Playoff scenarios: Will Vikings be headed to Green Bay, New Orleans or Seattle?

It requires a 49ers-Seahawks tie for Minnesota to have a chance at going to San Francisco.
Publish date:
Ifeadi Odenigbo

Laying an egg on Monday night against the Packers was disappointing, but it definitely made planning for the playoffs a little less complicated for the Vikings. 

There remain numerous possible destinations for Minnesota on wild-card weekend, but the Vikings know for certain that they will be the No. 6 seed and hitting the road for a playoff game against the team that finishes with the No. 3 seed. 

For the Vikings, only three games matter in Week 17: 

  • Saints at Panthers
  • Packers at Lions
  • 49ers at Seahawks

If the 49ers win, they will clinch the No. 1 seed and have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. That would leave the Vikings traveling to Green Bay or New Orleans to begin the postseason. 

If the 49ers lose, it opens the door to a possible Vikings-Seahawks playoff matchup in Seattle. 

Vikings at Packers if... 

  • Detroit beats Green Bay
  • New Orleans beats Carolina

This would lock the Packers into the No. 3 seed. However, Green Bay can clinch a first-round bye simply by beating the Lions. 

Vikings at Saints if... 

  • Green Bay beats Detroit
  • San Francisco beats Seattle

It won't matter what the Saints do against the Panthers if both the Packers and 49ers wins. The Vikings also head to New Orleans if the Saints and Packers lose. 

Vikings at Seahawks if... 

  • Seattle beats San Francisco
  • Green Bay beats Detroit

In this case, the Saints-Panthers outcome won't matter because the Seahawks, at 12-4, would not win a tiebreaker against the Saints. That would give Green Bay and New Orleans first-round byes, with Minnesota heading to Seattle on wild-card weekend. 

Vikings at 49ers if... 

  • Green Bay beats Detroit
  • New Orleans beats Carolina
  • 49ers tie Seattle

All of the above happening is the only way the 49ers can get the No. 3 seed. It's highly unlikely, but anything is possible. 

Every scenario factors in the 49ers-Seahawks outcome, so Minnesota's playoff destiny won't be known until the 49ers-Seahawks game goes finale on Sunday Night Football

Next Up

mike freeman

Hennepin County will eliminate bail system for certain non-violent crimes

The reform is backed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Vikings vs. Jags is a battle of retool vs. rebuild

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

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 8.35.40 AM

More than 230,000 people have downloaded Minnesota's COVID exposure app

The more people who use the app, the more effective it is.


Despite pandemic, Life Time pushes ahead to open downtown co-working space

It was originally planned to open in the fall, but it has been pushed back to April.

shamrocks irish nook

The Nook issues plea, asks people to order from its other restaurant

Shamrocks Irish Nook has the same food as The Nook, the restaurant owners say.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.55.05 PM

Small plane lands on northbound I-35W in Twin Cities

A large police presence is at the scene.


Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.


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?

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.

Vikings, Saints to renew bitter playoff rivalry

They'll meet at the Superdome on wild-card weekend.

Patrick Mahomes

Will Packers win force Chiefs to start Mahomes against Vikings?

Kansas City dropped to 5-3 in a tight playoff race.

Green Bay blues: NFL says bad call cost Packers win over Seattle

You think the refs were bad in Sunday’s Vikings game against the 49ers? The bar may have been lowered last night in Seattle.