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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Slip But Control Playoff Destiny

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings still control their own destiny with three games left to play.

Minnesota is now 6-6-1 after losing to Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field during Week 14. If the season ended this week, Minnesota would earn the second NFC Wild Card spot for a playoff berth.

Minnesota is back at home this week and will take on the Miami Dolphins at noon (CT) Sunday.

Miami is coming off of a last-second 34-33 victory over the New England Patriots where running back Kenyan Drake scored on a miraculous pass play involving multiple laterals as time expired.

Experts from across the internet updated their power rankings lists, heading into the Vikings home matchup.

See where experts ranked the Vikings this week:

Rank: 13

Last Week’s Rank: 12 – ESPN.com

Top wish list item: The fifth seed in the NFC playoffs. After falling further behind Chicago (9-4) in the NFC North race after their loss Monday night in Seattle, the Vikings' most realistic chance at reaching the postseason is by securing a Wild Card spot. The last thing the Vikings want to do is have to host the Bears in Week 17 and turn around for a first-round game at Soldier Field the following week. The Vikings can clinch a playoff berth in Week 15. They are much better off going on the road to face Dallas the first weekend of January than playing one of the top three Super Bowl favorites from the NFC. -- Courtney Cronin

Rank: 16

Last Week’s Rank: 12 – YAHOO! Sports, Frank Schwab

Kirk Cousins didn’t do much in another big game. That has been an issue all season. Note: Schwab submitted his full response before the Vikings promoted Kevin Stefanski as interim offensive coordinator and relieved John DeFilippo from the post.

Rank: 12

Last Week’s Rank: 9 - Bleacher Report Staff

The Minnesota Vikings were a fairly desperate team heading into their Week 14 showdown with the Seahawks in Seattle.

The Vikings didn't play like a team that was desperate. They certainly didn't play like the Super Bowl favorite they entered this season as.

Minnesota played like a team that isn't going to make the playoffs at all.

The Vikings were defeated 21-7 in a game that wasn't as close as score would indicate. Minnesota's allegedly talent-laden offense didn't cross midfield until less than five minutes were left in the third quarter.

Even then the Vikings were afforded opportunity after opportunity to stay in this game. To steal it. And the team just couldn't do it. Minnesota was turned away on 4th-and-goal and had a field goal blocked.

As things stand today, the Vikings are still in the postseason.

But that says a lot more about how bad a week it was for the NFC's Wild Card pretenders than it does about how good these Vikings are.

Rank: 15

Last Week’s Rank: 12 – Sporting News, Vinnie Iyer

Kirk Cousins was unable to deliver a much-needed victory in another prime-time spot, something with which he struggled in Washington. It would be nice if the offensive line and running game took some pressure off the QB. The Vikings need to break free from those early woes, stat.

Rank: 13

Last Week’s Rank: 12 – Elliot Harrison, NFL.com

The Vikings slow tumble down the rankings boggles the mind. What's more perplexing is the avoidance of Dalvin Cook. Why in the world does Minnesota ignore the running game ... in close games ... with an RB1 who accelerates through a crease quicker than Twitter blames Kirk Cousins after every bad play? Cook looked plenty rapid the few times he received a handoff in his belly on Monday night. The would-be stud tailback carried the football 13 times for a respectable 55 yards in a game that was 3-0 most of the night. So, game script had nothing to do with nothing. This after getting 9, 10, 9, 10, 10, 10 and 16 carries in his previous eight games [Note: Harrison listed the carries in reverse order of game sequence]. Thank goodness for that Week 1 workload, or else folks might speculate whether there are clauses in his contract about accepting 11 carries or more. Meanwhile, don't get too carried away about the Vikes' playoff prospects ...

Rank: 15

Last Week’s Rank: 12 – Nate Davis,USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins will be subject for (some) deserved criticism for their implosion, but there's plenty of blame to go around in Minnesota.

Rank: 11

Last Week’s Rank: 9 – Sports Illustrated, MMQB Staff

Last Week’s rank: 9

Points in poll: 126

Highest-place vote: Ninth

Lowest-place vote: 17th

Last week: Loss at Seattle, 21-7

Next week: vs. Miami

Rank: 15

Last Week’s Rank: 12 – Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

The playoffs start on Sunday.

Rank: 21

Last Week’s Rank: 15 – Ryan Van Bibber, SB Nation

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