While it's the longest of longshots at this point, going into Week 15 of National Football League action, the Minnesota Vikings are still alive for an opportunity at the post-season. How long a shot is it?
Well, in order for the Minnesota Vikings to make the post-season in 2014, all of the following things need to happen:
1) The Vikings must win their final three games of the regular season (at Detroit, at Miami, vs Chicago) to finish 9-7. Obviously, this is the big one. If this doesn't happen, nothing that follows matters.
2) Seattle has to lose their remaining three games (vs San Francisco, at Arizona, vs St. Louis) so that they finish 9-7.
3) Either Philadelphia or Dallas has to lose out so that one of them finishes 9-7. They can't both lose out, as they play each other in Philly this coming Sunday. The Eagles also have road games against the Redskins and Giants, while the Cowboys finish at Indianapolis and at home against Washington.
4) San Francisco has to lose at least one game (at Seattle, vs San Diego, vs Arizona) so that they can't finish any better than 9-7. Of course, if they lose to Seattle, that prevents #2 above from happening, so it would have to be at least one of their two remaining home games.
5) St. Louis has to win out so that they, also, finish at 9-7.
6) Both Green Bay and Detroit have to. . .I hope you're sitting down. . .win at least one more game. That's because if the Packers, Lions, and Vikings were to all finish 9-7, Green Bay and Detroit would both have better divisional records than the Vikings. The divisional record tiebreaker would be the first one used, and the Vikings would be eliminated in that case.
So, if all of those things happen, according to the ESPN.com playoff machine. . .
Now, keep in mind. . .of just one of the things that I listed above there doesn't happen, the Vikings are out. (And, admittedly, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the games that really didn't affect the Vikings.)
The Vikings' playoff chances are so remote at this point that saying that they're on life support makes it sound like their chances are better than they actually are. But, in the spirit of Christmas. . .
Yes, I was talking about Lloyd Christmas. What did you think I meant?