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Vikings part of a mess at the bottom of the NFC Playoff Picture

Everyone’s still alive, pretty much

Pittsburgh Steelers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The bottom of the playoff picture in the NFC is a gigantic mess as things stand right now. And, as you’d probably expect, the Minnesota Vikings are right in the center of it.

With the way the games shook out on Sunday, the purple now find themselves as the #8 team in the NFC playoff picture, which makes them the first team out. The #7 spot is currently occupied by the Washington Football Team, who have the same 6-7 record as the Vikings currently have. However, the WFT is ahead of the Vikings based largely on the conference record tiebreaker. Washington is 5-3 against NFC opponents, while Minnesota is 4-4 in such games.

The explanations for why the tiebreakers currently are the way they are can be found at CBS Sports’ interpretation of the playoff picture, which you can find right here. But, here’s how it breaks down:

Washington is ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East based on division record (1-1 to the Eagles’ 0-2). Washington is ahead of Minnesota and Atlanta based on conference record (Football Team’s 5-3 to the Vikings’ 4-4 and the Falcons’ 3-6).

Minnesota is ahead of Philadelphia based on common games record (3-3 to the Eagles’ 2-3).

Philadelphia and Minnesota are ahead of Atlanta based on conference record (Eagles’ 4-4 and Vikings’ 4-4 to the Falcons’ 3-6). Philadelphia is ahead of Atlanta based on head to head (1-0).

Atlanta is ahead of New Orleans in the NFC South based on head to head (1-0).

Had the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Cincinnati Bengals this afternoon, the WFT would have jumped up to the #6 spot with Minnesota sliding back into the #7 position, but that didn’t happen. I don’t have the full breakdown of why that is, either. . .that’s just what the ESPN Playoff Machine site told me when I punched in those results. But, since it didn’t happen, the “why” doesn’t really matter.

Those are all of the teams that are currently sitting at 6-7: Washington, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New Orleans. Here’s how their schedules break down the rest of the way:

  • Washington: at Philadelphia, at Dallas, vs Philadelphia, at New York Giants
  • Minnesota: at Chicago, vs Los Angeles Rams, at Green Bay, vs Chicago
  • Philadelphia: vs Washington, vs New York Giants, at Washington, vs Dallas
  • Atlanta: at San Francisco, vs Detroit, at Buffalo, vs New Orleans
  • New Orleans: at Tampa Bay, vs Miami, vs Carolina, at Atlanta

Obviously, the best way for the Vikings to make the playoffs is for them to win all of their remaining games. . .however, I don’t think any of us expect something like that to happen. So, in addition to our games, we’re going to be doing a lot of scoreboard watching over the next four weeks, from the looks of it.