Skip to main content

3 reasons the Lions will collapse, opening the door for a Vikings playoff run

The number of things that could go wrong with the Lions is quickly mounting.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Finish 10-6. That's the goal for the Minnesota Vikings. Anything less dramatically decreases their playoff chances.

Numbers-wise, Minnesota's chances at 10-6 are only slightly better than the odds of beating Vegas in blackjack or craps. To be exact, winning out will give the Vikings a 56 percent chance to get in, according to ESPN (Insider required).

Here's the full ESPN explanation of Minnesota's playoff odds.

"Even though the Vikings beat the Jaguars this week, most of their competitors for NFC wild-card spots won as well. So the Vikings' playoff odds dropped by almost one-third, from 21.9 percent to 14.1 percent. Minnesota really has to sweep the final three games to make the playoffs. The Vikings only get a wild card in 3.2 percent of the simulations where they finish 9-7 or 8-8, but if they can go 10-6 they have a 56 percent chance of winning a wild card and a 29 percent chance of passing Detroit to win the division."

The odds are generated by Football Outsides via software that simulates the final three weeks of the season 50,000 times.

3 reasons the Lions will collapse

To win the NFC North the Vikings have to win out and the Lions have to lose out. This scenario feels like the most likely path to the playoffs. Minnesota is a 4-point home favorite against the Colts and they'll be favored Week 17 against Chicago. Winning those two seems likely, but beating Green Bay at Lambeau Field is the clear key to Minnesota's chances.

Meanwhile, the Lions appear destined for a Lions-like collapse.

  1. Most difficult remaining schedule in the NFC
  2. Matthew Stafford's messed up finger
  3. History says they'll collapse

First, Detroit has to play a murderer's row with Giants, Cowboys and Packers remaining. All three are fighting for the playoffs and/or playoff positioning.

Second, quarterback Matthew Stafford is playing with an injured middle finger on his throwing hand. Stafford dislocated and tore ligaments in the finger on Sunday and it's hurting his velocity and ability to grip the football, according to MLive.com. Stafford was 15 of 28 with 2 interceptions after the injury and this week he faces a tough Giants defense with rain and cold in the forecast.

Third, history suggests the Lions will lose out. Detroit is 0-2 in outdoor games this season and they haven't won in Dallas since 2010, according to CBS Sports. The last time the Lions played outside was two-and-a-half months ago at Soldier Field on Oct. 2 when the average temperature is in the mid-70s. It's going to be in the low 50s with rain Sunday in New York.

Getting a wild card will be hard

Getting in as a wild-card team or a division winner will be tough either way. As a wild card, the Vikings will have to finish ahead of all but one of the following:

  • Giants (9-4)
  • Buccaneers (8-5)
  • Redskins (7-5-1)
  • Packers (7-5)

That's not easy considering the Bucs and Redskins own the tiebreaker and the Giants need to lose at least twice in the last three weeks (very possible with the Lions, Redskins and Eagles remaining). The Vikings beat the Giants so they would own that tiebreaker in the event of a tie.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves survive Knicks' second-half barrage to get back to .500

Karl-Anthony Towns' lay-in helped Minnesota get a win in The Garden.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.

ambulance

Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.

Related

3 reasons the Lions will collapse, opening the door for a Vikings playoff run

The number of things that could go wrong with the Lions is quickly mounting.

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.

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.

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.

5 huge games impacting the Vikings' playoff chances

What happens Sunday will have a direct impact on the Vikings.

5 huge games impacting the Vikings' playoff chances

What happens Sunday will have a direct impact on the Vikings.

Adrian after Vikes' decision: 'The door is still open to find some common ground'

The Vikings are not exercising the 2017 contract option on Adrian Peterson, meaning he'll become a free agent.