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Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 29 Minnesota Vikings

By Ben Goessling

A weekly examination of the Vikings' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 17 | Last Week: 28 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Minnesota Vikings dropped another spot in the rankings, but they probably could have fallen farther if they had much farther to fall. Their 35-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday was a ragged, listless performance that put the Vikings at 1-4 and began to call into question how long Leslie Frazier will survive as the team's coach. Frazier is under contract through next season but needed to have a solid year after ownership decided to pick up his 2014 option, not offer him a new contract, following a playoff berth in 2012. The Vikings have now been blown out three times following their bye weeks under Frazier. That doesn't reflect well on a coaching staff when a team's worst losses come after its longest preparation periods, and now, Frazier must hold together a group of veterans who showed signs of discontent after Sunday's game.

Defensive end Jared Allen, who is in the final year of his contract, said, "When you lose, heads roll," and added that both the Vikings' players and coaches need to be better. Linebacker Chad Greenway said the season is starting to feel like the Vikings' 3-13 campaign in 2011. Frazier did a superb job of keeping his team on point after it fell from 4-1 to 6-6 last year, and the Vikings rebounded to reach the playoffs after a four-game win streak. Frazier's ability to keep the team focused could be tested by a different set of circumstances this year. The Vikings head on the road to face the 0-6 New York Giants on Monday night, but then the Green Bay Packers come to town for a Sunday night matchup.