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NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Are the Vikings a Top-10 Team in 2022?

The Vikings are off to a good start at 2-1, but they still have plenty of questions to answer.
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A handful of plays late in Sunday's game changed the way people are talking about the Vikings after three weeks. The Lions had the game all but wrapped up, needing one more first down to be able to salt away a divisional upset in Week 3.

They didn't get that first down. And instead of going for it or punting on fourth down, Dan Campbell decided to try a long field goal, which missed. Three plays later, Kirk Cousins hit K.J. Osborn for a go-ahead touchdown, and the Vikings held on to escape with an unlikely victory.

If the Vikings had lost — which they probably deserved to — there would be lots of questions about Kevin O'Connell's team after losing two straight. Instead, the win moves them to 2-1, and people seem to mostly feel good about the Vikings.

This is a talented team with a chance to have a really good season. All I'm saying is there are still a bunch of things the Vikings need to clean up if they're going to keep stacking wins and reach the postseason. That starts on Sunday, in London, with a matchup against a talented Saints team that's been struggling on offense.

Let's take our weekly look around the internet to see where the Vikings are in national power rankings, and what various analysts think about their start to the season.

Conor Orr, No. 9 (Up 6 spots)

The Vikings haven’t been this flexible and aggressive offensively since Brett Favre was under center. There were moments when the Lions had an 89 and 93% chance, respectively, of winning that game and Kevin O’Connell dialed them back both times.

Bo Wulf, The Athletic: No. 9 (Down 4 spots)

Dan Hanzus, No. 9 (Up 2 spots)

Kirk Cousins and the Vikings looked outclassed against the Eagles in the second game of Week 2's Monday doubleheader. Early on against the Lions on Sunday, it looked like more of the same. But Minnesota and its QB showed resolve, digging out of 14-0 and 24-14 holes to beat an NFC North rival and get things back on track after that humbling prime-time loss. The hero was K.J. Osborn, who zipped through the Detroit defense almost unnoticed for the go-ahead 28-yard touchdown with 45 seconds to play. Osborn has found his niche in this offense — since the start of last season, no Vikings receiver has more catches in two-minute situations than the 2020 fifth-round pick.

ESPN Staff: No. 9 (Up 2 spots)

Kirk Cousins is clearly still adjusting to the Vikings' scheme under new coach Kevin O'Connell. Most notably, Cousins threw three interceptions in the Week 2 loss to the Eagles. "It's not where I want it to be," the quarterback said of the team's comfort level on offense. But Cousins is not a stranger to slow starts since signing with the Vikings in 2018; his current 45.9 Total QBR is higher than it was in Weeks 1-3 of 2019 (35.5) and 2020 (31.2). — Kevin Seifert

Austin Gayle, The Ringer: No. 11 (no change)

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The Vikings’ slow start against Detroit in Week 3 was troublesome, especially after they fell completely flat on their faces against the Eagles six days prior on Monday Night Football. After lighting the Packers’ faulty zone coverage on fire in Week 1, Justin Jefferson has drawn shadow coverage in Weeks 2 and 3 that forced head coach Kevin O’Connell and quarterback Kirk Cousins out of their comfort zone. They’ll need to continue to make adjustments to set sights on a deep postseason run, but the pieces are in place for them to do so as O’Connell continues to gain play-calling reps.

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: No. 9 (Up 2 spots)

We're back on the Dalvin Cook shoulder injury roller coaster, earlier than ever this season. Not great. They'll be fine at running back with Alexander Mattison. What is concerning is how Justin Jefferson has 62 yards in two games. He had just 14 yards on three catches Sunday. That should never happen.

Bleacher Report Staff: No. 9 (Down 1 spot)

Are the Vikings actually good? It's hard to tell. They deserve credit for solid victories over the Packers in Week 1 and the Lions on Sunday. They're off to a 2-0 start in the division. Yet the Eagles throttled them when the two teams met in Week 2. The Vikings' 2-1 start appears to be more of a reflection of their competition than an actual indication of Minnesota's level of play. In the end, quarterback Kirk Cousins is who he is — which tends to be a mediocre quarterback — and Cook is dealing with a dislocated shoulder. Minnesota's quality start can't be completely overlooked, though.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: No. 11 (No change)

They looked lifeless early against the Lions, but they came alive late to win it to get to 2-1. The offense still isn't clicking like it will be.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: No. 10 (Down 1 spot)

The Vikings have been a bit all over the place with their offensive identity with Kevin O'Connell with Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson cooling down after Week 1 and giving way more to the rushing attack. The 3-4 defense also will be a roller coaster. But they should take their start to the season as a positive with a pair of divisional wins now under their belts.

Mike Florio, PFT: No. 16 (Up 7 spots)

 It was a Week Two performance but, somehow, a Week One result.

Nate Davis, USA Today: No. 7 (Up 2 spots)

So that talk of a 2,000-yard receiving season for WR Justin Jefferson? Clearly just a bit premature. Limited to 62 yards the past two games, he'll have to average 126 per the rest of the way in order to achieve his stated goal.

Thanks for reading. Make sure to bookmark this site and check back daily for the latest Vikings news and analysis all offseason long. Also, follow me on Twitter and feel free to ask me any questions on there.