Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 28 Minnesota Vikings
By Ben Goessling
A weekly examination of the Vikings' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 17 | Last Week: 28 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Vikings stayed put in this week's rankings, as the bottom of the NFL continued to churn. Three of the teams that had two wins heading into last week -- the Vikings, Falcons and Jaguars -- all won on Sunday, and the Houston Texans are now the only team in the league without at least three wins. That means the bottom of the Power Rankings -- and the top of the NFL draft board -- will likely continue to change between now and the end of the season.
Current Vikings players, as well as coach Leslie Frazier, have little reason to be concerned about next year's draft pick when their jobs are on the line, though, and right now, the Vikings are quietly playing some of their best football this season. They're 2-1-1 in their last four games, and could have pushed that mark to 3-1 had they been able to hang on to a late lead at Lambeau Field. They rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Bears on Sunday, in a game in which both teams were making plenty of mistakes, and the victory served as a reminder that if not for the Vikings' last-minute collapses in a number of games this season, they could be at or near the top of a mediocre NFC North division.
As they head to Baltimore this week, they'll have to conquer their road struggles to get another win. The Vikings haven't won away from the Metrodome this season, and were just 3-5 on the road last year. What's more, they've been abysmal in cold weather; they have a 1-6-1 record when the temperature is 40 or below since 2006, and the game-time temperature is expected to be 40 degrees on Sunday. As the Vikings prepare to move outside for the next two years, a pair of cold-weather road games in Baltimore and Cincinnati this month could be a good test.