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Complete playoff scenarios for the Vikings in Week 15

The official combinations are out, so let’s look at how the Vikings can punch their ticket

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

As we get closer to the end of the 2017 regular season, the National Football League has started releasing weekly updates of what teams need in order to make the postseason party. The Minnesota Vikings have several scenarios in which they can punch their ticket, so let’s take a look at what those are.

The most obvious one is that, with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at home on Sunday afternoon, the Vikings will lock up the NFC North division for the second time in three seasons. They’ll also lock up the North if both the Detroit Lions (at home vs Chicago on Saturday) and the Green Bay Packers (at Carolina on Sunday) lose their games. We know all about those scenarios. But, there are some combinations of things that other teams could do that would guarantee that they make the playoffs this year.

The Vikings can clinch a playoff berth with any of the following combinations:

  1. Seattle loss (vs Los Angeles Rams) + Atlanta loss (at Tampa Bay on Monday) + New Orleans loss (vs New York Jets)
  2. Seattle loss + Atlanta loss + Carolina loss
  3. Seattle loss + Atlanta loss + Detroit loss or tie
  4. Seattle loss + Atlanta tie + New Orleans loss + Detroit loss or tie
  5. Seattle loss + Atlanta tie + New Orleans loss + Carolina loss

Yes, I understand that once you get into the whole “tie” thing that the scenarios aren’t entirely likely, but they’re potential scenarios in any case.

It does bear mentioning that if the Vikings should lose to the Bengals on Sunday and the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New York Giants on the road, the Eagles would lock up the #1 seed in the NFC and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. A Minnesota win would keep them in contention for the NFC’s top overall playoff spot regardless of what Philadelphia does.

So, there are all of the potential scenarios that could guarantee that the purple find themselves in the postseason again this January. Hopefull the Vikings can take care of their own business on Sunday afternoon and render the rest of the scenarios moot.