The Vikings 17-point comeback victory against the Buffalo Bills this past Sunday did two things.
For starters, it kept Minnesota's current seven-game win streak alive. And secondly, it cemented the Vikings into the conversation of teams who have strong chances at making a deep run in the postseason.
Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com recently looked at 16 NFC teams who are considered either contenders or pretenders after Week 10.
Chadiha ranked the Vikings as one of the two teams as playoff "locks," with the Eagles being the other. Both Minnesota and Philadelphia are tied for the NFC's best record at 8-1.
No team has faced more questions regarding the legitimacy of its record than the 8-1 the Vikings. That probably has a lot to do with how they win, as they've pulled out five victories this year when trailing late in the fourth quarter. They did it again on Sunday against Buffalo — overcoming a 17-point second-half deficit to get a 33-30 overtime triumph — and it's time to stop pooh-poohing their success. This team's only loss came to Philadelphia in Week 2. They're legit.
Chadiha listed Minnesota as a contender. He also placed Dallas (6-3) in the "safe bets" category to make the playoffs. The Vikings host the Cowboys at 3:25 p.m. (CT) Sunday.
The Cowboys took a tough hit in Sunday's 31-28 overtime loss at Green Bay, but there's still plenty to like about this squad. The most important element is their resilience. Dallas went 4-1 when quarterback Dak Prescott was sidelined by thumb surgery, and the defense is filled with playmakers. The offense could use another weapon for Prescott — insert Odell Beckham, Jr., reference here — but there's enough talent to make it possible to see them landing a Wild Card spot.
Chadiha also put San Francisco (5-4) and Tampa Bay (5-5) as "safe bets."
Chadiha had two teams in the "new kids on the block" category, or teams that have shown signs of playoff potential: Seattle (6-4) and the New York Giants (7-2). He said both Seattle and the Giants are contenders.
The Vikings host the Giants on Dec. 24.
Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll has been just as impressive as [Seattle Head Coach Pete] Carroll in the way he's led his team to a 7-2 record. In fact, Daboll has been doing more with far less. There's nothing scary about the offense aside from running back Saquon Barkley. The defense is well-coached but not flush with big names. All this team does is believe and find ways to win. That mindset can work wonders in a season where there aren't many dominant teams to be found.
Four teams were placed in the "jury is still out" category, or teams that have both talent and coaching but don't maintain consistency: Washington (5-5), Green Bay (4-6), Arizona (4-6) and Atlanta (4-6).
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Cowboys.
Chadiha listed two teams as "disappointments": the Los Angeles Rams (3-6) and New Orleans (3-7). He also noted that "the party is over" for three teams: Detroit (3-6), Chicago (3-7) and Carolina (3-7).
Jefferson's gear to be displayed in Pro Football Hall of Fame
Justin Jefferson's one-handed grab to secure a 32-yard pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins on fourth-and-18 against the Bills is one that will be forever discussed.
Now, the gear the Vikings wide receiver was wearing is a part of history.
Jefferson's gloves and arm sleeve from the game have been sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
The gear will be in an exhibit in the Pro Football Today Gallery by the end of the week and will be on display through next summer.
Jefferson's performance of 10 catches, a career-high 193 yards and a touchdown also earned him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors on Wednesday.