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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Drop a Few Spots

The Vikings ended a four-game winning streak with a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9.

Minnesota moved to 6-3 and still sits a game behind the Green Bay Packers (7-2) in the NFC North.

The experts released their Power Rankings lists heading into Week 10.

Here’s a look at where the Vikings rank:

10 (Down 5 Spots): Dan Hanzus – NFL.com

The Vikings offense had its chance to make ... A Statement. Kirk Cousins and friends took the field with 2:30 to play in the fourth quarter, game tied at 23. For Cousins, it was a chance to exorcise a few demons acquired by failures in similar high-leverage scenarios in the past. For the Vikings as a whole, it was an opportunity to knock off the Chiefs in Arrowhead and move into a first-place tie with the Packers in the NFC North. What came next: Incomplete pass. Screen for negative-7 yards. Incomplete pass. Punter Britton Colquitt jogged out, shanked a punt, and soon, Kansas City players were swarming the Chiefs kicker at midfield. It's not embarrassing to lose to the Chiefs on the road — even without Patrick Mahomes on the field. But doubt remains as to whether a Cousins-led team can rise to the occasion when called upon.

9 (Down 4 Spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports

That loss at Kansas City won’t do much to disrupt the “can’t beat good teams” label for the Vikings. They’re talented and look like a championship team against bad opponents. It needs to look like a championship team against better opponents as well.

11 (Down 5 Spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

At some point, they have to win games like they lost in Kansas City. You can't lose to the Chiefs with a backup passer and now comes a tough one at Dallas.

9 (Down 4 Spots): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report

Just when you thought it was safe to trust the Minnesota Vikings as a Super Bowl contender.

Usually, there would be no shame in losing to the Chiefs in Kansas City. But these Chiefs weren't led by MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes. They were led by journeyman backup Matt Moore.

And Moore played every bit as well as Kirk Cousins in Week 9 — maybe better.

Cousins wasn't the only Vikings star who didn't have the best game. Tailback Dalvin Cook had 116 total yards, but he averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were complete non-factors in the game, with the latter aggravating his injured hamstring.

The Vikings have beaten the teams they were supposed to for the most part. But just one of Minnesota's six wins this year came against a team with a winning record. All three of Minnesota's losses happened in outdoor stadiums.

Things aren't going to get easier from here, either — two of the Vikings' next three games are on the road against playoff contenders in the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks.

At least one of those games will be indoors.

6 (Down 1 Spot): The MMQB Staff – Sports Illustrated

Previous rank: 5

Points in poll: 180

Highest-place vote: 5 (1 voter)

Lowest-place vote: 10 (1 voter)

Last week’s result: Lost to Kansas City, 26-23

This week: at Dallas

The Vikings had the ball with the game tied late before an inexplicably awful final two-and-a-half minutes sealed their fate. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen reverted back to their ineffective early-season selves (though Thielen reaggravated his hammy early), but Minnesota didn’t lose any ground on the Packers in the divisional race — though Green Bay did slide in this week’s rankings.

8 (Down 3 Spots): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News

The Vikings will need to keep answering questions about their big-game struggles on the road, but don't blame Kirk Cousins. It's more about the overrated defense being gashed at the wrong times against the run and also giving up backbreaking plays in the passing game.

8 (Down 3 Spots): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports

Time for Kirk Cousins to prove he's over that whole prime-time bugaboo. Four of Minnesota's next six games are Sunday or Monday nighters.

9 (Down 1 Spot) Courtney Cronin – ESPN.com

Scary trend: The interior offensive line allows too much pressure

Kirk Cousins was 0-for-9 passing under duress against the Chiefs on Sunday, the worst mark of his career. The Vikings offensive line has played well at points this season, but interior line play is still an issue. Both Pat Elflein and Garrett Bradbury have each allowed 20 pressures this season, which accounts for a handful of Minnesota's issues in pass protection. The O-line was among the biggest storylines for the Vikings entering 2019, and the team did quite a bit to try to improve this unit. If the guard and center play doesn't improve, the entire offense is affected — both in the running and passing games.

14 (Down 7 Spots) Mark Maske – Washington Post

It’s too easy to jump on Kirk Cousins. All of his good play in recent weeks shouldn’t be discarded with Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. But, again, a winnable game against a good team slipped away and the Cousins-led Vikings can’t seem to live with prosperity.

12 (Down 5 Spots) Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk

Things are falling together perfectly for an eventual loss in Week 17 with a playoff berth riding on the outcome.

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