How the Vikings clinch a playoff spot and teams they could face

Maybe the Bears will pull their key players during the game?

Seattle's win over the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football clinched a wild-card spot, leaving the Vikings and Eagles fighting for the final spot in the NFC playoff picture. 

How the Vikings get in

Minnesota gets it with a win over the Bears or an Eagles loss or tie. Philadelphia takes the playoff spot with a win over the Redskins coupled with a Vikings loss. 

By the looks of it, it's a lot easier path for the Eagles than it is for the Vikings to get in. 

Philly needs Minnesota to lose, but they are 7-point favorites to win on the road against the Redskins, who are down to their third-string quarterback. The Vikings, meanwhile, have to play a Bears team that with a win coupled with a Rams loss will clinch the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. 

That means the Bears won't rest key players. 

“You understand that when you’re in the position that we’re in right now, anything can happen to these other teams,” Chicago head coach Matt Nagy said Monday. “So you can’t just say, ‘This team’s going to win’ or ‘This team’s going to lose.’ Anything can happen."

But here's where it gets interesting: the Rams are 10-point favorites in their game at home against the 49ers, so if the Rams build an early lead it could prompt Nagy to pull his starters, which might be huge for the Vikings. 

All three games that matter to the Vikings and Bears start at 3:25 p.m. Sunday. 

  • Vikings vs. Bears
  • Eagles at Redskins
  • Rams vs. 49ers

Remember, there's a really good chance the Vikings face the Bears at Soldier Field in the opening round of the playoffs, so Chicago will want to be as healthy as possible for that game. 

Potential playoff opponents

If the Vikings get in as the 6-seed, which they'll be if they beat the Bears and Seattle beats Arizona, they'll have a rematch against the Bears at Soldier Field on Wild Card weekend. 

If the Vikings get in as the 5-seed, which they'll be if they beat the Bears and Seattle loses to Arizona, they'll go to Dallas to play the Cowboys on Wild Card weekend. 

Minnesota could wind up playing the Rams in the playoffs, but that would require the following to happen: 

  • Vikings lose to Bears
  • Rams lose to 49ers
  • Eagles lose/tie against Redskins

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