NFL Power Rankings, Season Predictions: Roundup of Where Vikings Stand

How highly does the national media think of the Vikings heading into 2019?

The Minnesota Vikings are heading into a huge season. After falling short of lofty expectations a year ago, Mike Zimmer and Co. are looking to bounce back and return to the playoffs before their contending window closes with this current core group of players.

Given the contrast between a massively disappointing 2018 season and the still-very-recent dominance the Vikings showed in 2017, external expectations for this year's Vikes are pretty wide-ranging. Here's a rundown of how the national experts see the season playing out for Minnesota.

Sports Illustrated MMQB

Power Ranking: 14

Season Prediction: Among 13-member staff, five think Vikings will win NFC North, three think they'll make a wild card spot, five think they'll miss playoffs

NFL.com

Power Ranking: 12

Season Prediction: NFC North champs

Washington Post

Power Ranking: 10

Season Prediction: NFC North champs

NBC Sports PFT

Power Ranking: 16

Season Prediction: Of six writers, two think Vikings win division, three say wild card, and one says no playoffs

Sporting News

Power Ranking: 12

Season Prediction: No playoffs

ESPN

Power Ranking: 12

Season Prediction: No playoffs

CBS Sports

Power Ranking: 14

Season Prediction: Super Bowl Champs, says Will Brinson. Keep in mind that he probably wasn't in charge of the power rankings.

Bleacher Report

Power Ranking: 16

Season Prediction: No playoffs

The Ringer

Power Ranking: 12

Season Prediction: Three of six writers say Vikings win division, other three say no playoffs

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As you can see, the consensus is that the Vikings are a slightly above-average NFL team. Four of the nine outlets above have them slotted in the No. 12 spot in their power rankings, which is right on the edge of the playoffs.

Some expect a bounce-back year from this talented team, with the rationale often being that the additions of Gary Kubiak and Garrett Bradbury will help the offense make big strides. Brinson picked the Vikings to win the Super Bowl behind a huge year from Dalvin Cook, and Benjamin Allbright has the Vikings falling short to Kansas City in February.

On the other side of things, there are plenty of experts who simply don't think Kirk Cousins has what it takes to lead this team to the playoffs in a division where the Bears and Packers boast outstanding defenses. Some also expect a continued decline from the Vikings' aging defense.

Predictions are just predictions, of course. On Sunday, we'll begin to find out who's right.

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