After a year off, the Minnesota Vikings are back in the playoffs.
The Vikings were locked into the No. 6 seed entering the final week of the season, so they sat the majority of their starters against the Bears in their finale.
As the No. 6 seed, the Vikings will visit the No. 3 seed, which is still to be decided as Week 17 wraps up.
The Packers started slow, but bounced back and take care of business against a banged up Detroit squad. They secured a first-round bye.
The Vikings will either face the Seahawks or Saints in the first round. Seattle faces San Francisco in the final game of the year that can sway the standings.
The Wild Card round will take place Jan. 4-5. Game dates and times have yet to be announced.
This post will be updated when results are final and schedules are announced.
NFC North Final Standings: Packers Capture Division
Here’s how the NFC North wrapped up, with the Packers securing their first division crown since 2016.
|Green Bay Packers||13-3|
Head coach Mike Zimmer expressed a bit of disappointment over not being able to win the division in what was a rollercoaster type year.
“Winning the division is great because you get a home playoff game, but we weren’t good enough to do that,” said Zimmer, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “We’ll just try to do something better (in the playoffs).”
Minnesota made it to the NFC conference championship in 2017. The Vikings are in a club with the Bengals, Bills, Browns, Cardinals, Chargers, Falcons, Jaguars, Lions, Panthers, Texans and Titans as franchises to never win the Super Bowl.
Vikings Looking to Get Healthy for Postseason Play
While heading into the playoffs on a high-note would have been nice, Minnesota is looking to get healthy with win-or-go-home games on the horizon.
The primary injury concern for the Vikings is concerning running back Dalvin Cook. After a large workload to start the year, Cook has tapered off and is currently nursing shoulder and chest injuries.
Cook has carried the ball 250 times this season for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s expecting to play in the Vikings finale according to Chad Graff of The Athletic.
Vikings veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph expressed before Sunday’s game that it’s all about getting hot at the right time to make a deep playoff run.
“In January, momentum is everything,” Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph told reporters. “You go back and look at wild-card teams that have won the Super Bowl, played in the Super Bowl, they usually have momentum at the end of the season. We’ve talked about it around here a lot, and you hear it a lot in this league: It’s just about playing your best football in January and getting hot at the right time.”