Skip to main content

Vikings face a challenging road to the playoffs

Despite a 5-0 start, the Vikings playoff chances are slimming by the day.

As the Vikings head into the final quarter of the NFL season one thing is becoming evident. If they want to make the playoffs they are going to need to start winning again.

Minnesota's defensive showing in a 17-15 loss to Dallas on Thursday won't get the credit that it deserves, but the Vikings' front four gave the Cowboys more trouble than anyone has all season.

After starting the season 5-0, and sitting atop the NFC, six losses in their last seven games has them on the outside looking in with just four games to go.

What lies ahead

There are six playoff spots in the NFC – so far only Dallas has clinched one – so anything can happen, but the Vikings need to start winning.

That could start Sunday as the schedule gets a little easier from here on out.

  • Dec. 11 at Jacksonville (2-10)
  • Dec. 18 vs. Indianapolis (6-6)
  • Dec. 24 at Green Bay (6-6)
  • Jan. 1 vs. Chicago (3-9)

The scary part is, the Vikings could go 4-0 and not make the playoffs, they're going to need some help.

Teams to watch

The easiest way for the Vikings to get into the playoffs would be to win the NFC North. That would guarantee them a home game in the first round.

However, they trail Lions by two games and Detroit has the tiebreaker – meaning basically if the Lions win two more games the rest of the year, they'll win the division – even if the Vikings win out.

Detroit's remaining schedule is tough, though.

  • Dec. 11 vs. Chicago (3-9)
  • Dec. 18 at New York Giants (8-4)
  • Dec. 24 at Dallas (11-1)
  • Jan. 1 vs. Green Bay (6-6)

If the Vikings don't win the division, they'll have to fight for a wildcard spot with the Giants, Atlanta/Tampa Bay, Washington, Green Bay, Arizona and Philadelphia.

Here is how those schedules play out:

Giants – vs. Cowboys, vs. Lions, at Eagles, at Redskins

Falcons – at Rams, vs. 49ers, at Panthers, vs. Saints

Buccaneers – vs. Saints, at Cowboys, at Saints, vs. Panthers

Redskins – at Eagles, vs. Panthers, at Bears, vs. Giants

Packers – vs. Seahawks, at Bears, vs. Vikings, at Lions

Cardinals – at Dolphins, vs. Saints, at Seahawks, at Rams

Eagles – vs. Redskins, at Ravens, vs. Giants, vs. Cowboys

What does it all mean?

Even if the Vikings make the playoffs are they the type of team that can contend for a Super Bowl championship?

Sure it would give them a chance with a postseason appearance, but with the way the offense is struggling it's hard to believe they are legitimate title contenders as the Ringer points out:

"Minnesota's defensive showing in a 17-15 loss to Dallas on Thursday won't get the credit that it deserves, but the Vikings' front four gave the Cowboys more trouble than anyone has all season. That group makes Minnesota at least somewhat scary as a wild-card threat, but not scary enough to overcome the Vikings' sorry offensive line."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 7.01.29 AM

Fireworks likely cause of garage blaze in Hugo

The fire fortunately didn't spread to the house.

Ellie Ragin

Police obtain 'valuable information' in search for missing 6-year-old Elle Ragin

The 6-year-old is still missing following the death of her mother by suicide.

ambulance

Fatal crash involving 18-year-old in western Minnesota

The 18-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt, the State Patrol said.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

2 women stabbed during parking lot brawl in St. Cloud

Police are searching for another woman in connection with the attack.

Screen Shot 2022-07-04 at 10.02.43 AM

One killed in St. Paul house fire

Two firefighters were injured as they battled the blaze.

fireworks-gad76f1de1_1280

Minneapolis: Stop calling 911 for fireworks noise complaints

The city wants people to submit complaints online instead.

American flag at half-staff/half mast.

What's open and closed in Minnesota on the Fourth of July

Grocery stores are open, though some have limited hours.

ambulance

18-year-old killed by exploding firework in Brooklyn Park

Police arrived at the scene to see the victim's friend performing CPR.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 9.31.25 PM

Boy found in Brooklyn Park is reunited with parents

The boy was found shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday.

police tape, crime scene

1 dead, 1 arrested after shooting involving teens in Duluth

A 17-year-old was arrested around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Neither the victim nor the suspect has been identified.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 1.03.19 PM

NASCAR driver joins MN boy in reclaiming 'Let's go Brandon' slogan

Brandon Brundidge gained recognition when his mother shared the story of how he found inspiration in "Let's go Brandon" signs.

Related

Vikings face a challenging road to the playoffs

Despite a 5-0 start, the Vikings playoff chances are slimming by the day.

Vikings better win Sunday – or their playoff road is much tougher

How bad to the Vikings need a win on Sunday? Pretty bad.

Vikings better win Sunday – or their playoff road is much tougher

How bad to the Vikings need a win on Sunday? Pretty bad.

Here are the best-case scenarios for the Vikings this weekend

Trying to figure out how the Vikings can make the playoffs? This should help.

Here are the best-case scenarios for the Vikings this weekend

Trying to figure out how the Vikings can make the playoffs? This should help.

The playoff picture: Vikings don't control their own destiny

The Vikings have a fairly easy remaining schedule but they're still 60 percent locks to miss the playoffs.

The playoff picture: Vikings don't control their own destiny

The Vikings have a fairly easy remaining schedule but they're still 60 percent locks to miss the playoffs.

It's over: The Vikings have been eliminated from the playoffs

The Vikings started 5-0 but will miss the playoffs – the second time they've done that in the past 15 years.