Publish date:

Imagine if the Vikings had simply beaten the Bears at home

The silver lining? In a year where everything has changed, at least the Vikings haven't.
Author:
Mike Zimmer

Life for Vikings fans would be a lot more interesting entering the final week of the regular season had Minnesota simply taken care of the Chicago Bears two weeks ago at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

Instead, the Vikings let David Montgomery run wild and Chicago left Minneapolis with a 33-27 victory, which effectively put Minnesota's playoff hopes on ice while fueling Chicago's chances of being included in the 7-team NFC playoff field. 

Sure, Chicago is red-hot and has a chance to make the playoffs with a win or Arizona Cardinals loss in Week 17. But the Vikings could've been the team with a shot had they beaten the Bears, even if they still would've gotten smoked by Alvin Kamara and the Saints the following week. 

A win over Chicago coupled with a loss to the Saints would mean the Vikings would be 7-8 entering the final week. The Bears would also be 7-8, but the Vikings would own that tiebreaker. Arizona would be 8-7, setting the stage for an incredibly entertaining Week 17 in which the Vikings would have a chance to make the playoffs with two easy steps: 

  1. Beating the Lions at home
  2. Arizona losing at the Rams

Both are conceivable, if not likely. Alas, the Vikings are once again a middle-of-the-pack team that won't make the playoffs for the fourth time in seven seasons under head coach Mike Zimmer. That leaves fans with next to nothing to root for in the final game of the season, followed by three months of nothing, a draft pick in April that isn't in the top 10, followed by more months of nothing before the 2021 season begins next fall.

Of course, the failure against the Bears isn't the only mediocre effort to blame. Who could forget blowing a 24-12 lead at home against the Titans in Week 3? Or allowing the Seahawks to steal victory from the jaws of defeat in Week 5? Ah, the memories... 

And don't even get us started on the Vikings blowing two fourth-quarter leads in Week 11 to the Cowboys. 

The silver lining? In a year where everything has changed, at least the Vikings haven't. 

Next Up

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Driver killed after crashing into parked semi-trailer

The crash occurred on the 5800 block of University Avenue Northeast.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Panthers: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings will look to open things up in Carolina.

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith warns Dems she may not vote for budget bill if climate plan dropped

This comes amid a White House effort to get its "Build Back Better" plan passed.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

St. Paul man dies six days after crash on I-94

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified the man as David Rodney Hardaway.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Double murder in northeastern Minnesota, suspect kills himself after chase

The suspect died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

chaska school fight

Anti-masker involved in school board meeting fight charged with assault

It happened last month at an Eastern Carver County Schools hearing.

Marcus Foligno

Marcus Foligno throws hands, scores game-winning goal in Wild's opener

The Wild forward scored with 7.2 seconds left to beat Anaheim.

Related

Justin Jefferson

And just like that the Vikings have a spot in the playoff race

If the playoffs started today, the Vikings would face the Packers in the first round.

Brian O'Neill, Vikings-Saints

Here's how the Vikings can make the playoffs with 3 weeks to go

Let's hope it doesn't require a Christmas miracle against the Saints.

Danielle Hunter

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.

Rams could jump Vikings this week, tiebreakers don't favor MN

The Rams own the key tiebreakers over the Vikings.

Kirk Cousins

Is it a 4-team race for the final NFC playoff spot?

The key for Minnesota likely requires winning on the road against two top NFC teams.

Linval Joseph

Ideal playoff opponent for Vikings if they get the No. 6 seed

Would your rather the Vikings face the 49ers, Packers, Seahawks or Saints?

Ifaedi Odenigbo

Coller: Vikings staring down chance to prove they belong

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.