Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The Minnesota Vikings have a few ways to make the NFL playoffs this year.
If the NFL playoffs started following Week 15's games, the Minnesota Vikings would be the No. 6 seed in the NFC. Unfortunately, there's a lot of work to be done, and they might not even control their own destiny.
There are five teams in the NFC that are 8-6, including the Vikings. The Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants all share the same record. One of the three NFC East teams will get the division crown, but the other two could still knock Minnesota out for the wild card spot.
This is assuming that the Seattle Seahawks get the other wildcard spot (or the San Francisco 49ers if the Seahawks can manage a division title). If the Bears and Vikings finish with the same record, the Vikings will get the tiebreak in every scenario. In other words, if the Vikings win out and the Bears win out, but the other teams fall behind, then the Vikings are in the playoffs no matter what.
Dallas and Washington play each other in Week 17, so one of them will not finish 10-6, so that helps a little bit. Unfortunately, the Giants hold a tiebreak over the Vikings, while the Cowboys would hold a tiebreak over them, so the best way for Minnesota to get in would be for the Giants to not win out.
Minnesota could actually get in at 9-7 if the same scenarios above are met, just with everyone being 9-7 instead of 10-6, which is very unlikely.