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Preseason Power Rankings No. 27: Minnesota Vikings

Zimmer AP

The Mall of America has the world’s largest indoor roller coaster.  And the team that will take a two-year break from playing indoors has been riding the thing over the past few years.

From the heights of an NFC title game appearance in 2009 to the depths of 3-13 in 2011 to an unlikely playoff berth in 2012 to a 5-10-1 face splat last year, the Vikings has been sufficiently inconsistent to have almost as many head coaches as starting quarterbacks since the franchise’s latest high-profile failure, that “This is not Detroit!” moment in the Superdome more than four years ago.

Despite being much older than most first-time NFL head coaches, Mike Zimmer brings a fresh start to a franchise that needs a kick in the butt.  Adrian Peterson, who doesn’t need a kick in the butt to continue to thrive despite ailments to pretty much every body part but his butt, thinks it will work.  The PFT crew is for now skeptical, parking the Vikings just outside the bottom five as the 2014 season approaches.

Strengths.

They still have one of the best running backs in NFL history, who continues to move the chains and get looooooose for touchdowns even as his 30th birthday approaches.  But in his seven NFL seasons, the Vikings have yet to find a passing game that complements Peterson’s running skills, with the exception of Brett Favre’s first season with the team.

If the passing game struggles again this year, it won’t happen because the pass catchers stink.  Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson seems poised to have a breakout season, tight end Kyle Rudolph enters a contract year, receiver Greg Jennings still has a little something in the tank, and receiver Jerome Simpson has athletic skills that have yet to be fully utilized.  With offensive coordinator Norv Turner drawing up the plays, one or more targets will be open on every snap.

The defense automatically improves at every level with the arrival of Zimmer, who has a knack for getting the most out of whatever he has to work with.  Much has been done to improve the pass rush, which automatically will make the rest of the unit better.  The real question is whether the most that this collection of defenders can muster will be good enough to slow down the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and Matthew Stafford.

Kicker Blair Walsh continues to be a weapon that can deliver wins in close games, even though his conversion rate for field goals dipped below 90 percent in 2013 — and his accuracy at 50 or more yards fell from 100 percent (10-for-10) in 2012 to 40 percent (two-for-five) in 2013.  It gets tougher with the home games outdoors, and Walsh’s skills won’t matter much if Turner opts to stretch the field and aim for touchdowns in lieu of playing the field-position game.

Weaknesses.

Until a quarterback emerges with skills that fit at least in the upper half of the league, signal-caller will continue to be the most significant weakness on the roster.  Turner recently said veteran Matt Cassel will have a strong season, which implies he’ll be playing.  But the team invested a first-round pick in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, which implies the Vikings want him to be the guy, sooner than later.  Maybe the internal competition will get someone to step up and take off.  As long as it’s not Christian Ponder, that could be good news for a franchise that desperately needs a franchise quarterback.

While not necessarily a full-blown weakness, the offensive line has given the Vikings cause for concern.  Left tackle Matt Kalil’s second season wasn’t as strong as his first, and the team’s sacks allowed spiked from 32 to 44.  In the running game, the total yardage dropped from 2,654 (5.4 yards per carry) to 2,081 (4.9 yards per carry).  Whoever wins the quarterback competition needs better performance from the five large men up front.

The linebacker position is in flux, with Chad Greenway expected to start on the weak side in Zimmer’s defense (which is comparable to Greenway’s strong side position under Leslie Frazier), rookie Anthony Barr to take the strong side, and Jasper Brinkley to play the middle.  But Greenway could take some snaps at the middle spot, too, as he learns the first new defense for the first time since he arrived as a first-round rookie in 2006.  For Greenway, another lackluster year could be his last in Minnesota.

At cornerback, the good news is that Chris Cook finally is gone.  The bad news is that the position still lacks the talent necessary to match the great receivers in the NFC North.  2013 first-rounder Xavier Rhodes needs to step up quickly, as does free-agent arrival Captain Munnerlyn.  Even then, it won’t be easy to slow down Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, etc.

Changes.

Not long ago, the Vikings boasted one of the most potent front fours in football, a neo-Purple People Eaters consisting of Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Pay Williams, and Ray Edwards.  All four are now gone, replaced by what ideally will become a Seahawks-style flurry of fresh bodies flying around opposing quarterbacks, from Everson Griffen to Brian Robison to Sharrif Floyd to Linval Joseph to Corey Wootton to Anthony Barr and beyond.

The biggest change on defense will be the scheme, with the Cover 2 and variations of it gone after eight seasons.  Getting the new pieces playing together in the new attack will be critical to success.

On offense, the biggest name is the newest one:  quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.  He may or may not play in 2014, which will depend largely on whether new offensive coordinator Norv Turner thinks Bridgewater can get it done as a rookie — or whether Matt Cassel is the better option.

Behind the oft-injured Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart has hit the road to Jacksonville, with Matt Asiata and rookie Jerrick McKinnon filling Gerhart’s underused shoes.

Camp Battles.

It begins with Bridgewater vs. Cassel vs. (in theory) Christian Ponder.  The winner may simply win the chance to be the first guy benched, especially if the winner is Cassel.

At running back, Asiata and McKinnon will compete for the ability to spell Adrian Peterson and to replace him if/when he’s injured.  Which has been happening too often lately.

The top four spots on the receiver depth chart are largely set — the question is whether Jerome Simpson or Jarius Wright will get the bulk of the opportunities when the Vikings use a third receiver in addition to Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings.

At defensive end, Corey Wootton concedes that Brian Robison will start on the left side, but Robison wants to continue to be a full-time player. Wootton could take away some of Robison’s reps.

Between Xavier Rhodes, Josh Robinson, and Captain Munnerlyn, two will start at cornerback.  Look for Rhodes and Munnerlyn to draw the top two spots, with Robinson joining the nickel package.

Prospects.

The Vikings have the quiet confidence of a team flying under the radar with more talent that most realize.  Quarterback play will be the most important ingredient between success and failure, and the defense will need to be able to gel — especially once the Vikings are again playing late-season home games in the elements.

A playoff berth this year or next will be regarded as a bonus.  This team has the feel of a franchise on scholarship until the new stadium opens in 2016.

Which puts the Vikings near the bottom of the barrel as the 2014 season approaches.

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150 Responses to “Preseason Power Rankings No. 27: Minnesota Vikings”
  1. pooflingingmonkey says: Jul 9, 2014 2:55 PM

    This is at least six spots too high for the Vikes.

  2. seahawksteven777 says: Jul 9, 2014 2:58 PM

    In for the entertaining comments from the Vikings trolls as to why they should be at #1.

  3. crush22 says: Jul 9, 2014 2:58 PM

    SKOL!
    BWHAHAHA!!

  4. pastabelly101 says: Jul 9, 2014 2:59 PM

    SKOL!!!!!!!!!

  5. chadhenne42 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:01 PM

    SK…GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. bananasandalmonds says: Jul 9, 2014 3:02 PM

    SKOL!!!!

  7. brokebackbrees says: Jul 9, 2014 3:03 PM

    Don’t worry viking fans! They had Falcons at #5 last year and Texans at #10.

  8. coachkilla6 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:04 PM

    Surprisingly
    Kept
    On the
    List (albeit way too high).

  9. niners816 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:04 PM

    All the Vikings fans: “Yes! We cracked the top 30!!”

  10. pillowporkers says: Jul 9, 2014 3:04 PM

    Considering we were the 25th best team last year, I really don’t see how we got worse. I would put a lot of money the Vikings don’t end up with a top 6 pick in the 2015 draft.

  11. justjoevideo says: Jul 9, 2014 3:06 PM

    PFTpoet THIS IS THE YEAR!!!!!!! :-(

  12. dickshotdogs says: Jul 9, 2014 3:06 PM

    The Bills are better.

    Patriots fan

  13. iman62 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:07 PM

    Teddy has small hands.

  14. longsufferingkcfan says: Jul 9, 2014 3:09 PM

    This must be the highest the Vikings have ever been ranked. They just haven’t been the same since KC wallopped them in the Super Bowl. It’s pretty sad when your best player is an over-the-hill running back who was only average in his prime and you are basically a farm team for the PED-using Seahawks. SKOL= Sad Kingdom of Losers
    #nosignificantwinsinfranchisehistory

  15. scrp2 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:10 PM

    Fran Tarkenton says “That’s Incredible!”

  16. northlandwi says: Jul 9, 2014 3:11 PM

    Maybe they should avoid posing next to the Lombardi Trophy…

  17. hennessey1200hp says: Jul 9, 2014 3:11 PM

    8 – 8 season, not the bottom PFT

  18. usedjock says: Jul 9, 2014 3:12 PM

    I am a Packers fan who hates the Vikings with a passion. But, I think this is a team that could make some noise this year and get better quickly if they get any kind of QB play.

  19. Marshawn Lunch says: Jul 9, 2014 3:14 PM

    BUT, that doesn’t change the “fact” that the vikings are the best franchise in sports history.

    …BWahhaaahahahahaaa!

  20. nbooat says: Jul 9, 2014 3:17 PM

    Vikings fans too busy trolling other posts to comment at current time

  21. seahawkswilson says: Jul 9, 2014 3:18 PM

    First team I think PFT has listed too high. This franchise is not in a good place; still have not hit their rock bottom.

  22. racerx1225 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:18 PM

    So you thiink the Vikings are better than the Raiders? Wow! Incompetence at its best. LOL… Luh—-hoooo-sers.

  23. kev86 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:19 PM

    “so you are saying I have a chance” – Jim Carey

  24. zo121179 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:20 PM

    I can’t wait to what PFTpoet says about this….

  25. 1973to1991packerssuckedbigtime says: Jul 9, 2014 3:21 PM

    I am a Packers fan who hates the Vikings with a passion. But, I think this is a team that could make some noise this year and get better quickly if they get any kind of QB play.
    ______________________________

    Holy crap. You must be a Packer fan not from Wisconsin. Or at least an implant or a cyborg.

    No way this comment came from a normal packer fan.

  26. imbetteratlifethanyou says: Jul 9, 2014 3:22 PM

    Way to high for this pathetic franchise. They have NEVER won anything significant.

    #nosuperbowls
    #theclevelandbrownsofthenfc

  27. bassplucker says: Jul 9, 2014 3:24 PM

    #1 – This is the first appearance in the rankings of an NFC team.

    #2 – The Vikings aren’t this bad, and are nowhere close to the worst team in the NFC.

  28. akuhn0301 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:24 PM

    Will finish anywhere from 6-10 to 9-7 depending on who’s taking the snaps at QB. Not a bottom five team, not a top ten team… but i think they’re better than 27th too.

  29. misterpositivity says: Jul 9, 2014 3:25 PM

    Bridgewater seems to have his head on straight, has plenty of talent around him, and an OC with a proven track record.

    There still may be some pieces missing on D, and they play in a very tough conference, but it should be interesting to see what Zimmerman can do in his first year.

  30. rbirving says: Jul 9, 2014 3:26 PM

    I think my Vikings will be competitive this year in what may be the top division in the league. While the Packers continue to flat line, I expect the Bears will be the team to beat and the Lions will always find ways to beat themselves.

    I’m not surprised PFT put them down this low, with the new coaches, new systems and a lot of shake up in players we’re gonna be an unknown product heading into the season. I think exceeding the expectation of #27 should be quite doable.

  31. darkneptune73 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:28 PM

    We will prove the haters wrong. We will prove PFT wrong. We will prove ESPN wrong. We will prove every damn media analyst wrong. We proved them wrong in 2012 and we are ready to prove all of you wrong in 2014.

    Last year, the Vikings could of won the division but blew several last minute leads. Instead of 5 wins last year, the Vikings could of easily made 8. The defense was bad but the offense generated points as long as Cassel played starter.

    Therefore, you can laugh at the Vikings for being 27. But this is preseason. In September, the Vikings will have a chance to prove all of you wrong, and the rest of the haters wrong.

  32. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Jul 9, 2014 3:28 PM

    Big Packer guy here. This years Vikes team could very well be the surprise team of the year. I for one am not writing them off. but GO PACK!

  33. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 9, 2014 3:28 PM

    wow.. 1st NFC team cks in

    I was thinking this would be the Jets slot

  34. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 9, 2014 3:29 PM

    but Jets do get to play AFC east teams.. so they could get a few wins.. but still, they will be bad, very bad

  35. thepftpoet says: Jul 9, 2014 3:30 PM

    This proves these rankings are completely biased.

    The Minnesota Vikings have a top 5 team with one of the best coaching staffs in the NFL.

    One of the best overall talent in our rosters from top to bottom.

    A future HOF QB in Teddy Bridgwater.

    There’s nothing stopping the Minnesota Vikings from a Super Bowl this year.

    The Zimmer Trophy will be a real thing in 25 years.

    Your Kids kid’s will remember this historic Vikings team 80 years from now.

    The Dynasty Has Begun.

  36. seatownballers says: Jul 9, 2014 3:30 PM

    Poet and best know they have 3 garbage qbs. Yet tonight they celebrate

  37. dethsupport says: Jul 9, 2014 3:34 PM

    I’ll take under the radar at this point. Bye-bye Tampa-2 and a note card sized play sheet. Nowhere to go but up.

  38. thepftpoet says: Jul 9, 2014 3:34 PM

    Profootball.com credibility has complete gone down.

    Any sports fan with any common knowledge whatsoever knows the Minnesota Vikings are a top 5 team in the NFL.

    People hate the great.

    And this is a perfect example of jealousy

    Skol.

  39. silentfreedom5 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:35 PM

    Robinson wont compete with Rhodes for a starting spot, Rhodes and Captain are sure fire starters this year while Cox and Robinson will fight for that 3rd CB role.

    PFF ranked the Vikes o-line as the sixth best in the league last year so if thats our weakness, Ill take it.

  40. jimjets says: Jul 9, 2014 3:37 PM

    darn! pretty soon PFT guru’s are gonna have the Jets in the playoffs!

  41. filthymcfunny1 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:39 PM

    Long suffering KCFan why don’t you worry about your own team that can’t get past my colts!

  42. 1wildfan1 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:40 PM

    Thank GOD for usedjock. It is nice to see an opposing fan with some common sense, and putting real thought behind his posts, rather than the standard toothless Packer fan fodder of “screw da Vikings, WE GOT TROPHIES!”.

    On that note, I am a realistic Vikings fan. They probably are not going to be threatening for a playoff spot this year or next as a team that is built for speed likely won’t fare real well outdoors at the bank. And as long as living legends like Rodgers and Megatron are in the division, and the only real threats we have are AP and CPat, there is not a lot of threat there of the Vikings challenging for the division in the next 2-3 years. I think we have made some great moves, and I like Zimm, and I am excited about the future. But realistically I think we are still rebuilding.

    I think 27 is too low with the likes of Jax, Hou, Oak, Cle, Buf, Ten, Tam, Wsh, etc. But I don’t see them cracking above 20. I think an 8-8 season would be a good spot for the Vikes this year, and a mid round 1 pick next year rather than top 10. But I think that is the upper limit for them this year.

  43. moeman79 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:41 PM

    Much has been done to address the pass rush? Where? The only way this Defense has gotten better is in their head coach.

  44. bhinrichs9 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:41 PM

    This is an absolute joke. Vikings got better in every aspect and were 5-10-1 last year. In 3 or 4 games last year we gave up the win because of Leslie Fraziers Soft Cover 2 and thats the difference between 5-10-1 and 8-8 or 9-7.

  45. schmitty2 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:41 PM

    Just waiting for the usual homers and trolls to chime in

    Tokyosandblaster
    Carl Gerbschmidt
    PFTpoet
    GenXJay
    ariani85

    The stage is all yours boys!

  46. lionswinsuperbowl says: Jul 9, 2014 3:42 PM

    Until the Vikings have a reliable QB they won’t amount to anything

  47. unbiasednflfan says: Jul 9, 2014 3:44 PM

    Finished 25th last year. New coach to improve a terrible/bland defense. New OC that has a play-call card larger than a note card. Lots of young talented players with more experience (H. Smith, Patterson, Rudolph, Kalil, Rhodes, Floyd) all first round picks going into their early prime. Not to mention Barr and Bridgewater. Bridgewater will start, he’s better than Cassel and Zimmer said the better player will start. They obvioulsy want him to earn it so they’re going to make him earn it and not give it to him before training camp even starts. I’m not saying the vikes are a playoff team but I would say definitely better than last year.

  48. doctormantistoboggan says: Jul 9, 2014 3:46 PM

    The cast of Fargo and three drunk loons could beat this turd team any day of the week, ya knooow

  49. fwippel says: Jul 9, 2014 3:47 PM

    Zimmer needs to toughen this team up. At home last year, the Vikings were 5-3, but they didn’t win a game on the road.

    In order to have a markedly better season, this team is going to need help from this year’s draft class beyond Barr and Bridgewater. Guys like Crichton, Yankey, and Exum will need to be significant contributors by mid-season.

    An improved DL will help the defense get better quickly, but that secondary cannot afford injuries to Rhodes, Smith or Munnerlyn.

    Ranked 27th? Based on last year’s results, that’s about right. I expect the Vikings to start out slow as they adjust to Zimmer’s new approach (and deal with a tough opening schedule). However, if this team can hit full-stride before November, they can end up posting a significantly better record in 2014 than last year.

  50. stellarperformance says: Jul 9, 2014 3:48 PM

    1973to1991packerssuckedbigtime says:
    Jul 9, 2014 3:21 PM
    No way this comment came from a normal packer fan.
    /////////////////////////////////

    And your name should convince everyone you’re a “typical” Viking fan?

  51. jaygatsbytheoneandonly says: Jul 9, 2014 3:49 PM

    Forget about the Vikings prediction, am I the only one who appreciated how fantastic that first paragraph and the analogy therein was.

  52. dethsupport says: Jul 9, 2014 3:49 PM

    The pftpoet is an undercover packer fan. I’ll put my 401k balance on that.

  53. thespeaker6 says: Jul 9, 2014 3:49 PM

    OOHoooHhooho well maybe 27th in the AFL hahahehehHahhahahHhH!!!!!!! Super Bowl Joke! Quarterback joke!!!!!!!

  54. beardinals says: Jul 9, 2014 3:51 PM

    Thanks PFT! Great entertainment for an early July

  55. thegreenandcold says: Jul 9, 2014 3:51 PM

    Worst in the NFC seems about right for the Vikes and I don’t mean that in a harsh way. They had the 30th worst defense which saw is two most steady members get lost. Griffin is an average DE they overpaid in his “potential” and Barr needs a redshirt year or 2 before he can turn his freak athleticism into solid linebacker play. Their slightly worse than GB rushing attack lost its best relief for AP (and how long can he go before his back is broken from carrying this team?) And there is again a 3-way crapshoot at QB. The rookie unknown. Cassell who is their best option but the coaches wouldn’t put in and we all know what Ponder is. New coaching staff means early mistakes while the scheme is picked up by all the veteran members. Basically, all the young talent on this team needs a redshirt year in the system before we begin to see a turnaround. If Bridgewater can become any good, look for the Vikings to be a team looking at the playoffs in 2-3 years.

  56. dsimo says: Jul 9, 2014 3:51 PM

    That’s okay. The Vikings should be placed here at this time. They have much to prove and they need to earn a better ranking. That said, I think this team will surprise everyone with how much better they are in 2014. It’s going to be a fun season!

  57. beardinals says: Jul 9, 2014 3:52 PM

    I’m sure to get crabby when my teams come up, but it seems that will be a while.

  58. bullcharger says: Jul 9, 2014 3:58 PM

    usedjock says:Jul 9, 2014 3:12 PM

    I am a Packers fan who hates the Vikings with a passion. But, I think this is a team that could make some noise this year and get better quickly if they get any kind of QB play.

    —————–

    Which they won’t. It’s a pretty good spot for them.

  59. greenbay727272 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:05 PM

    thepftpoet says:
    Jul 9, 2014 3:30 PM
    This proves these rankings are completely biased.

    The Minnesota Vikings have a top 5 team with one of the best coaching staffs in the NFL.

    One of the best overall talent in our rosters from top to bottom.

    A future HOF QB in Teddy Bridgwater.

    There’s nothing stopping the Minnesota Vikings from a Super Bowl this year.

    The Zimmer Trophy will be a real thing in 25 years.

    Your Kids kid’s will remember this historic Vikings team 80 years from now.

    The Dynasty Has Begun.
    ———————————–
    Top 5 team? Really? Really?…….Really?
    Even if you are a huge homer, dont you think it would be a bit more realistic to say they are a top 20 team, MAYBE…MAYBE top 16 and squeeze into the playoffs. Top 5 is a joke and everyone on this site knows it.

  60. southpaw2k says: Jul 9, 2014 4:05 PM

    thepftpoet says:

    “This proves these rankings are completely biased.

    The Minnesota Vikings have a top 5 team with one of the best coaching staffs in the NFL.

    One of the best overall talent in our rosters from top to bottom.

    A future HOF QB in Teddy Bridgwater.

    There’s nothing stopping the Minnesota Vikings from a Super Bowl this year.”

    Can you please explain why the Vikings have one of the “top 5″ coaching staffs when their head coach is a rookie?

    I also would love to hear why Teddy Bridgewater will be a “future HOF QB” when he hasn’t yet thrown a single pass in an NFL game.

    Also, I would argue there are 31 other teams who could stop the Vikings from winning the Super Bowl in 2014, as well as every season going forward.

  61. casualmalexlfan says: Jul 9, 2014 4:06 PM

    “27 – the number of Super Bowls the Vikings will win this season” -PFTpoet

  62. number1hawkfan says: Jul 9, 2014 4:07 PM

    A little high I think. I have them ranked 5th in the CFL. And unranked in the NFL. Honestly I couldn’t care less about the Vikings. I just take jabs because of that troll poet that pollutes this site. Sorry to the normal Vikings fans.

  63. packerenglishmajor says: Jul 9, 2014 4:09 PM

    27th – what do we expect after last year.
    If you weren’t watching we stunk, specifically our defense and coaching stunk.

    27th – so what, power rankings change every week once the games start getting, um you know, played.

    Keep it real Vikes’ fans 27th is fair at this point.

  64. mikelitoris1 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:10 PM

    Remember when the “Viking fans” used to troll as Redskins fans? I wonder what team they’ll troll as fans of next year.

  65. seahawkfanfrom1970s says: Jul 9, 2014 4:11 PM

    I needed a laugh. So I clicked on this story to see how “PFTpoet”, “thevikesarebest” and Ariana Grande would react to lifelong Vikings fan Mike Florio, ranking his Vikings a lowly #27th!

  66. dieselguy19 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:15 PM

    I can care less about the Vikings either way, but I am curious why so many people hate them so bad? The Raiders I get that’s obvious, but what did I miss? That said, I don’t see how this team isn’t ranked last or 2nd to last. Guess when you have a stud RB it gives you extra merrit.

  67. greenbay727272 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:15 PM

    Honestly the Vikings can only go as far as Peterson can take them. If they don’t get top 16 production from their QB I dont see them finishing in anything but last in the NFC North. The Packers, Bears, and Lions (If they play like they want it) are just so much better teams. That said I do think the Vikings could be a 7 to 8 win team, so we’ll see.

  68. jjackwagon says: Jul 9, 2014 4:19 PM

    The Raiders have no chance of ever being ranked this high.

  69. omegalh says: Jul 9, 2014 4:20 PM

    This list is just a list of the worst qb to the best qb.

  70. ariani1985 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:21 PM

    In all reality we must agree that the NFC North is complete garbage, Turd Bay hasn’t made it passed the first round of the playoffs for 6 strait years and anually get throttled by atleast 20 points. If a garbage team like that can make it to the postseason so can the Vikes!!!

  71. bert1913 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:21 PM

    Skolololololololololol

  72. icebowler says: Jul 9, 2014 4:21 PM

    I heard the Viking DB’s are petitioning to wear soccer goalkeeper gloves this year.

  73. sweetnlow44 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:23 PM

    So overrated. This joke of a team should be sent to the CFL. Unfortunately, they’ll still have a losing record there too.

  74. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Jul 9, 2014 4:24 PM

    If Peterson can rush for 3200 yards and 22 TD’s they have a chance at finishing above .500. If not, they will be just as bad as last year if not worse. SKOLOLOL!

  75. Paul M. says: Jul 9, 2014 4:24 PM

    Some teams set out to win and they win and win and win. Some teams set out to rebuild and they rebuild and rebuild and rebuild. The winners never rebuild and the re-builders never win.

  76. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jul 9, 2014 4:24 PM

    Over the last 8 games last year, the Vikings had the best record in the NFC North. There isn’t a single position where they haven’t significantly upgraded from last year. Not sure how they’ve gotten worse.

  77. fartweasel says: Jul 9, 2014 4:28 PM

    Rankings are for the ignorant. I don’t care if the vikes were ranked first. As a fan, it doesn’t mean anything until they play it out.

    The NFC north is up for grabs as all teams have strengths and weaknesses. Green Bay has a QB and WR’s, no defense. Detroit has a great, but inconsistent pass rush, QB and Calvin. Chicago has two brilliant WR’s and a crazy QB. MN has a great RB, questionable QB’s and a great new defensive coach.

    Saying anyone is better than the others at this point in the year is just peeing in the breeze.

    Let’s see how it ends up in December.

  78. firerogergoodell says: Jul 9, 2014 4:28 PM

    Lower than the Browns?

    Offensive line a WEAKNESS? (“Dropped to 4.9 rushing yards per carry last season… lol seriously?)

    Your rankings are a joke.

  79. electricboogalo says: Jul 9, 2014 4:28 PM

    As a Packer fan this makes me laugh. As a football fan, I just feel sorry for Adrian Peterson.

  80. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jul 9, 2014 4:28 PM

    The only meaningful weakness listed is quarterback, which is the laziest reason in the world for dismissing the Vikings. Instead of saying “despite their talent, the Vikings are garbage until they get a quarterback,” why don’t you look at the quarterback situation? They went 10-6 two years ago with Christian freaking Ponder at quarterback. Now they have Cassel and Bridgewater, and you know that either of them gives them a better starter than most of last year. Just lazy.

  81. largent80100 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:29 PM

    About right.

    But they can make a leap with Bridgewater and Barr must establish himself to be more than just a pass rusher since linebackers are their main weakness (secondary is not that good but Captain Munnerlyn and Rhodes can improve it).

  82. vikinganswer says: Jul 9, 2014 4:29 PM

    Thank God we normal Viking fans arent as clueless as POET.

    But with this coaching staff, we WILL be BETTER. No idea how much. Could be dramatically or 500.

    AP must stay healthy. A running team cant lose its runner.

  83. contra74 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:30 PM

    The Mall of America has the world’s largest indoor roller coaster. And the team that will take a two-year break from playing indoors has been riding the thing over the past few years.

    Worst lead in to a story ever!

    EVER!

  84. notan9ner says: Jul 9, 2014 4:36 PM

    i only read vikings posts to see what hilarious stuff the PFT poet has to say.

    god i love this site

  85. tommiepickles says: Jul 9, 2014 4:37 PM

    imbetteratlifethanyou says:

    Way to high for this pathetic franchise. They have NEVER won anything significant.

    #nosuperbowls
    #theclevelandbrownsofthenfc

    So by the criteria of this post u were cheering for a “pathetic franchise” in the seattle seahawks before winning their first sb Iin 2014… or were u not on the bandwagon yet??? Notice how its “2014 power rankings” and not “ranking franchises based on their history”.

  86. lnfinite says: Jul 9, 2014 4:37 PM

    Couple years ago Vikes were 3-13 and next year went 10-6. 10-6 this year wins the division so thanks to idiotic pre season predictions, the purple have nothing to lose…..

  87. tokyosandblaster says: Jul 9, 2014 4:40 PM

    Let’s not forget:

    The Vikings couldn’t beat the Packers without Aaron Rodgers.

  88. saints25 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:43 PM

    #26 has to be the Falcons….

  89. cottonjoe says: Jul 9, 2014 4:46 PM

    thepftpoet also believes in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Big Foot, and the Loch Ness Monster.

  90. emperorzero says: Jul 9, 2014 4:48 PM

    The team that still couldn’t beat the Packers who had a laundry list of injuries and playing their fourth or fifth quarterback of the year.

    Everyone in the Central and West are better than them, and only the Redskins come close to being as bad (and that’s assuming RG3 doesn’t bounce back – but I think he will). This is the worst team in the NFC.

  91. bridgeh20mvp says: Jul 9, 2014 4:48 PM

    I am realist with my Vikings squad. Too many times have I been disappointed… That being said, there is no doubt in my mind Teddy B Will lead us to a SuperBowl victory! This team from coaching to playmakers is 1-2 years away from great things!!! Super excited for the future!!

  92. jmoe1130 says: Jul 9, 2014 4:55 PM

    GO Pack GO! NO SKOL NO!

  93. natelan says: Jul 9, 2014 4:55 PM

    PFT is feeling charitable. I have the Vikings at 31, one notch above the Raiders.

  94. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 9, 2014 4:58 PM

    if the Vikings were in the AFC they would contend for the playoffs
    :)

  95. thefiesty1 says: Jul 9, 2014 5:01 PM

    Just qhere is Cleveland in these so-called “power” rankings? What a joke!

  96. packerfansarefatdrunkandstupid says: Jul 9, 2014 5:03 PM

    The Packers (whose fans ignorantly think are far superior to the Vikings) are one hit on Rodgers away from the cellar. One hit…..

  97. pftvikingsapologist says: Jul 9, 2014 5:04 PM

    27 is a little high. The curse of steve hutchinson continues . . .

  98. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 9, 2014 5:12 PM

    still laughing at AFC…. think Jets are worse than Vikings but how many AFC can you list until you put an NFC team there… and Jets get some wins by playing in their division and conf which makes them appear better

  99. kylexitron says: Jul 9, 2014 5:18 PM

    probably too low for the Seahawks Practice Squad.

  100. vikesfansteve says: Jul 9, 2014 5:18 PM

    Considering that they have a whole new offense and a brand new defense it’s hard to rank the Vikings. Yeah they lost 5 games on the last drive so who knows what the record could have been last year minus the atrocious pass coverage, which frankly has been terrible for years. The cover 2 relies on a good secondary which the Vikings don’t have but they are building one with new talent. The offense hasn’t been the problem but the D not being able to stop any passing game at all has been. Zimmer will make the Vikings D so much better and Turner is a very good O coordinator. The sky is the limit. Either way this season turns out the future looks good and if the players meet and exceed expectations it may very well happen this year ala KC. It’s exciting.

  101. squackduckhawk says: Jul 9, 2014 5:21 PM

    I just wanted to point out that the NFC North isnt the toughest division in football by anyone’s standards.

  102. joeybrownersgoonakickyourarse says: Jul 9, 2014 5:21 PM

    The best and only winning record in the NFC North during the second half of last season belongs to the Vikings at 4-3-1. And that was with some outdated and injury riddled defense and a post card from Mom offense. Sure, the other teams have their excuses:

    Rodgers was hurt…but he may be again with how stubbornly they seem to ignore his OL…and younger WR depth could haunt them too.

    The Bears defense was young and yet injured and off field again too…even though the offense rolled without Cutler. But has that side of the ball really been fixed?

    The Lions, well, I don’t know what their excuse is…that they’re the Lions!? Seriously though, they have a chance to win the North if they stay healthy and focused, but they’re still the Lions even if they do have the most playmakers on offense.

    Depending on how the injuries stack up and shake out, I think all 4 of the NFCN teams have a legit shot at winning the division this year!

  103. rugermini14 says: Jul 9, 2014 5:41 PM

    Biggest problem with 27th? You’re going to rate teams higher, that have less.

  104. dethsupport says: Jul 9, 2014 5:49 PM

    Let’s not forget:

    The Packers couldn’t sweep the series with the Vikings’ last year touting Sister Christian and/or Cassel and/or Freeman.

  105. jimmysee says: Jul 9, 2014 5:50 PM

    Wait! They must mean #27 up from the bottom, right? Like 26 teams under them?!

    :-)

  106. nickynick04 says: Jul 9, 2014 5:53 PM

    And the Vikings are the worse team in the NFC FACT

  107. jimmysee says: Jul 9, 2014 5:54 PM

    Vikings team song: “Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me.”

  108. logicalvoicescowboybrother says: Jul 9, 2014 5:57 PM

    The BC Lions in the CFL are better than the Vikings !

  109. mdd913 says: Jul 9, 2014 5:59 PM

    Too high. I had them at #42, behind the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Indiana Firebirds, Wichita Wild of the Champions Indoor Professional League and my nephew’s intramural squad at IUPUI.

  110. vikingspride says: Jul 9, 2014 6:55 PM

    I disagree with the starters at CB. I believe it will be Rhoades and Robinson starting and Munnerlyn in the slot. Robinson is more natural on the outside, he played out of position last year and got burned multiple times. Munnerlyn is a natural slot CB.

  111. Frazier28/7 says: Jul 9, 2014 6:55 PM

    Objects in your mirror, are closer then they appear…

  112. gbp4ever says: Jul 9, 2014 7:09 PM

    The Vikings will be lucky to get 1 win in the division this year. While they may have some talent it’s way young and inexperienced and will need another 2-3 seasons before they contend for anything. This is a 5-11 or 6-10 team any way you cut it.

  113. bobnelsonjr says: Jul 9, 2014 9:01 PM

    Half the AFC East and half of the AFC South are ranked worse than the vikings.

    5/16th of the AFC is ranked worse than the vikings.

    That’s how competitive is the AFC, in PFT’s opinion.

  114. taintedsaints2009 says: Jul 9, 2014 9:14 PM

    As a Vikings fan I think this is generous. They could easily have a top three pick next year. They are going to shuffle quarterbacks again and it only leads to disaster.

    Also, Adrian Peterson just turned 29. You imply he is turning 30 very soon. He won’t be 30 until next season starts.

  115. dcviking says: Jul 9, 2014 9:27 PM

    Tried to put it a way you’d understand…

  116. purpleppleeaters says: Jul 9, 2014 10:07 PM

    And with that, the last shred of integrity, this exercise had, goes right out the window.

  117. andrew341555 says: Jul 9, 2014 10:21 PM

    Vikes are sleeping there way to the Super Bowl. Packers will be the only team in the North to challenges us. The bears lions suck and our defenses is for real with Zimmerman in town. TN will call a really offense. Winning starts with good coaching and we finally have stud coaches in the right areas to get the stars the ball down field. The hell with the people that think 27 is to high…this team will play more talk less and oh yeah.. AP opens this offense up for teams to choose giving up either 500 rushing or 500 receiving yards. NT will pick apart defense and Zimmer picks apart offenses. Purple will surprise the world with Super Bowl appearance. To doubt haters

  118. drewzducks says: Jul 9, 2014 10:31 PM

    I didn’t realize that there were only 26 teams in the NFL.

  119. nflgiant says: Jul 9, 2014 10:42 PM

    7-9 at best…….4-12 at worst……….

  120. jollyjoker2 says: Jul 9, 2014 10:43 PM

    Like any team – just need a qb to finish games and your 9-7 -at least -otherewise, 5-11.

  121. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 9, 2014 10:58 PM

    Finally an NFC team breaks through.. was thinking the AFC owned these worst team polls

  122. flexx91 says: Jul 9, 2014 11:39 PM

    Ok, I’ll give them #37 – behind the top four SEC teams and Florida State.

  123. jazz11001 says: Jul 10, 2014 12:13 AM

    Just a quick statement …. Everyone complains about the Vikings QBs. Yet each NFC north team is one concussion away from repeating what the Packers did last year when Rodgers was out.

    1. After Rodgers – Flynn HA!
    2. After Cutler – Clausen or Jordan Palmer – HA HA!
    3.After Stafford – Orlovsky HA HA HA!

    Game on boys… SKOL!!!!

  124. tokyosandblaster says: Jul 10, 2014 12:14 AM

    Again with the “if so and so gets hurt they’ll be in the cellar” comments.

    All good teams are one injury away from being in the cellar, except the vikings, who are already there–without the injuries.

  125. knew8411 says: Jul 10, 2014 1:11 AM

    I am a Vikings fan, and while I know they arent a #1 in the preseason power rankings. I do not think they are as bad as the pundants are saying.
    The thing that kills me about these power rankings, and practically every pundants pre season prognostication is that it looks to me like they look at last years won loss record, and just start plugging in from there. There is no dark horse….no looking at what teams have done in the off season, no judging by new coaching hires, or personel changes.
    As a Vikings fan I can tell you I’d rather have Norv Turner as an offensive coordinator, than almost anyone else in the league. That alone should be worth a spot or 2 on the pre season list.
    I just think these people who do thes pre season “guessing games” need to be just a bit more original. Thanks & God Bless

  126. sonofad says: Jul 10, 2014 6:35 AM

    The MN Vikings.

    One step forward and two steps back.

    Except without the one step forward.

  127. purpleman527 says: Jul 10, 2014 6:41 AM

    The Vikings just have too many unknowns with a new coaching staff, a temporary outdoor venue and an unproven quarterback. Those ingredients just don’t add up to a winning season on paper. (Although, it’s far better than Leslie Frazier and company.)

    But usually, every year there’s a worst to first team. And nobody can reliably predict which team it will be. That’s why they play the games !

  128. whatjusthapped says: Jul 10, 2014 7:47 AM

    #27 hardly jibes with the various predictions of a Viking Superbowl, and future hall of famers being bestowed upon rookies who have yet to play a down.

    Could it be that the Viking fan base is delusional?

  129. grapeape67 says: Jul 10, 2014 8:46 AM

    Vikings will rule the NFC North once again and the era of the Packers at the bottom of the NFC… the whole NFC will be upon us again.
    Lets not forget back in the days when the Packers had Lynn Dickey and Don Magic Makowski and the Packers were worse then the Lions.

    Lets face it…. Packer fans have to live in wisconsin… what else is there to do??? not much but cheer on the Meat Packing team LMAO

  130. nuttyj says: Jul 10, 2014 9:15 AM

    The Vikings could end up as the surprise of the year. Coaching will be 100 times better this year, defense greatly improved and passing game will be far better. All this for a team that lost 4-5 games in the last minute last year that put them like 2 minutes of game time away from 9-7 and in the play offs as division champs, so this team is not nearly as bad as folks think. So it all depends on how things fall and healthy players (which was also an issue on the line last year). So could be 6-10 but would not shock me to see 10-11 wins and playoffs with the talent on the team so vastly improved and a major upgrade in coaching.

  131. gashmr says: Jul 10, 2014 10:10 AM

    I can only come up with 31 reasons the Vikings won’t win the Superbowl this year.

  132. youallrfools says: Jul 10, 2014 10:38 AM

    Overnight and the 7th most commented article. The Vikings must be doing something right.

  133. eyeguy89 says: Jul 10, 2014 1:53 PM

    Essentially, these preseason rankings reflect last ssasons’ records. And the Vikes’ rankings, probably, will not change much after the first first five games. Chances are we will do no better than 2-3. Hopefully not 1-4. Schedule makers must hate us. But, if they can start 2-3, their ranking should go up quickly. I can easily see the purple being 6-4 after 10 games. A 1-4 start will begin to cause concern, and fans (coaches too?) will want to see Teddy. He will have a learning curve and those low rankings will stick to the team all year like a fly on a turd. And for all you trolls out there, thanks for hating and bringing more attention to one of the top franchises in the NFL in the Vikes’. It just proves you’re worried/envy this team. And to kcfan….Vikes have been bad every since SB IV? Really? Check the records. Have a clue b4 you spew ignorance. Makes the KC fan base look stupid.

  134. atthemurph says: Jul 10, 2014 4:01 PM

    Look at who the Vikings have to play this season. They could easily start out 0-6 and end up 4-12 or worse.
    @ StL
    NE
    @NO
    ATL
    @GB
    DET
    @Buf
    @TB
    Wash
    @Chi
    GB
    Car
    NYJ
    @Det
    @Mia
    Chi

    Hell, they could end up challenging the 0-16 record. Hello Jameis Winston the next in a long line of QB busts for MN.

  135. rho1953 says: Jul 10, 2014 8:47 PM

    Fourth place in the division unless one of the others has bad injury issues.

  136. lerchiam says: Jul 10, 2014 11:01 PM

    The annual post-training camp Vikings NFC North Draft isn’t too far away. They’ll probably to get some good Packers/Bears/Lions cast-off players to complete a starting roster.

  137. banky74 says: Jul 10, 2014 11:23 PM

    A lot of changes on this roster and an entirely new coaching staff that plays a radically different style of football on both sides of the ball.

    They’re going to lose some games this year that they shouldn’t.

    But I also see a team that has drafted very well the last couple of years and they’re stockpiling talent that’s strong, fast and athletic.

    They’re going to win some games they shouldn’t this year because of it.

    Very difficult to predict the final record for this team at the end of the season, but this franchise is headed in the right direction and if Bridgewater pans out into a good QB, this could be a scary good team in two years.

  138. tomebs says: Jul 11, 2014 12:51 AM

    packerfansarefatdrunkandstupid says:
    Jul 9, 2014 5:03 PM
    The Packers (whose fans ignorantly think are far superior to the Vikings) are one hit on Rodgers away from the cellar. One hit…..

    Speaking of being stupid, that happened last year and we still won the division!!!!!!! This only goes to show how pathetic all the other teams in the NFC Norse division truly are. With excessive injuries, I’m still shocked we win as many games as we do. What I’d like to see is the Packers having a healthy season. Last time, we won it all!!!!

  139. sonofad says: Jul 11, 2014 10:50 AM

    The last place MN Vikings.

    It’s an annual tradition.

  140. deweyaxewound says: Jul 11, 2014 2:43 PM

    The adversity caused by the Vikes having to play in a different venue this season should NOT be underestimated – it massively disrupts the routine and comfort level of the players, and just generally makes everything displaced and unsettled. Add in a new coach/system, and the loss of long-time veteran leaders like Allen, and this team’s in for a rough year.

    In 2001 the Bears went 13-3 – but the following season, when they had to play in Champaign, IL while Soldier Field was being renovated, they went 4-12.

    Plus with 2 potential stout contenders in Bears and Pack more squared away in terms of talent and continuity standing squarely in front of them, I fully expect Vikes to have a similar kind of rocky (2-6 win) season.

  141. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 11, 2014 4:22 PM

    dethsupport says:
    Jul 9, 2014 3:49 PM

    The pftpoet is an undercover packer fan. I’ll put my 401k balance on that.
    _______________________

    I’ve said for several years the logicalvoicesays is a Cowboys fan trying to get everyone to hate that team in Washington.

  142. rho1953 says: Jul 11, 2014 8:44 PM

    Northland,wi, it actually is a league rule that Vikings players cannot be within 25 feet of the Lombardi Trophy.

  143. golforepar says: Jul 12, 2014 7:50 AM

    With “Baby hands” Bridgewater the Vikings will rally for 29th spot but 27 is a little high but it is close!

  144. halvo317 says: Jul 12, 2014 6:30 PM

    Edmonton has the world’s largest indoor roller coaster, but go ahead and pretend like you have legitimacy when you can’t even get basic facts right.

  145. youpeopleareallthesame says: Jul 13, 2014 3:00 AM

    Why does anyone hate the Vikings? As a Cincy (and Ohio fan) I root for the Browns. To be hated, you have to be at least semi decent.

  146. coleman121280 says: Jul 14, 2014 4:56 AM

    The truth I have seen this domination in the Nfc North coming for quite some time now and it is unstoppable. It would be wise for which ever county in Green Bay, Wisconsin to invest public funds in grief counselors b/c the Dynasty will crush all hopes of living for in state inhabitants. Skol…

  147. coleman121280 says: Jul 14, 2014 5:01 AM

    BTW, when we win the Super Bowl and the city has an agreement with the Wilf family to half the bill on a retractable roof we will be able to dominate the rest of this decade outside if the weather permits AD to cut better….chaaaa

  148. ajzinnecker says: Jul 14, 2014 2:09 PM

    People are so dumb to say that Bridgewater is bad just because he has small hands. Why does that matter? he hasn’t even taken a snap yet. Why judge already? Many large handed QB’s become failures to.

  149. nickynick04 says: Jul 15, 2014 3:59 PM

    This is spot on. The Vikings are the worse team in the NFC… The only thing missing is that they are in no way even remotely ready to win 6 games.
    This is a pathetic franchise. NO QB A washed up old BABY MAKING DEADBEAT DAD AT RB A very very BAD OL…..A a real weak defense

  150. gbpshareholder says: Jul 15, 2014 6:28 PM

    I still find it hard to believe that there are 5 teams that are worse than this bunch of Purple wearing players… I always go back to that joke… Why are the Vikings purple? you would be purple too if you had been choking all these years!!!
    GO PACK GO!!!

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