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NFC Playoff Picture: The Vikings Aren’t In It

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If the 2016 NFL season ended today, the Minnesota Vikings would be watching from home.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Just five short weeks ago, the Minnesota Vikings were the toast of the NFL. They were the NFL’s last undefeated team, had a defense playing at an elite level, and the talk was of competing for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

That was then. Today, with nine games in the books, the purple and gold officially find themselves out of the post-season picture.

Thanks to their loss on Sunday at FedEx Field, the Vikings no longer lead the NFC North. With a 5-4 record, they now sit behind the Detroit Lions in the division. The Lions also have a record of 5-4, but are ahead of the Vikings by virtue of their head-to-head victory in Week 9.

Minnesota isn’t even the first team out of the playoff picture. As it stands now, they are the #8 seed, as they’re also behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the post-season positioning by virtue of their head-to-head loss against them in Week 7.

Right now, the top seed in the NFC is the Dallas Cowboys, by virtue of their NFL-best 8-1 record. Right behind them at 6-2-1 are the Seattle Seahawks, the #2 seed in the conference. The matchups in the Wild Card round would see the Atlanta Falcons (6-4, NFC South leaders) hosting the Washington Redskins, and the Lions hosting the New York Giants. So, right now the NFC East makes up half of the NFC playoff picture.

Here is the full NFC playoff picture, courtesy of NFL.com.

  1. Dallas Cowboys (8-1, NFC East leaders)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (6-2-1, NFC West leaders)
  3. Atlanta Falcons (6-4, NFC East leaders)
  4. Detroit Lions (5-4, NFC North leaders)
  5. New York Giants (5-3)
  6. Washington Redskins (5-3-1)
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)
  8. Minnesota Vikings (5-4)
  9. Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1)
  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)
  11. New Orleans Saints (4-5)
  12. Green Bay Packers (4-5)
  13. Los Angeles Rams (4-5)
  14. Carolina Panthers (3-6)
  15. Chicago Bears (2-7)
  16. San Francisco 49ers (1-8)