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2013 NFL Playoff picture and scenarios: Minnesota Vikings control their own destiny

After upsetting the Houston Texans in Week 16, the Minnesota Vikings control their own destiny and can clinch a playoff berth with a Week 17 win over Green Bay.

Stephen Dunn

The Minnesota Vikings' stunning upset of the Houston Texans on Sunday was necessary to keep Minnesota's playoff chances alive. After the dust has settled, the Vikings are not only still alive for an NFC playoff berth, but actually control their own destiny, courtesy of the New York Giants' loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Given that loss, the easiest scenario for the Vikings to make the playoffs is simply to beat Green Bay at home next weekend. If the Vikings can manage that, they will finish at 10-6 and clinch one of the NFC's wild card berths.

If the Vikings lose to the Packers next week, they can still make the playoffs, but it just makes for a convoluted scenario in which the Vikings will need a lot of help. If the Vikings lose to the Packers, they will make the playoff if the following three results ALL occur in Week 17:

1. The Washington Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East.

2. The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New York Giants.

3. The Detroit Lions upset the Chicago Bears.

If the Vikings lose to Green Bay, Chicago could clinch a playoff berth with a win over Detroit.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.