Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 28 Minnesota Vikings
By Ben Goessling
A weekly examination of the Vikings' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 17 | Last Week: 31 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Vikings moved up three spots this week in ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings, after they left Lambeau Field on Sunday with something other than a loss for the first time since 2009. The Vikings blew a 23-7 lead in the fourth quarter and fell behind the Green Bay Packers in overtime, but came back to force a tie on Blair Walsh's field goal. Their last tie had come in the same stadium, almost 35 years ago to the day; the Vikings tied the Packers 10-10 on Nov. 26, 1978.
With five games left, three of them at home, the Vikings are hoping to scrape together a couple of wins. They won't face Jay Cutler this Sunday against the Chicago Bears, but backup Josh McCown has been playing well, and the other four teams the Vikings will face the rest of the way (Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Detroit) are all fighting for a playoff spot. That might be good news for Vikings fans rooting for a higher draft pick; Minnesota currently would pick fourth in the draft next spring, but two of the teams in front of the Vikings (Jacksonville and Houston) still play each other.
Don't expect a higher draft pick to be the goal of any Leslie Frazier-coached team, though. The Vikings coach still seems to have his players working hard, and has talked extensively about his only goal being to win as many games as possible. And with his future in jeopardy, Frazier's best play is probably to keep the team together and try to finish on a positive note. It's certainly not to secure a higher draft pick for his potential successor. The Vikings also have won just once in front of their home fans at the Metrodome this season, so you can expect they'll try to close the building down on a positive note, particularly in their two remaining division games.