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2013 NFL Playoff picture: Vikings officially must beat Packers

After the early games saw Chicago and New York win, the Minnesota Vikings officially must beat the Green Bay Packers if they want to see the postseason.

USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Sunday, one scenario gave the Minnesota Vikings an NFC wild card playoff berth no matter they win or lose against the Green Bay Packers. After the round of early games, however, it's finally clear -- Minnesota is in a must-win situation.

The Vikings would have made the wild card slot had the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys all lost to their opponents, and the Bears and Giants did Minnesota no favors in winning their respective games in the early games. New York rolled past the Philadelphia Eagles, 42-7, and Chicago dropped the Detroit Lions, 26-24.

As it appeared heading into the final week of the regular season, the Vikings control their own destiny. Chicago's victory took New York out of the playoff picture, and the Bears must hope that Green Bay beats Minnesota if they want the playoff spot.

Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins must beat the Dallas Cowboys and win the NFC East and make the playoffs.

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