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Vikings Still Alive. . .Mathematically, Anyway

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Jonathan Daniel

The bad news is that the Minnesota Vikings generally looked pretty awful on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field, getting thrashed by the Chicago Bears by a score of 28-10 in a game that, really, didn't even seem like it was that close.

The good news is that Minnesota's standing in the playoff race in the NFC was largely unaffected, as the main players around them lost as well.

The worst news is that, with the Vikings' remaining schedule and the way they looked on Sunday. . .it might not make a whole lot of difference.

As it stands right now, according to the folks at SB Nation, the Vikings are on the outside of the playoff circle looking in. Here's how the seedings in the NFC stack up at the present time.

#1 - Atlanta Falcons (10-1, NFC South leaders)
#2 - San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1, NFC West leaders)
#3 - Chicago Bears (8-3, NFC North leaders)
#4 - New York Giants (7-4, NFC East leaders)
#5 - Green Bay Packers (7-4, wild card)
#6 - Seattle Seahawks (6-5, wild card)

The Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at 6-5, with the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys both at 5-6. (Oh, and the Saints, I guess, but really. . .who cares?) The Vikings lose head-to-head tiebreakers against the Seahawks, the Buccaneers, and the Redskins, so the team already has an uphill climb ahead of them. And things are going to get a bit dodgy for the Seahawks going forward, because it appears that they're going to lose both of their starting cornerbacks for an extended period of time, so there could be some intrigue going forward in the wild card race.

Will the Vikings be a part of that intrigue? Welllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll. . .I'm not sure. They certainly won't be a part of it if they can't give a better showing than they did on Sunday afternoon in Chicago. Four of their final five games are against the teams that would be the #3 and #5 seeds in the NFC if the season ended today (as listed above) and the team that would currently be the #1 seed in the AFC in the Houston Texans. The only game the Vikings might be favored in going forward is their Week 15 trip to St. Louis to take on the Rams.

So yes, this weekend wasn't as disastrous as it could have been. . .but I'm still not exactly optimistic going forward for the rest of this Vikings' 2012 season.