The Minnesota Vikings find themselves in a great spot entering Week 16 in terms of their playoff outlook. But that doesn’t mean there’s no work left to be done. Although the Vikings control their own destiny at this point, they need to finish out the regular season strong to avoid needing help from other teams.
Entering the day with a matchup against the Detroit Lions, the Vikings sit at 7-6-1 and hold the sixth and final Wild Card spot in the NFC. We’re going to take a look at their outlook and updated chances to lock in a playoff spot, as well as how the other games can impact their chances.
Let’s start with the NFC standings as well as the Vikings’ overall outlook and chances to stick in the playoffs when the season ends.
*Note: Updates on odds/chances following Week 16 games below.
NFC Playoff Standings
|1. New Orleans Saints||13||2||0|
|2. L.A. Rams||12||3||0|
|3. Chicago Bears||11||4||0|
|4. Dallas Cowboys||9||6||0|
|5. Seattle Seahawks||9||6||0|
|6. Minnesota Vikings||8||6||1|
|7. Philadelphia Eagles||8||7||0|
It seems the Vikings’ Week 2 tie against the Green Bay Packers could come in handy when all is said and done. Obviously, winning that game would have been far more appealing, but a loss would have really muddied the situation.
Although Minnesota sits in the No. 6 spot and holds the edge over each team below them, the odds aren’t overwhelmingly in their favor to get the job done and make the playoffs. Their outlook is better than that of the Philadelphia Eagles or Washington Redskins, but they’ll potentially need to finish out the final two weeks strong.
The Redskins loss was a positive for the Vikings, specifically if they can knock off the Lions, but this could wind up going into Week 17.
Vikings’ Playoff Outlook
Entering Week 16, the Vikings held a solid 67 percent chance to make the playoffs, per Playoff Status. They do still have a 33 percent chance to wind up on the outside looking in, obviously, and that comes from the Eagles’ 23 percent chance to finish in the final Wild Card spot. The Redskins have also been given a nine percent chance to land there at season’s end prior to Sunday.
The Vikings could have clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Lions and an Eagles loss to the Texans on Sunday. Even beyond that, they have to feel good about the playoff outlook after wrapping up Week 16 with a win.
Update: With Minnesota topping Detroit and the Seahawks defeating the Chiefs, their chances of making the playoffs jump to roughly 74 percent even with the Eagles win. They have a 69 percent chance at the No. 6 seed and five percent at No. 5, per Playoff Status. It’s a “win and get in” situation for the Vikings in Week 17.