After letting a 5-0 start go out the window, the Vikings are 7-6 and the margin for error is nil as the team is looking to make the playoffs in a crowded conference.
Although there's a small chance the Vikings can still win the division, let's assume Minnesota will be a wild card team if they indeed make the playoffs.
Currently the Vikings are seeded 8th in the NFC and will need to leapfrog two spots if they have postseason aspirations.
Before games get underway Sunday, the following teams – Giants, Buccaneers and Redskins – are all ahead of the Vikings in the playoff picture.
Assuming the Vikings win on Sunday, here's what they really need to help make their playoff dreams more of a reality.
- Lions beat the Giants
- Cowboys beat the Bucs
- Panthers beat the Redskins
- 49ers beat the Falcons
In all likelihood, either the Falcons or Bucs will win the NFC South, meaning one of them will be standing in the Vikings' way of a wild card seed. So Minnesota has to root against both. But if the Falcons win the South the Vikings have to finish with a better record than the Bucs. The same goes if the Bucs win the South - the Vikings need to finish ahead of Atlanta.
The Lions beating the Giants would eliminate Minnesota from NFC North contention, but it helps the Vikings' wild card chances. Minnesota owns the tiebreaker in the event they finish with the same record as the Giants.
Minnesota also has to finish ahead of Washington because the Redskins own the tiebreaker due to a head-to-head win over the Vikings.
Green Bay losing to Chicago would be helpful, too.
Really, it is wild.
You'll be able to watch the Cowboys vs. Buccaneers and Panthers vs. Redskins – instead of being glued to an online scoreboard – as both games are in prime-time.