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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.
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

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