NFL power rankings: Vikings climb into top 5 as big game looms


After five straight victories the Minnesota Vikings are climbing to the top of most of the NFL power rankings.

While Vikings coach Mike Zimmer may not be too concerned about how others view his squad, it seems more of the "NFL experts" who rank teams are starting to come around.

The Vikings jumped three spots into the top five on ESPN's NFL power rankings.

"The Vikings have won five straight games since their bye, the franchise's first five-game winning streak since 2009. The Vikings went 12-4 and lost in the conference championship game that season."

Adrian Peterson's 203-yard game in Minnesota's 30-14 victory over Oakland got the attention as FOX Sports bumped the Vikings up two spots to fourth. Minnesota is averaging 147.2 yards rushing per game – more than any other team this season.

SB Nation tends to agree, as they have also bumped the Vikings up to No. 4 this week.

"The Vikings are close behind, though, after blowing out the Raiders this week, and with Adrian Peterson looking like he's still in his prime, they've got an identity to win with."

Some on the national scene have been slow to buy in on the Vikings, despite their 7-2 record. ESPN's Ben Goessling says the charge that Minnesota hasn't beaten one of the league's best teams is true. Their strength of victory is just .349. But Goessling notes that none of the other playoff contenders in either conference is doing much better.

"We were the worst 6-2 team there was a week ago," Zimmer told reporters Monday. "What was the terms they were saying? We were the least impressive 6-2 team? I can't worry about what other people think. I just worry about how my players play and the effort that they give, and if we're not impressive and we keep winning, more power to us."

If the Vikings can beat the Packers Sunday and extend their winning streak to six, they could climb a little higher again next week.

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