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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings in 20s After 0-3 Start

A pair of 0-3 teams are scheduled to meet Sunday in Houston.

The Vikings and Texans built halftime leads in Week 3 but were unable to protect the margins against the Titans and Steelers, respectively.

Here's a look at where the Vikings rank before Week 4:

No. 20 (same spot): Dan Hanzus –

A crushing loss for the Vikings, who wasted a double-digit second-half lead at home to fall to 0-3. You can hang this latest setback on the defense, which allowed 444 yards, including 119 yards rushing to Derrick Henry and multiple deep-strike completions by Ryan Tannehill. Consider what the Vikings wasted: Dalvin Cook set a career high with 181 rushing yards and a score, while rookie first-round pick Justin Jefferson broke out with a monster 7/175/1 performance. To get those games and still find yourself winless entering Week 4 ... that's a tough pill to swallow. The loss sets up a "Loser Goes Home" match against the 0-3 Texans on Sunday in Houston.

No. 25 (down 2 spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports

Dalvin Cook looked great, the coaches finally let Justin Jefferson play, the offense had its best game, and they still lost at home. They're in a division with two 3-0 teams, and it's really hard to see Minnesota digging out of this hole.

No. 29 (down 4 spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

At 0-3, their season is basically over. They are terrible on defense, which is strange under Mike Zimmer.

No. 22 (down 3 spots): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report

It is officially time to panic in the Twin Cities.

For a time Sunday, it appeared the Vikings were going to stop the bleeding from their awful start. They led the undefeated Tennessee Titans by double digits in the second half.

But Minnesota couldn't hold the lead, and when Kirk Cousins threw his second interception of the game to kill the last drive, the Vikings found themselves in an all-too-familiar spot this season — on the short end of the scoreboard.

Rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson had a big game, hauling in seven passes for 175 yards and a score. So did running back Dalvin Cook with 199 total yards and a touchdown. But that's precious little solace for a Vikings team that is watching its hopes of making it back to the playoffs circle the drain at ever-increasing speed.

No. 24 (down 1 spot): MMQB Staff – Sports Illustrated

Kirk Cousins threw six interceptions in all of 2019. Three games into the 2020 season, he's already matched that total. And so in Houston this week, two teams that were in the playoffs last season will meet, each searching for their first win a month into the season.

No. 28 (down 4 spots): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News

The Vikings defense simply cannot stop anything that matters, whether it's run or pass. It's hard to believe that's a Mike Zimmer defense. The offense is expected to be flawless to compensate, and that's been far from the case for Kirk Cousins.

No. 22 (up 1 spot): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports

Only Carolina has fewer sacks than Minnesota's three. With DE Danielle Hunter sorely missed, might be time for Mike Zimmer to ratchet up the blitz.

No. 21 (down 2 spots): Courtney Cronin –

Although the Vikings did move Pat Elflein to right guard and had a competition between two former backups for the starting job at left guard, many anticipated the continuity of this group (i.e., settling on a starting five early in camp) would yield a better result than we've seen so far. Kirk Cousins experienced the third-highest pressure rate of his career (47 percent) against Tennessee, and Dakota Dozier and Dru Samia are among the worst-ranked guards (per PFF) in the NFL. This unit hasn't gotten better because its personnel has not gotten better.

No. 30 (down 2 spots): Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk

Trevor Lawrence would look great in purple.