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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Drop a Few Spots Following 1st October Loss

The Vikings are now 4-3-1 and preparing for the final game before the team's bye week.

Minnesota will host the Detroit Lions at noon (CT) Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings took their first loss of the month of October when the Saints defeated Minnesota 30-20 on Sunday Night Football.

The Lions (3-4) lost 28-14 at home to the Seattle Seahawks.

Heading into the Vikings Week 9 matchup, experts from across the internet updated their power rankings:

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 5 – **, Elliot Harrison**

CBS Radio analyst Jason Taylor was beside himself over the fact that, with Minnesota down 30-13 and eight minutes or so to go in the fourth quarter of the game against the Saints, the Vikings were walking back to the huddle. I'm with him on that. The sense of urgency wasn't omnipresent for Minnesota, though the team had plenty of time to at least make the Sunday nighter interesting. The Vikes made things far easier for their NFC adversaries than they did last January. Though they rang up a plethora of yards, they couldn't do much of anything else to even be in the contest for most of the second half. Next up: Lions.

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 6 – ****

The Vikings' inability to consistently win the turnover battle is becoming a concern. Whether it is Kirk Cousins' untimely miscues (he leads the league in fumbles and fumbles lost since becoming a starter in 2015) or the barrage of mistakes that occurred in the Vikings' loss to the Saints, Minnesota is 0-3-1 in games in which they are on the wrong side of the turnover differential. -- Courtney Cronin

Rank: 8

Last Week's Rank: 5 – **YAHOO! Sports, Frank Schwab**

I guess there's a rush to be the first to call Kirk Cousins a bust. I'm not sure how you could watch the first half of the Vikings season and believe he's the problem. He has been very good. But everyone was excited to give that opinion since the moment he signed, so here we are.

Rank: 9

Last Week's Rank: 6 – **Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk**

The Vikings desperately need on-field leadership that will keep players from folding the tents after unexpected adversity strikes, like a 14-point swing late in the first half of a game.

Rank: 9

Last Week's Rank: 5 - **Bleacher Report Staff**

Turnovers are the kiss of death in the NFL.

That axiom was on vivid display in Sunday night's marquee matchup between the Vikings and New Orleans Saints. Despite dominating statistically, the Vikings fell by double digits thanks to two Minnesota turnovers that both led to touchdowns.

The Vikings outgained the Saints by over 150 yards, held Drew Brees to 120 (!) passing yards — and lost the game. Adam Thielen fumbled in the red zone. Kirk Cousins threw a pick-six.

And [Brad] Gagnon was left shaking his head:

"I wouldn't usually beat up on anybody for losing to a team like the Saints, but the Vikings also lost to themselves Sunday night. At home against an opponent traveling for the second consecutive week, there's no excuse for that kind of performance. It has me concerned that Minnesota might not have the fortitude for big games. Let's not forget what happened in last year's NFC Championship Game. They don't deserve to be listed with the cream of the crop right now."

Rank: 9

Last Week's Rank: 5 – **Sporting News, Vinnie Iyer**

The Vikings' offensive line issues resurfaced against a strong Saints front, and their defense is hurting. Because they rely so much on their passing game, they can't afford any mistakes from Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs.

Rank: 9

Last Week's Rank: 6 – **Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports**

Trick — the gag was on Vikes, whose momentum flat-lined Sunday night with no Minneapolis Miracle available to save them from Saints.

Rank: 9

Last Week's Rank: 5 – **Sports Illustrated, MMQB Staff**

The NFC North is there for the taking, and the Vikings now face all three division foes in consecutive games.