The power rankings articles are back for the 2016 season.
Each week we'll see where many of the experts rank the Vikings. This week Minnesota will visit the Tennessee Titans in Nashville for the season opener at noon (CT) Sunday.
Let's see where the experts rank the Vikings heading into 2016.
The Vikings were in the 8-hole last time out. Late last week -- in the early drafts of this file *— Minnesota was 15th. Then the team acquired Kyle Rudolph. So why not move back up to 8? Because this is Bradford's fourth system in three years. The adjustment might take time. I do applaud general manager Rick Spielman for being aggressive, especially with Adrian Peterson entering Year 10. But if Spielman said the team wasn't going to mortgage the future, wasn't giving up a first and a fourth (that can become a third or second, if certain conditions are met) kind of doing that? I know the Vikes have plenty of picks, but still — high price. What if there is a QB controversy in 2017? Thoughts, Vikings faithful?*
Stefon Diggs's injury forced the Vikings to pay a steep price forSam Bradfordin hopes of salvaging their season. Problem is, Bradford's career Total QBR of 40.5 is lower thanShaun Hill's 45.6.
If nothing else, the last week gave us plenty of reason to reflect on the outsized role quarterbacks play in the NFL. No player on the field is capable of having as much impact on the game as the signal caller. They're hard enough to find and even harder to replace.
Nowhere has that been more evident than in Minnesota. Two weeks ago, you would have seen the Vikings stuffed into the top five spots of these rankings, above the Packers. But losing Teddy Bridgewater to a gruesome knee injury changed the outlook for that team. They're still a very complete squad overall. The defense is loaded with talent, the offense still has Adrian Peterson and even the special teams figure to be among the best in that category again.
Take away the quarterback and nobody's really thinking about just how complete this team is. The odds of winning a Super Bowl shrank, but it could still happen for the Vikings. However, you can't really put them in that upper echelon of teams because they lost their franchise quarterback. Sam Bradford is better than the typical replacement available in the offseason, but he's still Sam Bradford.
Vikings # 8—SB Nation
Had it not been for Teddy Bridgewater's injury, the Vikings would have been slightly higher. Not much, however. Sam Bradford has the talent to lead Minnesota to a playoff berth so long as he fixes his sometimes-erratic accuracy and meshes well with Norv Turner's offense. He absolutely has the weapons around him, but the offense will go as he does.
Vikings #9—FOX Sports
Sam Bradford* is in town!*
But let's pause for a second on the Vikings' Super Bowl chances. It's so tough for any quarterback — Bradford, Shaun Hill, Peyton Manning, anyone — to just be thrown into game action. It'll take time to get everything set.
Luckily, if Bradford is ever in a bind, Adrian Peterson can just take a handoff 70 yards. He's still a special talent.
Also special: This defense that Mike Zimmer has assembled. It has Anthony Barr (watch out for him). It has a few big run-stuffers up front. The secondary is as deep as it's been in years with Trae Waynes and a couple of rookie talents.
Next opponent: *Tennessee Titans*
Looking ahead:* *There's nothing exotic about the Vikings' smash-mouth attack. Peterson might get 30 carries with Hill forced into action.
Vikings #11—Bleacher Report
Whether the Sam Bradford trade becomes Herschel Walker Part II or the Second Coming of Randall Cunningham remains to be seen. The rest of the roster is good enough to keep the team on the fringes of the top 10, for now.
Vikings #11—Pro Football Talk
QB Sam Bradford's arrival mitigates the disastrous fallout of Teddy Bridgewater's knee injury. But RB Adrian Peterson and a stout defense will once again carry this team.
Vikings #10—USA Today