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NFL Power Rankings: Thanksgiving Provides Chance for Vikings to Bounce Back

The Vikings (8-2) seven-game win streak came to an end after a 40-3 loss to the Cowboys.

Minnesota will look to respond quickly when it hosts New England (6-4) on Thanksgiving night.

Here's a look at where the Vikings rank heading into Week 12:

No. 9 (down 6 spots): Dan Hanzus –

An afternoon that began with deafening "Skol!" chants and sky-high confidence ended with a half-empty stadium and a 40-3 defeat that makes you wonder how good these Vikings really are despite their stellar win-loss record. There was no one culprit in the stunning blowout to the Cowboys: Kirk Cousins was under constant duress, Justin Jefferson was largely neutralized, and the defense had no answers for Dallas' passing or run game. "This league has a way of humbling any football team at any point in time if you don't play good football," Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell said after the carnage. Yep, a Bury The Ball game if ever there was one.

No. 5 (down 2 spots): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report

Life comes at you fast in the NFL. Just ask the Minnesota Vikings.

Just one week ago, the Vikings were riding high. The team had won its seventh straight game by shocking the Bills in Buffalo. Minnesota looked like one of the NFC's best teams. Maybe the best.

Then the Dallas Cowboys came to town and dropped a forty-burger. Minnesota was blasted in every way a team can be. The loss was the worst home setback for the team in almost six decades and the second-worst home loss in franchise history.

The loss left Minnesota with a negative point differential, a rarity for an 8-2 team. It also drastically shifted the narrative around the team, from that of Super Bowl contender to talk that it isn't as good as its record. Head Coach Kevin O'Connell acknowledged that the conversation may have changed — but said that didn't matter to him.

"I don't think we can get concerned with those things," O'Connell said. "I just know each and every week in this league is another opportunity to really prove who you are. As a football team, I don't think we did that [Sunday]. I don't think we gave ourselves a chance to compete. We've got a lot of things in a short week to try to get right."

At least the Vikings won't have to wait long to attempt to quiet the doubters. Minnesota will host the 6-4 New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night.

No. 6 (down 3 spots): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News

What was that? The Vikings defensive issues finally caught up to them against a well-oiled Dallas attack and they couldn't run or pass their way out of it with another improbable comeback. Their march toward an easy NFC North title will need to be put on hold a little ahead of facing the Patriots at home.

No. 7 (down 4 spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

The bubble burst in a big way against the Cowboys. They better hope that's an aberration, rather than closer to the norm.

No. 10 (down 9 spots): Conor Orr – Sports Illustrated

While this may seem like a punishment for the Vikings, whom I had in the No. 1 spot a week ago, I think there was always going to be some regression here. I understand the frustration from fans who felt that perhaps they didn't get their earned respect until late in the season — and that it's already getting taken away — but the loss to the Cowboys exposed some of Minnesota's more fatal flaws. This team isn't tackling well, didn't run the ball especially well and, in situations where Justin Jefferson can't get a steady diet of targets, its system can be hampered.

No. 8 (down 7 spots): Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk

When the bubble bursts, it takes out an entire city block.

No. 8 (down 6 spots): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports

Are they the worst 8-2 team in history? Maybe that's going too far, but Minnesota is the first to start that well while being outscored overall. The Vikes' league-high streak of 92 games with a TD also ended while they were being pillaged 40-3 by Dallas. And QB Kirk Cousins came up small in another big game.

No. 8 (down 5 spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports

I don't want to penalize the Vikings too much for one loss, but 40-3 was bad. The Vikings were never as good as their 8-1 record last week — they were too high in these power rankings last week, mostly because of a good win at Buffalo and the lack of quality contenders this season — but they're also not bad. That 37-point loss just means that anyone who thought the Vikings might be Super Bowl contenders needs to re-evaluate.