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NFL power rankings, Week 16: Vikings in top half of league with playoffs in sight

The Minnesota Vikings are ranked in the top half of the NFL with the playoffs in sight.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are 8-6 and well within reach of the NFL playoffs. They need a little help, but they hold a couple key tiebreakers and could make it as the No. 6 seed within the NFC. With a few other teams sitting at 8-6, they could still miss the playoffs, but they've come much farther than many thought they could in 2012.

Joel Thorman of SB Nation didn't move the Vikings up in his Week 16 power rankings though, electing to keep them at No. 14, below all but one of the 8-6 teams (the Chicago Bears, a team that the Vikings hold a tiebreak over).

14. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 14, 8-6): The Adrian Peterson watch is on. He's at 1,812 yards, 188 yards shy of 2,000. He's also 293 yards away from Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards. Dickerson had 313 yards in his final two weeks so AP is ahead of his pace.

Obviously the Vikings aren't focusing on Peterson's record, as the playoffs are more important. But if the Vikings are to succeed, Peterson will have to be the one who makes the offense roll. Getting the record will likely tie right in with the Vikings winning out and making the playoffs, so nobody is rooting harder for Peterson than his teammates and coaches.

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