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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Still in Playoff Picture Despite Bump

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

Minnesota is now 6-5-1 after losing to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium during Week 13. If the season ended this week, Minnesota would earn the second NFC Wild Card spot for a playoff berth.

Minnesota is on the road again this week and will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football this week.

Seattle is coming off of a 43-16 win over the San Francisco 49ers and has won three games in a row. The Seahawks (7-5) would be in line for the first NFC Wild Card spot, but the No. 5 seed is the best they can do.

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

See where experts ranked the Vikings this week:

Rank: 12

Last Week’s Rank: 9 – ESPN.com

We're No. 1 in: Third-down defense. For a second straight season, the Vikings are leading the league in third-down stops, allowing teams to convert on just less than 30 percent of their attempts. This is a critical facet for Minnesota's defense in forcing its will on opponents so the offense, which has gone through ebbs and flows all season, can get back on the field and attempt to score. -- Courtney Cronin

Rank: 12

Last Week’s Rank: 9 – YAHOO! Sports, Frank Schwab

When the Vikings got blasted by the Bills in September, that was a sign of where this season was headed. None of their other losses are bad (Rams, Saints, Bears, Patriots) but their best win is probably against the Eagles. They’re just a mediocre team, a season after they were really good.

Rank: 9

Last Week’s Rank: 9 - Bleacher Report Staff

It's tightrope time for the Minnesota Vikings after the team lost by two scores in New England in Week 13.

If the Washington Redskins beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, a Vikings team that entered the season a Super Bowl front-runner will find itself on the outside looking in where the NFC playoffs are concerned.

Frankly, Minnesota has no one to blame but itself. Every time in 2018 this team has been tested, it has failed. There was the seven-point Week 4 loss to the Rams. The 10-point defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Saints in Week 8. Another loss in Chicago in Week 11. And Sunday's second-half collapse against the Patriots.

The Vikings are 0-4 against teams with a winning record this season—a number that doesn't bode well given a Week 14 trip to Seattle to face the 7-5 Seahawks.

"On paper," Davenport said, "this looks like a loaded roster—a team that should absolutely make the playoffs. But in reality, something's missing. Something intangible. It's simple at this point; if the Vikings lose in Seattle next week, they aren't making the playoffs. And I have little faith they won't.

Rank: 12

Last Week’s Rank: 9 – Sporting News, Vinnie Iyer

The Vikings continue to lose tough marquee road games in the Mike Zimmer era. Kirk Cousins’ inconsistency is one thing; the breakdowns in defense are another that can ultimately hold Minnesota back.

Rank: 12

Last Week’s Rank: 9 – Elliot Harrison, NFL.com

The Vikings fall out of the top 10 this week, with the offense unable to follow its strong Week 12 showing. The peaks-and-valleys fortunes of this outfit boggle the mind, as Minnesota is easily a top-five team in terms of talent at the right spots. An area that most analysts will point to is the offensive line -- and yet, even when provided time to survey the secondary, QB Kirk Cousins was ineffective at Gillette. Cousins barely breached the 200-yard mark despite 44 pass attempts. That kind of ratio won't win many games, especially against other playoff contenders. Fortunately for the Vikings, at least in terms of the wild-card race, both the Panthers and Packers lost. The Seahawks didn't. Guess who Minnesota plays next?

Rank: 12

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

They can't get going on ground. Defense isn't nearly as effective as 2017. And they're only half-game better than Case Keenum's Broncos.

Rank: 9

Last Week’s Rank: T-7 – Sports Illustrated, MMQB Staff

Last Week’s rank: 7

Points in poll: 218

Highest-place vote: Sixth (2)

Lowest-place vote: 14th

Last week: Loss at New England, 24-10

Next week: at Seattle (Monday)

Rank: 13

Last Week’s Rank: 10 – Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

The offense just wasn't good enough against the Patriots. They need more from Kirk Cousins in big games.

Rank: 14

Last Week’s Rank: 13 – Mark Maske, Washington Post

Note to Adam Thielen: Taking on Bill Belichick might not have been the way to go. But at least Thielen showed some competitiveness and edge. The rest of the team wilted, and QB Kirk Cousins had another turnover-marred performance in a meaningful game.

Rank: 12

Last Week’s Rank: 10 – Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

This is the team that allows Vikings fans to sleep peacefully. Because they know it’s over.

Rank: 15

Last Week’s Rank: 11 – Ryan Van Bibber, SB Nation

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