With 4 games left, any of the Vikings, Packers, and/or Bears could finish 8-8 or 9-7:
Vikings' remaining schedule: @DET, @ARI, ATL, NYG.
Bears' remaining schedule: JAX, NO, GB, @HOU.
Packers' remaining schedule: HOU, @JAX, @CHI, DET.
The Vikings definitely have the toughest 4th quarter in the NFC North. They should be able to beat the Lions (although Culpepper isn't likely to spot them a game-deciding safety) before facing three better teams. Since no team has finished 0-16 before, it probably isn't safe to assume that the Lions will continue to lose every other game. Someone will probably lose to the Lions and upset a better team, and I hope that doesn't happen to the Vikes. The Cardinals, Falcons, and Giants are clearly better than the Vikings. The Vikings are only 1-2 against teams with winning records and 2-1 against teams with .500 records as of today. Prediction: 8-8 most likely, or 9-7 at best. 8-8 would give the Vikings a 6-6 conference record and a 4-2 division record (assuming that they beat the Lions). Expected record vs. common teams: 8-6 (wins vs. CAR, NO, GB, CHI, DET, DET, JAX, HOU; losses vs. TB, ATL, TEN, IND, GB, CHI).
The Bears have a better chance of finishing on a 4-game winning streak, but they will most likely lose to NO and/or GB. Prediction: 9-7 or 8-8. A 9-7 record would include a 6-6 conference record and a 4-2 division record (assuming they beat the Packers rather than the Saints). If the Bears finish at .500, then they will have a 5-7 conference record and a 3-3 division record. Expected record vs. common teams: 7-7 with a loss to either NO or GB or 6-8 with a loss to NO and GB.
The Packers have the best chance of winning their 4 remaining games. Only the Bears stand in their way. Prediction: 9-7 or 8-8. They will have a 6-6 conference record and a 5-1 division record if they win their last four games. Expected record vs. common teams: 8-6 if they win their next 4 games.
The Vikings need 3 wins to control their own destiny. The tiebreakers aren't entirely favorable after that. If the Vikings win 2 more and the Packers sweep their last 4, then the Packers will be in the playoffs and the Vikings will be done for the season because of Green Bay's better division record.
Best-case scenario: the Vikings win at least 2 more games and the Lions get their token win in week 17 vs. the Packers. Final standings would be Vikings (9-7), Bears (9-7 with worse division and conference records or 8-8), Packers (8-8), Lions (1-15). Let's hope.