The Vikings pulled off a wild rally for a 28-27 win over the Panthers in Week 12, a victory that kept Minnesota's playoff hopes afloat.
Minnesota will now wrap up a three-game homestand against Jacksonville, which is 1-10 and has lost 10 games in a row.
Here's a look at where the Vikings rank before Week 13:
No. 16 (up 2 spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports
Justin Jefferson posted a 7-70-2 line and is up to 52-918-6 on the season despite the Vikings inexplicably barely playing him the first two weeks. If we redrafted the 2020 rookie class, where would Jefferson go? Top 10? Top 5?
No. 16 (up 3 spots): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report
The Minnesota Vikings are clinging to faint playoff hopes in the NFC. However, a flawed performance against the Carolina Panthers at home after losing to a bad Dallas Cowboys team in Week 11 doesn't inspire a ton of confidence that their mad scramble to sneak into the bottom of the NFC bracket will pay off.
But after allowing defensive touchdowns on back-to-back series to open the second half Sunday, the Vikings rallied, eking out a one-point win that got them back to a within a game of .500.
It hasn't been pretty, but after a miserable 1-5 start, the Vikings have rallied to win four of their past five games. However, the Vikings are only 1-4 against teams with winning records, and they have two games remaining against such teams (trips to Tampa and New Orleans).
If they lose those games, the Vikings ceiling is an 8-8 record. That likely won't be enough for a postseason berth, even if each conference gets eight playoff teams instead of seven.
View photos of games between the Vikings and Jaguars through the years.
No. 15 (up 1 spot): Conor Orr (The MMQB) – Sports Illustrated
It might be too little too late, but the Vikings deserve a lot of credit for their turnaround. They've looked a lot more like the team we saw win a playoff game in New Orleans last year, and that team sneaks into the top half of my rankings with a 5–6 mark.
No. 17 (up 2 spots): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News
The Vikings got sloppy with the football twice and it nearly cost them against the Panthers. But their defense is starting to play better at the right time to keep them in contention, while their offense keeps showing good balance and explosiveness when not making mistakes.
No. 19 (up 2 spots): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports
WR Justin Jefferson's remarkable season continues, the rookie now leading the league with 17 catches of at least 20 yards.
No. 18 (up 1 spot): Courtney Cronin – ESPN.com
Note: ESPN's pollsters looked at the most important game left for each team. Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin went with Minnesota's Week 14 game at Tampa Bay.
The easy answer would be "all of them" given the Vikings are the No. 8 team in the NFC and one game out of the final Wild Card berth. Minnesota got this far after a 1-5 start by beating up on bad teams, with only one of the Vikings five victories coming against a team with a winning record (Week 8 at the Packers). A win on the road against 7-5 Tampa Bay is critical. In order to be taken seriously as a postseason contender, Minnesota needs to show it can defeat better competition. A win against the Bucs would up the Vikings playoff odds significantly.
No. 15 (up 3 spots): Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk
It's better to be lucky than good. It's ideal to be both.
No. 16 (same spot): Dan Hanzus – NFL.com
The Vikings' playoff hopes seemed to all but evaporate when Chad Beebe muffed a punt deep in Minnesota territory with 2:10 to play on Sunday. The Panthers had the ball and the lead after another self-inflicted wound for Minnesota in a day full of them. But the defense kept the damage to a field goal, setting the stage for one of Kirk Cousins' greatest moments in purple. With no timeouts and playing without his favorite target in Adam Thielen, Cousins marched the Vikings 75 yards on seven plays, culminating with a 10-yard touchdown strike to -- you guessed it -- Chad Beebe. One missed Joey Slye field goal later, the Vikings had escaped with a 28-27 win. It wasn't long ago that Cousins was on a Winston-esque 30/30 pace. Over the last month, he's been one of the most productive quarterbacks in football.
No. 18 (down 2 spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports
Rallying to beat the Panthers might have saved their season. Their playoff hopes are still alive as Kirk Cousins continues to play well.
Under Center with Kirk Cousins
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is back again to team up with legendary sports anchor Mark Rosen to deliver unique content via "Under Center with Kirk Cousins." The series features conversations with current Vikings players, prominent Minnesotans and guests with personal connections to Kirk. Other segments will focus on game reaction with sound from press conferences and the locker room. Cousins and Rosen will also look ahead to the next week's matchup.