News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

NFC Playoff Outlook After Week 15

The Vikings will not be repeating as division champs this season, but did receive some help from the Panthers on Monday night.

Carolina's win at Washington moved Green Bay into the sixth seed, but it also helped the Vikings, who need the Redskins to lose one of their two remaining games and other help.

The best that Minnesota can do with two to play is finish 9-7 by winning at Green Bay on Saturday and at home against Chicago on Jan. 1, and that mark might not be enough for the Vikings to claim the No. 6 seed.

Another loss will eliminate the Vikings.

The Packers (8-6) still have a shot at winning the NFC North if they win out or defeat the Lions (9-5) and Detroit loses at Dallas on Dec. 26. If the Packers and Lions both finish 9-7, Green Bay will have the tiebreaker for the division, and Detroit will slide down to

Washington (7-6-1) is currently in that spot and hosts defending NFC Champion Carolina (5-8) tonight and still has an opportunity to reach 10 wins and claim a playoff spot without help.

The win by Dallas over Tampa Bay on Sunday night helped keep alive hope for Minnesota, but the Buccaneers (8-6) must lose their final two games for the Vikings to have a chance.

Fivethirtyeight.com has a predictions simulator to crunch out all of the scenarios.

Current positioning and remaining schedules:

No. 1 seed: Dallas (12-2)

Final two: vs. Lions on Dec. 26; at Eagles on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 14-14

Outlook: The Cowboys have clinched a playoff berth and can clinch the No. 1 overall seed with one more win. If Dallas, however, loses out and New York wins out, the Giants would claim the top spot.

No. 2 seed: Seattle (9-4-1)

Final two: vs. Cardinals on Dec. 24; at 49ers on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 6-21-1

Outlook: The Seahawks have clinched the NFC West. The No. 2 seed is the best they can do, and the No. 4 seed is the worst they can do.

No. 3 seed: Atlanta (9-5)

Final two: at Panthers on Dec. 24; vs. Saints on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 12-16

Outlook: The Falcons can claim the NFC South with a win or tie and a loss by the Buccaneers.

No. 4 seed: Detroit (9-5)

Final two: at Cowboys on Dec. 26; vs. Packers on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 20-8

Outlook: The Lions have the toughest schedule remaining as they try to win their first NFC North title but are the only team in the division that can reach 11 wins.  

No. 5 seed: New York (10-4)

Final two: at Eagles on Dec. 22; at Redskins on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 12-15-1

Outlook: New York's sweep of Dallas earlier this season gives the Giants a chance at the NFC East. One more win and a loss by the Redskins would guarantee the No. 5 seed.

No. 6 seed: Green Bay (8-6)

Final two: vs. Vikings on Dec. 24; at Lions on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 16-12

Outlook: The Packers can still win the NFC North by winning out or defeating Detroit in Week 17 if the Lions lose out. If Green Bay can overtake Detroit, Minnesota will be eliminated.

Needing wins and help (in order of next in line):

Tampa Bay (8-6)

Final two: at Saints on Dec. 24; vs. Panthers on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 12-16

Outlook: The Buccaneers had a five-game win streak snapped and will play the Saints for the second time in three weeks. Tampa Bay defeated New Orleans 16-11 and also won at Carolina in Week 5. Any win by the Buccaneers eliminates the Vikings, even if Minnesota wins out.

Washington (7-6-1)

Final two at Bears on Dec. 24; vs. Giants on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 13-15

Outlook: The best the Redskins can do is third place in the NFC East. They are eliminated if the Buccaneers lose twice but have life if Tampa Bay splits and Green Bay loses to Minnesota and defeats Detroit, but Washington must win out.

Minnesota (7-7)

Final two: at Packers on Dec. 24; vs. Bears on Jan. 1

Combined record of remaining opponents: 11-17

Outlook: The best that can happen is the No. 6 seed, and that's only possible with two wins by the Vikings, two losses by the Buccaneers, and the Redskins failing to reach nine wins.

Even if those dominoes fall, the Vikings would still miss the playoffs if Green Bay loses to Minnesota and defeats Detroit, if the Lions lose against the Cowboys.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising