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2012 NFL Power Rankings: Peterson, Vikings middle of pack on verge of playoffs

The Minnesota Vikings could still make the playoffs if things go well for them the rest of the way. Most making power rankings raised them slightly after a win over the Chicago Bears.

USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings find themselves around the halfway mark in most power rankings after pushing themselves above .500 with a win over the Chicago Bears.

The Vikings snapped a two-game losing streak and avenged a loss just two weeks earlier by picking off Jay Cutler twice, taking one to the house, and letting Adrian Peterson do the rest. Christian Ponder only had 91 yards passing, but that's all they needed with Peterson cruising on the ground for over 150 yards. As Joel Thorman highlighted while ranking the team No. 14 in his Week 15 NFL Power Rankings, Peterson is to thank for whatever success the team has this year:

Everyone keeps talking about what Adrian Peterson needs to hit 2,000 yards (134 yards per game). What about what he needs to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record? 169 yards per game.

The playoffs are still a possibility for Minnesota: they're a game behind the Bears, who hold a Wild Card spot, and two games behind the Green Bay Packers, who lead the division with three games to go. As such, most rankers put the squad in the middle of the pack: ESPN puts them right above the halfway mark at No. 16, NFL.com and CBS have them right below it at No. 17.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.