The Minnesota Vikings took care of business on Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers, allowing them to relax the rest of this holiday weekend. No matter what happens in the rest of Week 16, the Vikings will remain the No. 2 seed heading into their regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears next Sunday.
The Vikings, however, will be paying close attention to three games this weekend as those outcomes could dictate what Week 17 would mean for them, if anything.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10) at Carolina Panthers (10-4) | Noon (CT) Sunday | Bank of America Stadium
Carolina wraps up its three-game homestand Sunday against NFC South foe Tampa Bay. Carolina needs a win in order to remain in contention for the divisional race and for the No. 2 seed. However, if the Panthers fall, the Vikings will officially wrap up a first-round bye.
If Carolina wins, the Vikings would be able to wrap up the first-round bye with a win over the Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Atlanta Falcons (9-5) at New Orleans Saints (10-4) | Noon (CT) Sunday | Mercedes-Benz Superdome
This game has plenty of playoff implications for both the Falcons and the Saints. The Falcons, who defeated the Saints 20-17 on Thursday Night Football in Week 14, need a win to keep their NFC South hopes alive. A win would guaranteed a spot in the postseason.
The Saints are a team that the Vikings will be pulling for in the coming weeks as they have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Carolina Panthers. If the Panthers, Saints and Vikings all finish with the same record, the Vikings will be the team that would be seeded the highest. If the Saints win on Sunday, that would go a long way in giving the Vikings an extra cushion in that fight for the bye during Wild Card weekend.
Oakland Raiders (6-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (12-2) | 7:30 p.m. (CT) Monday | Lincoln Financial Field
Depending on how Sunday's games finish, both teams could enter this game with plenty to play for.
With a win, the Eagles would wrap up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. A loss, however, keeps the Vikings in that conversation heading into the final weekend. With a one-game lead and holding the tiebreaker, the Vikings need Philadelphia to lose their final two games to have a shot at the top spot in the conference.
For Oakland, they're still a longshot to make the playoffs, and could be eliminated even before kickoff. If they aren't, it will be up to them to keep their hopes alive for the final week of the season.