NFC playoff picture: Vikings have all but wrapped up the NFC North

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The Vikings’ Thanksgiving win over the Lions was a big one in the NFC playoff picture.

If the Lions had won, they would have been within a game of the division lead, and they would have owned the tiebreaker over the Vikings. But the Minnesota win gives the Vikings a three-game lead and pretty much ends the race.

Washington’s win and Dallas’s loss also had an impact on the playoff race. Here’s how it all looks after Thanksgiving:

LEADERS
1. Eagles (9-1): The class of the conference.

2. Vikings (9-2): Minnesota has a shot at home-field advantage in the playoffs, in a year when the Super Bowl will be played on their home field.

3. Saints (8-2): Surging ahead in the NFC South with an eight-game winning streak.

4. Rams (7-3): The loss to the Vikings may end up costing the Rams a bye week.

5. Panthers (7-3): The Panthers have a game lead over the rest of the wild card field.

6. Falcons (6-4): Atlanta owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over both the other 6-4 teams, the Lions and Seahawks.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Seahawks (6-4): Injuries are taking a toll on Seattle’s playoff hopes.

8. Lions (6-5): Hard to see Detroit making it now.

9. Packers (5-5): Without Aaron Rodgers it’s hard to imagine they make a playoff run.

10. Cowboys (5-6): Three straight losses without Ezekiel Elliott.

11. Washington (5-6): Still behind Dallas based on the Cowboys’ head-to-head win.

12. Cardinals (4-6): Just playing out the string, with Blaine Gabbert under center.

13. Buccaneers (4-6): Maybe the NFC’s most disappointing team.

14. Bears (3-7): Chicago has no hope.

15. Giants (2-9): The Giants are going nowhere.

16. 49ers (1-9): Still have a chance of passing the Browns for the first pick in the draft.

46 responses to “NFC playoff picture: Vikings have all but wrapped up the NFC North

  1. .
    No matter how it shakes out, the NFC playoffs should produce some exciting football. Although Philadelphia has been the class of the conference, it would be a mistake to discount the Vikings defense, Drew Brees, or those sneaky Rams
    .

  2. This is what Packer CEO Mark Murphy told “shareholders” this last summer: “It’s going to be a lot of fun for all our fans to drive across the state when we’re in the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.” I wonder what he would tell those “shareholders” now.

  3. The only legitimate team on the outside that could get in are the Lions IMO.

    I do not take the Vikings offense seriously, but their defense is too good and it’ll keep them going.

    I’m prepared to see the Rams, Panthers, and Saints collapse. They are not as good as their records. Maybe even the Eagles.

  4. Saints surging ahead? They have a 1 game lead on the Panthers and still have to play them. They have a 2 game lead on the Falcons and have to play them 2x. Not sure I would give the south to the Saints just yet.

  5. How can Detroit be out of the race when they were going to win out? They lost to the Vikings but the Lions are so good they will still win out, right? That would put them at 11-5…that should win the wildcard.

  6. Vikings can potentially fall to 9-7. not likely but possible. Just look at Kansas City. They started out like gangbusters, but they have fallen back to the middle of the pack.

  7. The Vikings look legit. I hope their fans continue to whip themselves into an overconfident frenzy.

  8. jkrc717 says:
    November 24, 2017 at 7:03 am

    “I do not take the Vikings offense seriously”…
    ————————————————————-

    Neither have 9 other teams this year. You haven’t watched any Vikings football this year if you don’t take them seriously. Are they the greatest offense in the league? No. But can they put up points on whatever team you root for? I’d bet my salary on it. They are the most balanced team in the NFL right now and you’d be a fool to ignore them.

  9. omeimontis says:
    November 24, 2017 at 8:11 am
    Vikings can potentially fall to 9-7. not likely but possible. Just look at Kansas City. They started out like gangbusters, but they have fallen back to the middle of the pack.
    _____________________

    KC hasn’t had a defense all year. That’s the difference.

  10. Vikings are battle tested against several teams with winning records. Shutting down the best offense in the NFL was anothCer big test.Vikings proved they are the class of the NFC.

  11. The difference this year for the Vikings is a battle tested defense. Last year was the year they started out well and then crumbled. They have learned. The Eagles are in year 1 of probably a few years of success. Year 1 is the learning year, and the year you lose in round 1 of the playoffs.

  12. For weeks you’ve been telling us that the winner of the Lions-Vikings game would win the division. For that to be true, wouldn’t the Lions have had to win a lot of their remaining games? They have a really easy schedule and winning 4 of the last 5 would put them at 10-6. They really should finish 11-5, so to say it’s hard to see them making it now isn’t really consistent with what you were saying before.

  13. Ah, Vikings fans are ecstatic. The Vikings are top gun in the NFCN and the packers are a bottom feeder now.
    Enjoy it now Vikings fans, because you will get your hearts broken again before the season and playoffs are over. The reason? Case Keenum — who has done a great job this season and you have to tip your hat to him — his lack of arm strength will hurt him once the cold weather sets in and the Vikings have to play outside. The only chance they have is to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but if they have to play in Philly in January, they will lose.

  14. “Lions could win out with the rest of their schedule. Min was the only tough matchup left.”

    They could, but their actual chance is about 1 in 20. Their odds of winning at home against Minnesota were actually better than at Baltimore or at TB.

    Their odds of winning the divisions are roughly 3 in 100. Odds of making the playoffs 3 in 10. But stuff happens, odds of Trump beating Hillary were roughly 3 in 10.

  15. Out of the top four teams, the Vikings have defeated two of the other three. They still get to play the next two teams on the list (Panthers & Falcons) before the regular season is over. How they play in those two will determine if they truly are contenders for the title. So far, so good. Clean up some special teams, missed and blocked XPs in the playoffs can prove fatal as games become closer. Also good to have a competent backup waiting in the wings should any injury befall Case. Eagles/Vikings would make for an exciting NFC Championship game.

  16. With a balanced top-5 offense and a top-5 defense, the Vikings are legit. And unlike the Cowboys and Packers, the Vikings don’t use injuries (or suspensions) as an excuse.

  17. That would be pretty cool if the Vikes could secure the #1 seed and get home field all the way through the Superbowl. What a story that would be.

  18. As lifelong Vikings fan, I know not to count my chickens before they hatch. For some reason I have a different feeling about them this year. They’re poised. Don’t give up if they’re not the first to score, and they’re not relying on field goals as their main source of scoring to win games.

    That being said, if they win the next two games against the Falcons & Panthers, then I’ll start to get excited. And for some reason everyone seems to forget the Vikings beat the Saints week 1 29-19.

    This team is rolling!

  19. Question: I’m not real familiar with the tiebreaker procedures. If the eagles somehow all simultaneously came down with influenza and the bears got the win, how would that work in head-to-head against the Vikings, as the Vikings play the bears twice?

  20. sadviking says:
    November 24, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Question: I’m not real familiar with the tiebreaker procedures. If the eagles somehow all simultaneously came down with influenza and the bears got the win, how would that work in head-to-head against the Vikings, as the Vikings play the bears twice?
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////

    Two Clubs

    Head-to-head, if applicable.
    Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
    Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
    Strength of victory.
    Strength of schedule.
    Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
    Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
    Best net points in conference games.
    Best net points in all games.
    Best net touchdowns in all games.
    Coin toss.

  21. sadviking says:
    November 24, 2017 at 5:33 pm
    Question: I’m not real familiar with the tiebreaker procedures. If the eagles somehow all simultaneously came down with influenza and the bears got the win, how would that work in head-to-head against the Vikings, as the Vikings play the bears twice?
    —————————————————————————
    Before record against common opponents, it’s conference record. If it comes down to record against common opponents, the Vikings and Eagles play the Panthers, Bears, Rams, and Redskins. The Vikes play the Bears twice and the Eagles play the Skins twice, so it would be determined by the 2 teams’ record in the 5 games of that category.

    I believe that’s how it works. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  22. jkrc717 says:

    November 24, 2017 at 7:03 am

    The only legitimate team on the outside that could get in are the Lions IMO.

    I do not take the Vikings offense seriously, but their defense is too good and it’ll keep them going.

    I’m prepared to see the Rams, Panthers, and Saints collapse. They are not as good as their records. Maybe even the Eagles.

    ————

    The Vikings offense is good so you better take it serious. Sure they have Case at QB, but have you seen how good the Offensive Line is? They are tied for first in the NFL with Least amount of sacks allowed. You have Offensive Line play that good and you can score points. They are scoring 23-30 every game. When you have offense scoring like that paired with a good defense your in good shape. But go ahead. Keep taking it not seriously.

  23. nyneal says:

    November 24, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Ah, Vikings fans are ecstatic. The Vikings are top gun in the NFCN and the packers are a bottom feeder now.
    Enjoy it now Vikings fans, because you will get your hearts broken again before the season and playoffs are over. The reason? Case Keenum — who has done a great job this season and you have to tip your hat to him — his lack of arm strength will hurt him once the cold weather sets in and the Vikings have to play outside. The only chance they have is to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but if they have to play in Philly in January, they will lose.

    —————-

    It’s a good thing we have a good defense and run game than, huh? Unlike the Packers and other games, the Vikings don’t need to air it out a million times to win games. This team is built for cold weather with the way it grinds out wins.

  24. Pretty clear the Packers were overrated this season. Even with Rogers, I don’t see their record a whole lot different. They’ve got issues up and down the roster. One man can’t win a division championship. If Rogers was healthy, they’d still be a wild card team, at best.

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