place in the NFC North regardless of what the Green Bay Packers do in Week 11.

Given how much better the Vikings have been at home (or in domes away from it) as opposed to outside, an NFC North title vs. a [Wild Card] spot could be the difference between a deep playoff run and a quick exit. Minnesota has to keep the pedal to the floor ahead of a rematch with the Packers two days before Christmas at U.S. Bank Stadium.

6 (Same Spot): The MMQB Staff – Sports Illustrated

Previous rank: 6Points in poll: 190Highest-place vote: 4 (1 voter)Lowest-place vote: 8 (1 voter)Last week’s result: Beat Dallas, 28-24This week: vs. Denver

Kirk Cousins (23-of-32, 220 yards, 2 TDs) continued a strong season, Dalvin Cook stomped all over the ’Boys for 97 rush yards, 86 receiving yards and a touchdown, and Kyle Rudolph reeled in this ridiculous one-hander. The defense stepped up late, and Minnesota appears primed to snag a [Wild Card] spot in the NFC even if Green Bay holds serve.

7 (Up 1 Spot): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News

The Vikings got a massive road win over the Cowboys on Sunday night to secure their current [Wild Card] position and keep putting heat on the Packers as the weather turns cold. Kirk Cousins and the run defense are doing their big parts, but their clear MVP is Dalvin Cook.

7 (Up 1 Spot): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports

Don't look now, but Kirk Cousins is 2-0 in prime-time games this year. Good thing because Minnesota is scheduled to have at least three more.

7 (Up 2 Spots) Courtney Cronin – ESPN.com

The Vikings took the first step to proving why they belong in the postseason by beating a contender in Dallas. If they want to cement themselves further in the playoff picture, they need to do it again by going to Seattle and coming away with a win. Playoff seeding comes into play between the seven-win Vikings and the Seahawks, who are currently seeded No. 6 and No. 5, respectively. A victory could boost Minnesota's postseason standing even further and earn it a more favorable matchup.

7 (Up 5 Spots) Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk

In 20 days, we’ll find out whether Primetime Kurt has more staying power than the Great Pumpkin.

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