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Vikings Vault Eagles in NFC Playoffs Standings, Direct Full Attention to Panthers Prep

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The Vikings have played themselves into a position of controlling their own postseason destiny.

That doesn't mean they can't still receive help or would refuse it.

Coincidentally, help was provided on Sunday night from the team that Minnesota most recently faced in the playoffs.

Seattle downed Philadelphia 24-10 hours after the Vikings defeated the Falcons in Atlanta.

With the combined decisions, Minnesota moved from second in the NFC to first, and Philadelphia was nudged from its perch via tiebreakers (if the playoffs were to start this week).

The Vikings (10-2) and Eagles (10-2) have four common opponents on their schedules (Bears, Redskins, Panthers and Rams) and haven't lost to any of those teams.

The Vikings visit the Panthers on Sunday, and the Eagles will visit the Rams, so both of those games are important in the standings and in determining the win percentage tiebreaker in common games. Philadelphia will close out its slate of common games on Sunday, and the Vikings will conclude the regular season against the Bears in Week 17.

Minnesota and Philadelphia are each 8-1 against NFC teams and have three of four remaining games within the conference.

The Vikings have wide edges on the Eagles if strength of victory or strength of schedule come into play.

Strength of victory is measured by the win percentage of teams that have been defeated. The teams that Minnesota has defeated have a combined win percentage of .467, compared to .375 of the teams that Philadelphia has defeated.

Minnesota also has an edge in strength of schedule, with all opponents having a combined .497 win percentage, compared to .410 by Philadelphia's foes so far. Click here to view all of the NFL's tiebreaking procedures.

The Vikings will seek their ninth victory in a row — a franchise feat that hasn't been accomplished in one season since the 1975 team won its first 10 games.

If the playoffs started today, Minnesota would have home-field advantage throughout and would receive a first-round bye. Philadelphia also would have a bye and be in line to host at least a Divisional game.

The Los Angeles Rams (9-3) would win the NFC West and be the No. 3 seed, and New Orleans (9-3) would win the NFC South and be the No. 4 seed. Los Angeles secured a head-to-head tiebreaker in Week 12.

Seattle (8-4) would be the No. 5 seed, and Carolina (8-4) would nab the final spot.

Atlanta (7-5), Detroit (6-6), Green Bay (6-6), Dallas (6-6), Washington (5-7) and Arizona (5-7) also are still in varying degrees of contention for a division title and/or playoff berth. 

Tampa Bay (4-8) has not been mathematically eliminated from the postseason but is last in line among NFC teams that are still eligible. Chicago (3-9) was eliminated Sunday when the Bears lost to the 49ers. The New York Giants (2-10) and San Francisco 49ers (2-10) were eliminated after losing in Week 12.

Below are the remaining schedules for the 12 NFC teams that are 5-7 or better, along with records and win percentages of remaining opponents:

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1. Minnesota Vikings (10-2)

12/10 @ CAR (8-4)
12/17 CIN (5-6)*
12/23 @ GB (6-6)
12/31 CHI (3-9)

Remaining foes' combined records: 22-25 (.468)

  • Cincinnati plays Monday night

2. Philadelphia Eagles (10-2)

12/10 @ LAR (9-3)
12/17 @ NYG (2-10)
12/25 OAK (6-6)
12/31 DAL (6-6)

Remaining foes' combined records: 23-25 (.479)

3. Los Angeles Rams (9-3)

12/10 PHI (10-2)
12/17 @ SEA (8-4)
12/24 @ TEN (8-4)
12/31 SF (2-10)

Remaining foes' combined records: 28-20 (.583)

4. New Orleans (9-3)

12/7   @ ATL (7-5)
12/17 NYJ (5-7)
12/24 ATL (7-5)
12/31 @ TB (4-8)

Remaining foes' combined records: 23-25 (.479)

5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4)

12/10 @ JAX (8-4)
12/17 LAR (9-3)
12/24 @ DAL (6-6)
12/31 AZ (5-7)

Remaining foes' combined records: 28-20 (.583)

6. Carolina Panthers (8-4)

12/10 MIN (10-2)
12/17 GB (6-6)
12/24 TB (4-8)
12/31 @ ATL (7-5)

Remaining foes' combined records: 27-21 (.563)

7. Atlanta Falcons (7-5)

12/7 NO (9-3)
12/18 @ TB (4-8)
12/24 @NO (9-3)
12/31 CAR (8-4)

Remaining foes' combined records: 30-18 (.625)

8. Detroit Lions (6-6)

12/10 @ TB (4-8)
12/16 CHI (3-9)
12/24 @ CIN (5-6)*
12/31 GB (6-6)

Remaining foes' combined records: 18-29 (.383)

  • Cincinnati plays Monday night

9. Green Bay Packers (6-6)

12/10 @ CLE (0-12)
12/17 @ CAR (8-4)
12/23 MIN (10-2)
12/31 @ DET (6-6)

Remaining foes' combined records: 24-24 (.500)

10. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)

12/10 @ NYG (2-10)
12/17 @ OAK (6-6)
12/24 SEA (8-4)
12/31 @ PHI (10-2)

Remaining foes' combined records: 26-22 (.542)

11. Washington Redskins (5-7)

12/10 @ LAC (6-6)
12/17 AZ (5-7)
12/24 DEN (3-9)
12/31 @ NYG (2-10)

Remaining foes' combined records: 16-32 (.333)

12. Arizona Cardinals (5-7)

12/10 TEN (8-4)
12/17 @ WAS (5-7)
12/24 NYG (2-10)
12/31 @ SEA (8-4)

Remaining foes' combined records: 23-25 (.479)

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