NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Gain Ground After Upsetting 49ers

NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Gain Ground After Upsetting 49ers

O’Connell: There Were A Lot of Elite Performances Tonight

What do Jordan Addison, Justin Jefferson and Hall of Famer Randy Moss have in common?

Aside from the obvious answer of them being wide receivers who have suited up for the Vikings in their careers, the trio were all drafted by Minnesota in the first round – between picks 21-23. Not just that, but all three receivers had dazzling Monday Night Football debuts their rookie seasons.

Moss recorded five catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-24 victory at Green Bay in 1998. In 2020, Jefferson hauled in eight receptions for 135 yards in a 19-13 win at Chicago. On Monday against San Francisco, it was Addison’s turn.

The speedy receiver joined Moss and Jefferson as the only Vikings rookies to have 100 or more receiving yards on MNF. Addison finished the night with a career-high 123 yards on seven catches and a pair of touchdowns, both in the first half.

The latter score came on a play that rivaled the Minneapolis Miracle, as Addison ripped the ball away from 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward and ran untouched for a 60-yard touchdown in the final seconds of the half.

The Vikings went on to stun the 49ers 22-17 and earn their first home victory in 2023. Minnesota also avoided going 0-4 at home to start the season for the first time in franchise history.

Addison’s two-score night gives him six touchdowns in just seven games, trailing only Miami’s Tyreek Hill (seven) for the league lead. In the process, Addison tied Moss for the most receiving touchdowns by a rookie receiver in the first seven games of a season in franchise history.

It wasn’t just Addison who propelled the Vikings to their third win in the past four games. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was near perfect, his offensive line was even better, and safety Camryn Bynum sealed the victory on defense with two fourth-quarter interceptions.

Minnesota’s upset gave the team a big boost in this week’s Power Rankings, with the highest jump being 10 spots. Here’s a look at where the Vikings rank heading into Week 8:
The wild goal-line sequence in the third quarter that ended in a Minnesota field goal made me think the Vikings were going to blow the game. That decision felt flawed at the time, and the 49ers came right back and scored. But I give [Head Coach] Kevin O’Connell credit for his game plan on the whole (which limited possessions) and his trust in the defense (which made big stops in crunch time). KOC also called a terrific game for Kirk Cousins. To his own credit, Cousins made a ton of terrific throws under fire, enjoying one of his best outings in recent memory. Jordan Addison missed a chunk of the game to injury, but the rookie wideout was absolutely tremendous, especially after losing that early pass on the interception. We’re not quite back in 2022 mode, but this team is suddenly dangerous again.

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