If they continue to have the same penalties, poor throws and blown second-half defensive coverages as they have the first four games, then the sky – or the basement – is the limit.
The 1962 team that lost its first five games was a second-year expansion team. This year's team joins that team and the teams in 1967 and 2002 as the only Vikings squads to start 0-4.
"I hate losing," running back Adrian Peterson said after Sunday's 22-17 loss to the Chiefs (1-3) at Arrowhead Stadium. "I feel like I'm going to cry. It doesn't feel good."
The script was different this time, but the pain and frustration were very much the same. After losing first-half leads of 10, 17 and 20 points in the first three weeks, the Vikings trailed 9-7 as Kansas City's Ryan Succop hit one of his franchise-record-tying five field goals as time expired in the first half.
"The good news is we didn't give the game away this time," said Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, a former Chief. "We just got beat. So that's something, right? I don't know. We got to figure out a way to win. We're 0-4, and that sucks."
The offense made some improvements, getting the tight ends more involved in moving the chains and feeding the ball consistently to Peterson. However, quarterback Donovan McNabb misfired on too many key throws, including an interception on a horrendously thrown screen pass to Toby Gerhart, and a ball that bounced off the shoe tops of Bernard Berrian on third-and-10 with less than two minutes left in the game.
Defensively, the Vikings held the Chiefs to field goals – except when it counted most. Early in the fourth quarter, the defense continued its trend of giving up game-changing plays. Cornerback Cedric Griffin bit on a stutter-go route and fell in coverage, allowing Dwayne Bowe to catch a deep pass, break two tackles and score on a 52-yard reception.
That made it a 22-10 game, and the Vikings couldn't recover.
"When you're 0-4, you don't want to stay status quo," coach Leslie Frazier said. "You got to look at what we're doing and how we're doing it. Not that you have to make changes, but just take a look at what you're doing and see what we can do better than what we're doing."
Frazier said that won't include benching McNabb for rookie first-round draft pick Christian Ponder.
Another loss and that could change, as the Vikings already trail the Lions and Packers by four games just four weeks into the season.
--MLB E.J. Henderson played despite a bothersome left knee, but he was limited. He got some rest in the nickel defense. Normally, he plays every defensive snap.
UNDER THE RADAR: TE Visanthe Shiancoe became a big part of the offense Sunday. That's the way the team envisioned coordinator Bill Musgrave's offense working. Shiancoe was targeted eight times, catching a game-high six passes for 58 yards. All of his catches went for first downs.
BY THE NUMBERS: 0-4 – Coach Leslie Frazier is stuck in a funk that only two other coaches in franchise history have experienced. He joins Bud Grant (1967) and Mike Tice (2002) as the only coaches in franchise history to start 0-4 in their first full season. Grant and Tice both won their fifth game.