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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Slide After Week 1 Loss

The Vikings have some work to do after an 0-1 start to the 2021 season.

Minnesota now travels to Arizona for a Week 2 matchup. The Vikings are one of three teams, along with the 49ers and Broncos, to open with back-to-back road games.

Here's a look at where the Vikings rank heading into Week 2:

No. 24 (down 7 spots): Dan Hanzus –

Let's start here: I'm not sure how game officials and the replay crew in New York stuck with the ruling of that Dalvin Cook fumble in overtime, a questionable call that effectively swung the outcome of the game. But Minnesota also put itself in that vulnerable position with an afternoon of sloppy play against a supposedly inferior opponent. Four of the Vikings five offensive linemen were charged with holding penalties, and the one who wasn't — Brian O'Neill — had a false start. The rebuilt secondary struggled to contain Joe Burrow, who averaged close to 10 yards per attempt. The Vikings fashion themselves an NFC contender, but they didn't look the part on Sunday.

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Cardinals.

No. 25 (down 8 spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports

That was a rough way to lose, with Dalvin Cook fumbling in Cincinnati territory late in overtime and then allowing a fourth-and-inches pass that led to a game-winning field goal. The Vikings thought their defense would be much improved, and that's questionable after one week.

No. 26 (down 10 spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

Losing on the road in an opener isn't a disaster, but the defense let them down. They have to be better on the back end. The good news is that nobody else in the division won either.

No. 25 (down 3 sports): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report

As Mike Florio reported for Pro Football Talk, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer isn't worried about talk that his job could be in jeopardy if the Vikings have another disappointing season.

Maybe he should start worrying.

It's not just that the Vikings fell in Week 1. It's that they were beaten by a Cincinnati Bengals team that hasn't had a winning season since 2015. Minnesota's defense allowed 366 yards of offense and 149 yards on the ground to an offense that ranked 29th in the league last year.

No. 24 (down 4 spots): Conor Orr – Sports Illustrated

This is still an efficient offense with stable quarterback play and excellent options at wide receiver. However, Sunday's loss to the Bengals reminds us that a pass rush and a secondary are more essential than ever, and a lack of those can be easily exposed.

No. 23 (down 2 spots): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News

The Vikings defense got shredded in what was supposed to be a big rebound unit for Mike Zimmer. The offense looked lost and predictable at times with too many critical mistakes outweighing the big-play potential. Minnesota should be teetering around .500 all season.

No. 24 (down 9 spots): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports

When you commit a dozen penalties for 116 yards, and your best player (RB Dalvin Cook) fumbles in overtime? Welp. Not harbingers for the campaign you want.

No. 25 (down 7 spots): Courtney Cronin –

Note: ESPN looked at the top rookie performer for each team. ESPN Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin went with safety Camryn Bynum over Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Chazz Surratt or Wyatt Davis. Smith-Marsette played a handful of snaps on offense and a few more on special teams but returned just one kickoff. Surratt (13 snaps) and Davis (four) played only on special teams.

Bynum, a fourth-round pick, earns this distinction, playing 23 snaps on special teams and tallying two tackles. Ihmir Smith-Marsette didn't factor in as a receiver.

No. 23 (down 5 sports): Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk

It could be another long year for the Vikings, who seem to think they're better than they really are.