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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Climb After 1st Victory

The Vikings no longer have a goose egg in the win column, as Minnesota notched its first win Sunday over Houston.

The strong all-around effort helped the Vikings jump a bit in the latest power rankings, although there is still plenty of work to be done.

Here's a look at where the Vikings rank before Week 5:

No. 17 (up 3 spots): Dan Hanzus –

The Vikings took their season off life support with a narrow win over the Texans, and it looks like Gary Kubiak's offense has found its footing. It all goes through Dalvin Cook, of course, the superstar running back who never seems to get the pub of his similarly gifted contemporaries. When Cook (130 yards rushing, two TDs) is right, it makes life much easier for Kirk Cousins, who — for all his strengths — isn't the type of quarterback who can put an offense on his back. There are still concerns about the defense, which needed a goal-line stop in the final minute of the game (aided by an overturned Will Fuller touchdown reception) to avoid a consecutive second-half collapse.

No. 19 (up 6 spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports

Dalvin Cook has come alive the past couple weeks, and Justin Jefferson has been a revelation (it's damning that the coaching staff didn't give full-time snaps to their first-round pick until Week 3). All of a sudden, the Vikings offense isn't too bad. The defense needs to improve, but maybe it's not too late to get back into playoff contention.

No. 23 (up 6 spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

They got their first victory [of] the season to save it, but now have to go out on the road again to play the Seahawks. That won't be easy.

No. 18 (up 4 spots): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report

When the 2020 season started, this looked like one of Week 4's bigger matchups — a clash between two teams that each won a playoff game last year.

Instead, both teams had yet to taste victory this season.

The visiting Vikings were able to get win No. 1 thanks to a huge game from tailback Dalvin Cook, who amassed 146 total yards and two scores. The team also got some clutch play from quarterback Kirk Cousins, who found star wideout Adam Thielen for a big second-half score.

No. 18 (up 6 spots): MMQB Staff – Sports Illustrated

The passing game came to life on Sunday, and Justin Jefferson looks like he's ahead of schedule as [Stefon] Diggs's replacement.

No. 22 (up 6 spots): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News

The Vikings have accepted their defense can't stop much so they have broken out of their offensive shell, getting more aggressive in the passing game without losing the explosiveness and important balance provided by Dalvin Cook and their running game. It's a glimmer of hope for Mike Zimmer's team to get back on track.

No. 20 (up 2 spots): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports

Nice for Minnesota to get into win column. Next, Mike Zimmer's inexperienced corners get thrown into the fire against Russell Wilson.

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

No. 21 (same spot): Courtney Cronin –

The Vikings grabbed their first win of the season by beating an inept Houston squad. And still, Minnesota couldn't close out a team it had a 31-16 lead on with 10:50 to play without a late-game scare. So this seems right. Kirk Cousins is correct: Any time a team can score 30 points and put up 400-plus yards on offense, it's doing something right. That is part of the Vikings' blueprint for winning games, but until this offense can routinely win shootouts against other high-octane offenses, the Vikings [22.7 percent] playoff chances look dim.

No. 25 (up 5 spots): Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk