Minnesota is now 3-5 on the season after Sunday's loss in Baltimore.
The Vikings are back on the road this weekend against the Chargers. Kickoff is at 3:05 p.m. (CT) from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Here's a look at where the Vikings rank heading into Week 10:
No. 21 (down 2 spots): Dan Hanzus – NFL.com
The Vikings are a formidable team with a fatal flaw: They have no idea how to close out games. It happened again on Sunday in Baltimore, where Minnesota kicked away a 14-point third-quarter lead in a crushing 34-31 overtime loss to the Ravens. The Kirk Cousins-led offense remains maddeningly hot and cold, with too many quickly extinguished possessions that put the defense in a bad spot. The Ravens ran 89 plays compared to 52 for the Vikings — and when Anthony Barr came up with an acrobatic interception in overtime, Minnesota's offense responded with a three-and-out that doomed the team. This has been a season of immense frustration; it's fair to wonder if the Vikings are close to a breaking point.
No. 19 (same spot): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports
Justin Jefferson had two catches for 57 yards less than a quarter into the game. He also had a run for 11 yards on the Vikings' first drive. In the final four quarters he had one catch for 12 yards. That's inexcusable. Breakdowns like that are a reason the Vikings keep losing close games.
No. 21 (down 5 spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports
They've lost a lot of close games, including to the Ravens in overtime Sunday. They need to start winning or the playoffs could be a long shot.
No. 22 (up 1 spot): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report
For a time Sunday, it appeared the Minnesota Vikings were on their way to a statement win over the Baltimore Ravens that would have lifted them back to .500 and helped them get back into the mix in the NFC North.
But where 2021 is concerned, no team is better at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory than the Vikings.
Minnesota held a seven-point halftime lead, and that lead ballooned to 14 points on a kick-return touchdown to start the second half. But from there, the Vikes would be outscored 24-7 before falling by seven or fewer points for the fifth time in 2021.
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Chargers.
No. 18 (down 1 spot): MMQB Staff – Sports Illustrated
The Vikings have been the definition of the league's middle class for almost a decade now. Mike Zimmer's club is always tough, always talented and always capable of going somewhere near 8–8. Their best days in this regime may be behind them with a long road ahead tasked with overhauling a defense and searching for an upgrade at the quarterback position long-term.
No. 20 (down 1 spot): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News
The Vikings and close games do not go well together, save for that trip to Carolina. Bottom line, they can cannot bring their offense, defense and special teams together at the right time often, and that points to coaching and the quarterback.
No. 18 (down 1 spot): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports
How good was Minnesota's defense Sunday? It gave up 500 yards, 36 first downs, was on the field for more than 46 minutes and had to make 89 tackles in the overtime loss to Baltimore. So basically, not good.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.
No. 20 (down 1 spot): Courtney Cronin – ESPN.com
Note: ESPN made a prediction for the second half of the season. ESPN Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin opined that the Vikings will make a change on their coaching staff.
Things can't stay the same. The only realistic window for Vikings owners to move on from Mike Zimmer, who has two years remaining on his contract, would come after two back-to-back losses to the Chargers and Packers.
No. 21 (down 4 spots): Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk
Purple Purgatory is a very real place.