A weekly examination of the Vikings' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 17 | Last Week: 25 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Vikings finish the year seven spots below where they started after winning five fewer games than they did in 2012. There wasn't much optimism among many predictors, including our voters, that the Vikings would repeat their 10-6 season of 2012. When the Vikings slipped because of a tougher schedule, more injuries, a leaky secondary and uncertainty at quarterback, coach Leslie Frazier took the fall for it; the Vikings fired him Monday.
Minnesota will have the No. 8 pick in the 2014 draft and could use it to sort out its mess at quarterback. General manager Rick Spielman accepted blame for the state of the position Monday, and the fate of Christian Ponder -- the Vikings' top pick in 2011 -- seems in doubt after another disappointing season. The Vikings also have more than a dozen unrestricted free agents this offseason, so while Spielman will have plenty of freedom to mold the organization, he'll also have plenty of pressure to make the right calls at coach, quarterback and every level of the Vikings' defense.