Vikings, Packers in line for possible Week 17 division title tilt


There are only three rounds to go in the NFC North championship bout between the Vikings and Packers, and through 13 rounds the Packers are in the lead.

Green Bay (9-4) took control of the "fight" by dismantling the Cowboys 28-7 Sunday at Lambeau Field. Minnesota (8-4), despite losing three of its last four games – including a humbling home loss to the Packers a month ago – remains in contention for the division title.

And it could all come down to a Week 17 division collision between the Vikings and Packers in Lombardi country on Jan. 3.

The Vikings have back-to-back home games against the Bears (5-8) and Giants (5-7) before leading up to Week 17, while the Packers play on the road against the Raiders (6-7) and Cardinals (11-2).

Here's the dual-scenario, via ESPN, that would give the Vikings a chance to win the division.

"If the Vikings win their final three games -- including a victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 17 -- they'd be tied with Green Bay at 11-5 and would win the division by virtue of a better division record (5-1 to 3-3). Even if the Vikings lost to the Chicago Bears next Sunday, they'd have a chance to win the division title as long as they're within a game of the Packers by the time the two teams meet."

One win should clinch a playoff spot

All Minnesota has to do to clinch a playoff spot is beat the Bears and Giants. Ten wins gets the Vikings into the playoffs, and because the teams chasing them – Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Philadelphia – have only six wins, Minnesota finishing with nine wins probably gets them in as a Wild Card, too, according to ESPN.

The Giants could also join the list of six-win teams chasing the Vikings if they beat the Dolphins on Monday Night Football.

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