The Minnesota Vikings have been one of the more surprising teams in the NFL through four weeks of play. They're 3-1, with their lone loss coming late to the Indianapolis Colts, but have since gone on to beat teams like the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions, two of the best teams in the league. Not only did they beat San Francisco, they beat them pretty handily, so following that game up with a win over an NFC North rival has them doing well in the Week 5 power rankings.
SB Nation's Joel Thorman will get us started as usual, and he has the Vikings moving up eight spots:
11. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 19, 3-1): They started the season near the bottom in our initial power rankings a month ago. Oops. They're an Andrew Luck game-winning drive away from being undefeated. Imagine that.
That said, SB Nation has the Vikings about as high as any of the major rankings. ESPN pushed Minnesota up seven spots following their win over the Lions, though they had them back at No. 21 in Week 4, so they're only at No. 14. CBS Sports has the Vikings at No. 13 in their listing, citing their strong defense. That's an increase of five spots on CBS Sports' rankings.
Brian Billick of FOX Sports also had the Vikings at No. 14 in his rankings, up four spots from last week:
The Vikings didn't look as sharp offensively as they had the previous three weeks, but it takes all three phases to win a football game. When the offense is slacking, someone else needs to step up and make a play, and that is exactly what the special teams units did for the Vikings on Sunday.
Minnesota has enjoyed relatively strong play from all three sides of the ball this season. The defense was thought to be declining, but they've picked it up in recent weeks, while the offense looks totally rejuvenated. They'll need to string together a few more strong performances before folks really take a second-year quarterback like Christian Ponder seriously, but for now, the Vikings are one of the hot teams in the NFL.