How the Vikings can get the 2, 3 or 5 seed in the playoffs

If they Vikings win out, the worst they can get is the No. 5 seed.
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Danielle Hunter

Having already locked in a playoff spot, the Vikings might not know their seed until the 49ers and Seahawks meet on Sunday Night Football to wrap up Week 17 of the regular season. 

Minnesota can finish with the 2nd, 3rd, 5th or 6th seed depending on how things shake out over the next eight days, starting with Monday night's border battle inside U.S. Bank Stadium against the Packers. 

If the Vikings lose Monday night, they will be locked into the No. 6 seed. If the Vikings win, a whole world of possibilities exist entering the final week of the regular season. Here's how the Vikings can get the No. 2, No. 3 or No. 5 seed. 

None of the below scenarios include games ending in ties. 

Vikings get the No. 2 seed

  • Vikings win out to finish 12-4
  • 49ers (13-3) beat the Seahawks (11-5)
  • Packers (11-5) lose to Lions. 
  • Saints (12-4) lose to Panthers. 

According to ESPN's Playoff Machine, that would set up an NFC playoff picture with the 49ers and Vikings earning the top two seeds and first-round byes, with Packers (6 seed) playing at the Saints (3 seed) and the Seahawks (5 seed) at the Eagles or Cowboys (4 seed) on wild-card weekend. 

Vikings get the No. 3 seed

  • Vikings win out to finish 12-4
  • Packers lose out to finish 11-5
  • Saints beat the Panthers to finish 13-3
  • 49ers-Seahawks winner doesn't matter in this scenario. 

That would set up a first-round playoff matchup between the Vikings and Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

Vikings get the No. 5 seed

  • Vikings win out to finish 12-4

That's it. Nothing more would matter as the 49ers, Seahawks, Packers and Saints would all be vying for the top three seeds, with the 49ers or Seahawks loser getting the No. 6 seed. 

As the 5 seed, Minnesota would be headed to Philadelphia or Dallas for a wild-card weekend playoff game. 

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