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Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 31 Minnesota Vikings

By Ben Goessling

A weekly examination of the Vikings' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 17 | Last Week: 30 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Vikings have only one spot further to fall in ESPN.com's Power Rankings, after they got thumped on the road against the Seattle Seahawks over the weekend and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their second win of the season to move up the rankings. The Vikings are now tied for the worst record in the NFC, and if the season ended today, they'd hold the second pick in the draft behind the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Once again, the Vikings will have to make a quarterback decision before Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, after Christian Ponder threw interceptions on back-to-back drives in the 41-20 loss to Seattle. Josh Freeman could get his chance to start against the reeling Packers, or the Vikings could use Matt Cassel. They might even trot Ponder back out there -- coach Leslie Frazier hasn't ruled that possibility out yet. Whatever they do, there's not much on the line for the Vikings other than trying to sort out their QB situation and solve some of their many questions before the end of the 2013 season.

If you're the type who's into draft-pick positioning, the good news is the Vikings might have a tough time winning many games the rest of the season. They play only one team with a losing record the rest of the season, and that's a Dec. 8 road matchup against the 4-6 Ravens (who also happen to be the defending Super Bowl champions and are still in the AFC wild-card hunt). In fact, Sunday's game against Green Bay might be the Vikings' best chance at a win; they'll avoid familiar nemesis Aaron Rodgers and will face a Packers team that's lost three in a row, including two at home. The Vikings have won once at Lambeau Field since 2005, but Sunday might give them a chance to score a road win with Scott Tolzien, and not Rodgers, at quarterback.