Vikings' playoff chances are good, but all signs point to Wild Card

Minnesota is already in prime position to be in the playoffs.
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Dalvin Cook

The Vikings are halfway through the 2019 season and are sitting at 6-3 through nine games.

Even though Minnesota has beaten up on some bottom feeders in the Giants, Falcons and Washington, upcoming games against the Cowboys, Seahawks and three divisional foes will play an important role in their playoff odds.

Here are their playoff chances, according to the big wigs at FiveThirtyEight, ESPN and Football Outsiders.

FiveThirtyEight 

  • Playoff chances: 65% 
  • Winning the NFC North: 28% 
  • Winning the Super Bowl: 4%

ESPN

  • Playoff chances: 77% 
  • Winning the NFC North: 27.3% 
  • Winning the Super Bowl: 4%

Football Outsiders

  • Playoff chances: 68.7% 
  • Winning the NFC North: 29.8% 
  • Winning the Super Bowl: 3.4%

On average, those three outlets project the Vikings to have about a 70% chance to be in the playoffs.

But winning the North is probably going to be a long shot at this point. Not only will Minnesota have to come close to running the table the rest of the season, the Packers will also have to lose multiple games down the stretch. 

Here's Green Bay's schedule for the rest of the season.

  • vs. Panthers 
  • at 49ers 
  • at Giants
  • vs. Washington
  • vs. Bears 
  • at Vikings
  • at Lions

Also, with the Vikings already 1-2 in divisional play and Green Bay at 3-0, things get murky in the event of a tiebreaker.

The only real path the Vikings have to winning the division at this point is if they go 5-2 the rest of the way, and Green Bay goes 4-3 with all three losses against the divisional opponents, including the Vikings. That would put both teams at 11-5 but with the Vikings having the edge in the tiebreaker.

Minnesota also would need to win their three remaining games against the Lions, Bears and Packers but at least all three all at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Of course, an injury to Aaron Rodgers or Kirk Cousins would chance the conversation completely. 

Vikings remaining schedule:

  • at Cowboys 
  • vs. Broncos 
  • at Seahawks 
  • vs. Lions 
  • at Chargers 
  • vs. Packers 
  • vs. Bears

Also, getting a first-round bye seems pretty much off the table with the 49ers and Saints in the driver's seats for the top two seeds.

So yes, the Vikings are likely going to be in the playoffs but the numbers point to being a road team on Wild Card Weekend. 

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