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

How bad to the Vikings need a win on Sunday? Pretty bad.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The term must-win is overused, but we wouldn't be telling the truth if we said Sunday's game in Washington is really, really important for the Vikings.

"The big thing is we need to win," said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. "It's time we need to win, so that at the end of the day that's the most important thing."

So what's at stake?

After starting the year 5-0, the Vikings could deal their playoff hopes a major setback with a fourth straight loss.

Things could get worse too, with a brutal three-game stretch over 12 days that includes:

  • Arizona (3-4-1)
  • at Detroit (5-4)
  • Dallas (7-1)

In case you haven't noticed, both Detroit and Green Bay have closed in on Minnesota for the lead in the NFC North.

While the Vikings are dealing with their toughest portion of the schedule, things get easier for both the Lions and Packers. Green Bay plays at Washington, at Philadelphia and hosts the Texans.

But the real concern might be the suddenly-hot Lions. Detroit hosts the Jaguars, the Vikings and plays at the Saints.

A loss Sunday would give Detroit the same record as the Vikings. They also already own a victory over Minnesota at U.S. Bank Stadium, meaning they hold the advantage.

If the Vikings don't win Sunday it might be a bumpy ride until the end of the season.

Next Up

Mondale

Walter Mondale dies at age of 93

His death was confirmed by family on Monday.

National Guard

Man charged in connection to shooting that injured National Guard troops

Four soldiers were inside a military vehicle that was shot at.

Chauvin trial

Walz declares emergency in Twin Cities, bringing in police from Ohio and Nebraska

The governor has asked the Legislature for emergency funding for the additional police.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial: Here's what was said

The jury listened to lengthy presentations from the prosecution and defense.

helicopter-186718_1280

Man, 55, airlifted to a hospital after hit-and-run in Granite Falls

The passenger in the vehicle told police about the incident.

Minneapolis, unrest

Facebook labels Minneapolis 'high-risk,' will remove posts that incite violence

Facebook will remove posts that call for weapons to be brought to Minneapolis and anything that celebrates George Floyd's death.

MyPillow

After being sued, MyPillow is now suing Dominion Voting Systems

The company's lawsuit claims the voting system suppressed free speech and hurt its business relationships.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren makes his decision ... and it's Gonzaga

The Minnesota basketball phenom is following the footsteps of Jalen Suggs.

Sarah Glover

MPR News hires NBC's Sarah Glover as new managing editor

The experienced journalist was the first to serve two terms as president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

football play

Watch: Sixth-grader with cerebral palsy makes touchdown in Detroit Lakes

Kale Hannahs' classmates made sure he got a chance to play during recess.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, April 19

The latest from Minnesota health officials.

Related

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

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

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 won't have Alex Boone or Eric Kendricks Sunday

Concussions to keep Vikings Alex Boone and Eric Kendricks out of Sunday's game.

Vikings won't have Alex Boone or Eric Kendricks Sunday

Concussions to keep Vikings Alex Boone and Eric Kendricks out of Sunday's game.

Does anyone think the Vikings will beat the Cardinals Sunday?

Can the Vikings turn it around against the Cardinals?

Does anyone think the Vikings will beat the Cardinals Sunday?

Can the Vikings turn it around against the Cardinals?

What changes will Pat Shurmur make on Vikings offense?

How different will things look on Sunday?