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Minnesota Vikings updated Playoff Picture

It was a bad week on the field, but a perfect one in the standings

Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders
This was not taken in Minneapolis...
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Well, even after some time to process it, that was a horrible football game. I didn’t expect that assessment to change much.

It tied the franchise record of lowest-scoring win for Minnesota, last seen in 1971, and it is the only game in NFL history to be played indoors and end with only a field goal for scoring. That about says it all.

While there were no highlights from yet another anemic offensive performance, Brian Flores cemented his place as one of the league’s best defensive minds during this weird, weird NFL season.

Flores, with only a couple of big names on defense (Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter) has given the Vikings the only rock they're clinging to for life - A solid defense that singlehandedly won them this game and has kept them in MANY others.

And what an important game it was. While there isn’t a lot of hope (maybe none?) regarding the direction of this Vikings squad, one thing is still clear - They have a very good chance at making the postseason.

It’s not a great one, but they also still have a chance at the NFC North title.

Heading into Week 14, the Vikings had a 55% chance to make the dance. Now, they have a 64% chance to get there, with the 6th seed the most likely outcome at 28%.

Currently, the NFC North has 3 teams going into the postseason: The Detroit Lions as division winners, the Minnesota Vikings as second wildcard entrants, and the Green Bay Packers still hold the last playoff spot despite their loss at the pitiful New York Giants on Monday night.

While the Vikings barely did anything right on the field Sunday, about everything out of their control went the right way in terms of a playoff spot.

The Lions and the Vikings have, on paper, much tougher matchups next week than the Packers, who play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a short week. The Lions play the resurgent Broncos and the Vikings play the Cincinnati Bengals, coming off a thorough home victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

5 teams sit in line for the last NFC Playoff spot with the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans saints all at 6-7.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also sit at 6-7, but hold the division lead in a competitive but bad NFC South that will surely only send one team to the postseason.

The teams almost guaranteed to make the postseason are the San Fransisco 49ers (10-3), Dallas Cowboys (10-3), Philadelphia Eagles (10-3), Detroit Lions (9-4). Beyond them, it’s anyone’s guess.

Looking ahead at the Vikings schedule, it is beginning to become clear just how crucial the last 3 weeks of the season will be, as we all could have guessed. After the Bengals it’s the Lions twice with the Packers in-between.

While we all got to sit back and relax (relatively speaking) having already clinched a spot at the end of last season, this season will not be so kind.

Knowing these Vikings, they'll drag us all out until the final quarter of the final game, where a supreme moment of catharsis unbelievably happens or a heartbreaking collapse or crucial error does us all in.

Don’t say you heard it here first, folks.