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.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

It's that line former NFL Coach Jim Mora made famous, when he said, "playoffs, what playoffs?!" Now, the real possibility exists that playoff football will not happen this season for the Vikings.

If the NFL playoffs started now, the reigning North division champion Vikings would be on the outside looking in.

As it stands, NFC locks right now are division leaders Dallas, Detroit, Seattle and Atlanta. The next two for wild card positioning are the NY Giants and Washington with the Vikings and Tampa Bay out of the picture and needing help.

Minnesota's easiest path to the playoffs is to win the North, but after being swept by the Lions the Vikings need to finish ahead of Detroit to win the division. If they get to the playoffs as a wild card team they'll have to hope the Giants (8-3), Redskins (6-4-1), Buccaneers (6-5), Saints (5-6), Packers (5-6) and Eagles (5-6) all keep losing.

The good news is that of all of those teams the Vikings have the second-easiest remaining schedule. Only the Redskins play a softer final five games.

  • Vikings remaining schedule: vs. Cowboys, at Jaguars, vs. Colts, at Packers, vs. Bears
  • Vikings opponents combined record: 24-31

Minnesota vs. Giants

If it comes down to the Vikings and Giants for a wild card, Minnesota owns the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head win in Week 3. But the Vikings are already two games behind New York.

  • Giants remaining schedule: at Steelers, vs. Cowboys, vs. Lions, at Eagles, at Redskins
  • Giants opponents combined record: 34-19-1

Minnesota vs. Redskins

If it comes down to the Vikings and Redskins for a wild card, Washington owns the tiebreaker due to their win over the Vikings.

  • Redskins remaining schedule: at Cardinals, at Eagles, vs. Panthers, at Bears, vs. Giants
  • Redskins opponents combined record: 23-31-1

Minnesota vs. Buccaneers

If it comes down to the Vikings and Buccaneers, Tampa Bay currently owns the tiebreaker due to a better conference record.

  • Buccaneers remaining schedule: at Chargers, vs. Saints, at Cowboys, at Saints, vs. Panthers
  • Buccaneers opponents combined record: 29-26

Minnesota vs. Saints

They don't meet in the regular season so the first tiebreaker, if it comes to it, is conference record. The Saints are currently 4-3 against NFC teams and the Vikings are 4-5.

  • Saints remaining schedule: vs. Lions, at Buccaneers, at Cardinals, vs. Buccaneers, at Falcons
  • Saints opponents combined record: 30-23-1

Minnesota vs. Packers

The Vikings own the tiebreaker thanks to their 17-14 win over Green Bay in Week 2, but the two play again in Week 16.

  • Packers remaining schedule: vs. Texans, vs. Seahawks, at Bears, vs. Vikings, at Lions
  • Packers opponents combined record: 28-26-1

Minnesota vs. Eagles

The Eagles own the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head win over the Vikings.

  • Eagles remaining schedule: at Bengals, vs. Redskins, at Ravens, vs. Giants, vs. Cowboys
  • Eagles opponents combined record: 33-20-2

According to PlayoffStatus.com, the Vikings currently have a 60 percent chance to miss the playoffs.

The scary fact is that if the Vikings don't win the division and the Giants eat up one of the wild card spots, the Vikings will need to finish ahead of the Redskins to make the playoffs. And the Redskins are the only team with a softer remaining schedule and they own the tiebreaker over Minnesota.

Next Up

Mayo Belle Plaine

Mayo temporarily closes 5 clinics in southern MN amid COVID surge

The Mayo is reallocating staff to other sites as it deals with the COVID outbreak.

soda pop

MDH finds 'troubling' trend in how many sugary drinks students are consuming

Nearly half of students have a sugary drink a day. Health officials recommend limiting it to one per week or fewer.

Rent, mortgage, house, key, door

Minnesotans have till Dec. 7 to apply for housing assistance

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Penny Flanagan issued a press release urging Minnesotans behind on bills to apply

coronavirus

Dec. 4 COVID-19 update: 61 deaths, hospitalizations drop day-over-day

The update includes new data on cases, deaths, positivity rates and hospitalizations.

Kevin Nokels

Mystery over Duluth hospital CEO's sudden departure

Kevin Nokels stepped down this week, after less than 18 months in the role.

lola missing dog

1 dog still missing after woman's vehicle was stolen in Minneapolis

The woman was dropping her daughter off at daycare when someone stole her car with her two dogs inside.

Zachary Robinson

St. Paul man pleads guilty to murder of woman pregnant with his child

The 27-year-old will spend the next five decades in prison.

fire, firefighter

Fire at southern Minnesota farm kills 2,000 pigs

The fire started around 8 a.m. Thursday.

Minnesota Sex Offender Program Moose Lake

Man at Moose Lake sex offender facility dies from COVID-19

It's the first COVID-related death of anyone in Minnesota's sex offender program.

Chris Hovan

Charges: Ex-Viking Chris Hovan drove drunk with child in the vehicle

His blood-alcohol concentration was more than three times the legal limit, charges say.

Gov. Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz to address Minnesotans about COVID-19 on Friday

The number of COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities have been increasing after outbreaks at the facilities slowed 'significantly' over the summer.

Related

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.

Vikings face a challenging road to the playoffs

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

Vikings face a challenging road to the playoffs

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

Vikings win in Jacksonville but the playoff picture isn't any clearer

The Vikings beat the Jaguars but didn't get any help from the Lions and Redskins.

Vikings win in Jacksonville but the playoff picture isn't any clearer

The Vikings beat the Jaguars but didn't get any help from the Lions and Redskins.

Staying in the playoff chase is Vikings' top priority this week

Three games remain as Vikings fight for playoffs

Staying in the playoff chase is Vikings' top priority this week

Three games remain as Vikings fight for playoffs

Playoffs?! Vikings just hope they can win a game

One or two more losses could plummet the Vikings near the bottom of the NFC standings.