NFL Power Rankings: Vikings on the Rise After 3 Straight Wins

The Vikings are now 4-2-1 and preparing to take on the Saints for the teams’ first meeting since Minnesota’s last-second defeat of New Orleans in the Division Playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Jan. 14.

Minnesota defeated the New York Jets 37-17 at home on Sunday.

Heading into the Vikings Week 8 matchup, experts from across the internet updated their power rankings: 

Rank: 5

Last Week’s Rank: 6 – NFL.com, Elliot Harrison

This run that Adam Thielen is on, torching the league week in and week out, is edging into historic territory. Thielen recorded 110 yards Sunday, giving him seven straight 100-yard games to start the season, equaling Charley Hennigan's pro football record, set back in 1961 for the AFL's Houston Oilers. And he's threatening more records. There's also the mark for 100-yard receiving performances in a season, which is currently held by Michael Irvin and Calvin Johnson (11), and Marvin Harrison's single-season catch mark (143), set back in 2002. Thielen is on pace for over 150.

Side note: Xavier Rhodes' injury might be more important than all of the above.

Rank: 6

Last Week’s Rank: 10 – ESPN.com

Need more from: RB Dalvin Cook. Backup Latavius Murray has scored in back-to-back weeks, but the Vikings still rank 22nd in yards per rush and first downs per rush. Cook has not played since Week 2 with a persistent hamstring injury, and he was averaging only 2.7 yards per rush before he went down. -- Sterling Xie

Rank: 5

Last Week’s Rank: 5 – YAHOO! Sports, Frank Schwab

I fully understand that only quarterbacks or record-breaking running backs can win MVPs. That’s how voting has gone for decades. But if someone outside of that group was going to make a run, it might be Vikings receiver Adam Thielen. He’s been the best receiver in the NFL so far this season and it’s really not close.

Rank: 6

Last Week’s Rank: 8 – Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

The offense needs to become much more consistent to beat the likes of the Saints and the Lions over the next two weekends..

Rank: 5

Last Week’s Rank: 5 - Bleacher Report Staff

You could make a convincing argument that the Minnesota Vikings hadn't earned a top-five ranking here over the first six weeks of the season. This was an (alleged) Super Bowl contender that got flattened at home by Buffalo and had trouble putting away the Arizona Cardinals.

No, really. Both those things actually happened.

But Sunday in New York, the Vikings looked the part of one of the best teams in the NFC, taking a Jets team that's been competitive this year behind the proverbial woodshed in the second half.

The offense scored three touchdowns on plays of over 30 yards. The defense forced four turnovers and held the Jets to 263 total yards.

There's no time to enjoy this win, however. The Vikings now have to prepare for a rematch of last year's divisional-round thriller with the New Orleans Saints.

On Sunday at least, the Vikings looked ready.

Rank: 5

Last Week’s Rank: 6 – Sporting News, Vinnie Iyer

The real Vikings are here. Their defense is back on track, and their offensive line is helping them produce a respectable running game to go with Kirk Cousins’ great play with Adam Thielen and everyone else.

Rank: 6

Last Week’s Rank: 9 – Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports

Since losing 12-round decision to Rams, they've been quietly picking up steam while winning three straight. Big game Sunday vs. Saints.

Rank: 5

Last Week’s Rank: 5 – Sports Illustrated, MMQB Staff

The Vikings won their NFC title game blowout rematch with Philly earlier this season. Now the Saints are going to be amped for the Minneapolis Miracle rematch next week.

Advertising