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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Down a Few Spots

The Vikings are on to Week 5 of the 2019 season.

Minnesota took a tough 16-6 loss to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday.

The Vikings will look to win their first road game of the season on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The experts released their Power Rankings lists heading into Week 5.

Here's a look at where the Vikings rank:

19 (Down 10 Spots): Dan Hanzus – NFL.com

Very close to a bury-the-ball game in Chicago on Sunday. The Vikings went to Soldier Field expecting to go toe-to-toe with the defending division champion and instead got beat down for four quarters in a humbling 16-6 loss. Kirk Cousins didn't have time to think behind a line that played turnstile to a swarming Chicago front seven, and Dalvin Cook was treated to three hours of running into a wall of throwback Bears jerseys. The Vikings had 59 total yards of offense in the first half.

13 (Down 7 Spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports

Kirk Cousins biggest issue might have been making decisions on when to get rid of the ball. On some, he missed deep shots by getting rid of it too quickly ("I think there were some times he might have gotten rid of it a little too soon," Mike Zimmer said, via Chad Graff of The Athletic. "But when you're getting pounded a few times, sometimes you've got to take the quick throw.") On other plays, he held it too long. That's a reason Chicago sacked him six times. That's understandable for a young quarterback, but Cousins has started 77 NFL games.

19 (Down 7 Spot): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

The offense was pedestrian against the Bears. What is it with Kirk Cousins in big games? He has to pick it up.

17 (Down 6 Spots): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report

High: 14

Low: 21

Last Week: 11

Week 4 Result: Lost at Chicago 16-6

Over the first three weeks of the season, the Minnesota Vikings rode the running of tailback Dalvin Cook to a 2-1 record. Had they defeated the hated Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday, the Vikings would have claimed both a share of first place in the NFC North and sent a message to the division.

A message got sent, all right — by the Bears.

The Vikings were thoroughly dominated by the Bears defense in Week 4. Cook was limited to just 35 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked a half-dozen times. And the Vikings managed just 222 yards of offense total in a 16-6 loss.

"The Vikings might be the worst team in the NFC North, which is pretty unbelievable considering the capital they've invested in both the offense and defense," Brad Gagnon said. "Kirk Cousins is utterly unreliable, he's not getting enough support anyway, and the Vikings are simply overmatched in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. They'll continue to bully bad teams and lay eggs against good ones, with 8-8 looking inevitable. Just waiting for that 2021 rebuild."

13 (Down 6 Spots): MMQB Staff – Sports Illustrated

Previous rank: 7

Points in poll: 197

Highest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)

Lowest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)

Last week's result: Lost to Chicago, 16-6

This week: at N.Y. Giants

12 (Down 5 Spots): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News

The Kirk Cousins-led passing game has entered a shell of disappointment, and it's not entirely the QB's fault. The team has become too conservative and reliant on Dalvin Cook's running, but as Adam Thielen kind of said, teams still need to pass well in this passing league. That's on Mike Zimmer.

12 (Down 5 Spots): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports

They've beaten non-division foes by 62-26 aggregate score but are winless against NFC North. Good news — only one of next eight against NFCN.

14 (Down 6 Spots) Courtney Cronin -– ESPN.com

How to increase their playoff chances: Be more aggressive in the passing game. The Vikings have made it clear that their offensive identity is centered around the run, but at some point they're going to have to win a game with Kirk Cousins airing it out. That means not settling for quick checkdowns and using play-action to generate explosive pass plays. This new scheme isn't exactly helping Cousins under pressure, either. His pressure rate jumped from 29% in 2018 to 34% in the first four games this season, the third-highest rate, behind Deshaun Watson and Josh Allen. The Vikings need to remedy that element of this offense before things get out of hand. -- Courtney Cronin

21 (Down 13 Spots) Mike Florio -– Pro Football Talk

Sorry, Vikings fans, but if you don't have a functional passing game you don't deserve a spot in the top 20.

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