The Minnesota Vikings can clinch a playoff spot in Week 16

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /

With a win and some help from a few other teams in Week 16, the Minnesota Vikings can clinch a spot in the 2018 NFL playoffs.

After losing three of their first four games following their bye week this season, the playoff chances for the Minnesota Vikings appeared to be heading in the wrong direction.

However, with their impressive win on Sunday over the Miami Dolphins, the Vikings are now back to being in good shape to earn a spot in this year’s playoffs. With the victory, Minnesota now has a 56 percent chance to snag a spot in the postseason according to FiveThirtyEight.

If a few things go their way in Week 16, the Vikings could actually clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Detroit Lions next Sunday.

With a win over the Lions plus losses by the Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins in Week 16, Minnesota will have themselves a spot in the postseason no matter if they win or lose in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears.

If the Panthers lose in their Week 15 matchup on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints, then the Vikings only need the Eagles and Redskins to lose next Sunday.

Even though it seems like a bit of a complex scenario, it’s one that is also very possible. Carolina is facing an 11-2 Saints team on Monday night and neither Philadelphia or Washington are favored to win their matchups in Week 16, while the Minnesota is.

Even though the Vikings can no longer win the NFC North this season after the Bears got another victory on Sunday, Minnesota’s chances of earning the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoff bracket saw an increase after the Seattle Seahawks suffered a surprising loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15.

If the Vikings win both of their final two games and the Seahawks suffer at least one more loss over the next two weeks, then Minnesota will enter the postseason as the No. 5 seed in the NFC and most likely face the Dallas Cowboys.

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Before any of this can happen though, the Vikings must first get a win in Detroit next Sunday. A place where Minnesota has won two of their last three matchups under head coach Mike Zimmer.