Minnesota defeated the Green Bay Packers 16-0 at Lambeau Field on Saturday night to move to 12-3 and is just one win away from clinching a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
The Vikings currently hold the No. 2 seed in the NFC as the team returns home to take on the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Before we look ahead to the matchup, let’s take a look at the Power Rankings lists.
The experts released their NFL Power Rankings lists heading into the last week of the regular season on Tuesday morning.
Let’s see where Vikings rank after the victory and how their rank changed from Week 16 below:
The offense wasn't there *Saturday night ... in fact, Lambeau was devoid of it. Thankfully for Minnesota — and appropriately, for the purposes of the No. 2 team's blurb — the Vikings' defense > the Packers' defense. For that matter, Minnesota's defense > the preponderance of the league. The interesting factoid to come out of the Vikes' win in Green Bay was that it was the first shutout Minnesota has pitched since Week 14, 1993 against the Lions. Because I am such a nerd, I looked the game up. Vikings linebacker Jack Del Rio — yes, that Jack Del Rio — picked off Rodney Peete twice and Andre Ware once.*
Is having their first shutout in 24 years something to brag about or something not to really mention all that loudly?
ESPN took a look at teams against their preseason projected win totals and noted that the Vikings are one of the league’s overachievers in that metric.
8.5 wins: Minnesota blew by its projection back in Week 12. *Case Keenum's surprise season keeps making waves, but give it up for Minnesota's defense. It ranks second in the NFL in both points allowed (16.1 per game) and yards allowed (280.9 per game).*
3: (Same Spot):* USA TODAY Sports*
As long as S Harrison Smith receives deserved recognition as an All-Pro, we can slough off his ridiculous exclusion from Pro Bowl.
The defense pitched the shutout Saturday night in Green Bay to compensate for a mediocre outing by QB *Case Keenum *and the offense. The Vikings probably will enter the playoffs as the favorite in the NFC given the diminished state of the Eagles. But only slightly so amid the conference’s balanced field of very good but not quite great teams.
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
It was an uninspired, lackluster win for the Vikings on Saturday. Quarterback Case Keenum wasn't at his best, and the defense wasn't as disruptive as we've seen. Because the game was cold and the field was soft, Minnesota's team speed wasn't as much of an asset against the Packers.
It wasn't a great game for the Vikings, but I'm not going to let one subpar performance that still resulted in a 16-0 victory sway me from my belief that Minnesota is Super Bowl material.
Yes, the Vikings are a Super Bowl contender, even with Case Keenum at quarterback. Yep, they can win it with a quarterback who's completing over 67 percent of his passes and has 21 touchdowns with just seven picks.
I'm saying Keenum is good. Got it? Thank you very much.
They are the No. 2 seed in the NFC. There's a chance they could not play away from their stadium the rest of the way — Super Bowl included.
2: (Up 2 Spots) Adam Stites – SB Nation