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Washington loss adds clarity to Vikings' clinching scenarios

Beat Detroit and get the Texans to top the Eagles and the Vikes are in.

Washington's loss to the Titans on Saturday was exactly what the Vikings wanted because it really makes their clinching scenario simple today. 

  • If the Vikings beat the Lions and the Eagles lose to the Texans, then the Vikings clinch a playoff spot. 
  • If the Vikings win and so do the Eagles, then Minnesota cannot clinch until next week. 
  • If the Vikings lose and the Eagles win, then the Eagles have the edge entering Week 17. 

Even though the Vikings are playing on the road today, there's really no excuse to lose the game because Detroit is dealing with a ton of injuries to key players. 

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is questionable with a back injury and his top wide receiver, Kenny Golladay, is also questionable with an ankle issue. Not only that, but leading rusher Kerryon Johnson is on injured reserve and will not play. 

Remember, this a Lions team that the Vikings destroyed earlier this season, sacking Stafford a franchise record 10 times – and Detroit wasn't nearly as banged up in that game. 

Check out some of these scenarios for the NFC wild-card race. 

Note: These scenarios get even crazier if Dallas loses to Tampa Bay and Carolina beats Atlanta. 

Wild Card 1: Vikings win, Eagles lose, Seahawks win

  1. Seahawks (9-6)
  2. Vikings (8-6-1)
  3. Eagles (7-8)
  4. Redskins (7-8)

In this scenario, the Seahawks and Vikings would clinch wild-card berths, but the Vikings could still jump to the top wild card position with a Week 17 win over the Bears coupled with a Seahawks loss to the Cardinals. 

Wild Card 2: Vikings win, Eagles win, Seahawks win

  1. Seahawks (9-6)
  2. Vikings (8-6-1)
  3. Eagles (8-7)
  4. Redskins (7-8)

In this scenario, the Seahawks would clinch a wild-card berth, leaving the Vikings and Eagles in a two-team battle for the final spot. Minnesota would clinch it with a Week 17 win over the Bears or an Eagles loss to the Redskins. But if the Eagles beat the Redskins and the Vikings lose to the Bears, then the playoff spot goes to the Eagles. 

The Vikings could also still get the top wild card by beating the Bears and having the Seahawks lose to the Cardinals. Seattle would win a tiebreaker over Philly based on better conference record. 

Wild Card 3: Vikings win, Eagles win, Seahawks lose

  1. Vikings (8-6-1)
  2. Seahawks (8-7)
  3. Eagles (8-7)
  4. Redskins (7-8)

No team clinches a wild-card berth this week in this scenario, and everything would be settled in Week 17. The Vikings would face a win-and-in situation against the Bears, but could still get in with a loss as long as the Seahawks lose or Eagles lose or tie.  

Wild Card 4: Vikings lose, Eagles win, Seahawks win

  1. Seahawks (9-6)
  2. Eagles (8-7)
  3. Vikings (7-7-1)
  4. Redskins (7-8)

This is a nightmare scenario for the Vikings because Seattle would clinch one wild card and the Eagles would be in control of the other going into Week 17, where they could eliminate the Vikings with a win over the Redskins. 

Minnesota would need to beat the Bears in Week 17 and have the Eagles lose or tie against the Redskins in order to clinch a playoff spot.

Wild Card 5: Vikings lose, Eagles win, Seahawks lose

  1. Seahawks (8-7)
  2. Eagles (8-7)
  3. Vikings (7-7-1)
  4. Redskins (7-8)

Seattle owns the tiebreaker over the Eagles so they'd remain in the top wild-card spot. IN order to clinch, the Vikings would need to beat the Bears in Week 17 to get to 8-7-1, and they'd need either both Seattle and Philly to lose or at least get a tie in the Eagles-Redskins game. 

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