The fact that the Lions couldn't beat a backup quarterback and the Bears at home on Thanksgiving is bad news for the Vikings.
Chicago's victory puts them at 8-3 on the season, well ahead of the 5-4-1 Vikings. Minnesota's chances of making the playoffs are still 50-50 through the wild card, but their odds of winning the division are now just 12 percent, according to the New York Times Playoff Machine.
If the Bears simply win two of their remaining five games and finish 10-6, the Vikings need to win five of their final six games and finish 10-5-1 to win the division.
If the Bears win three more games, the Vikings need to win out and finish 11-4-1 to win the division.
If the world falls apart and the Bears win just one more game, the Vikings still need to win four of their final six to win the division with a record of 9-6-1.
It's all bad for the Vikings when it comes to the NFC North, but Dallas beating Washington and the Saints clobbering the Falcons was good for Minnesota in the wild-card race, which looks like this entering this weekend's games.
- Panthers (6-4)
- Vikings (5-4-1)
- Redskins (6-5)
- Seahawks (5-5)
- Packers (4-5-1)
- Eagles (4-6)
- Falcons (4-7)
- Lions (4-7)
Washington appears destined for demise without starting quarterback Alex Smith, who broke his leg last Sunday, but since they're still sitting at six wins they're a threat to claim one of the two wild cards.
As luck would have it, the Panthers host the Seahawks and the Vikings host the Packers this Sunday, so we could get some separation at the top of the race or it could be muddied if Seattle and Green Bay win.
The Eagles host the Giants and a win would keep them in the mix as well.
A reminder of the Vikings' remaining schedule, which is tough: