5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers – Week 12

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph /
6 of 6
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Troy Dye and D.J. Wonnum /

Carolina will all but end Minnesota’s playoff hopes

To think that the Vikings are even in this spot is incredible. The Vikings started the year looking like a dumpster fire at 1-5 but found a way to claw back into the NFC playoff picture. Had they won against Dallas, who looked very beatable against Washington on Thanksgiving, the playoff push would be at a fever pitch and this would be an important game.

With the loss, the wind came out of the Vikings’ sails. They need this game to win, but it just feels like they don’t have enough to get the job done.

The Vikings will be without Thielen, but the combination of Cook and Jefferson won’t be able to overcome the lack of rational coaching. The Vikings defense has played better, but they might not be able to get pressure on Bridgewater, who makes teams pay with a clean pocket. Mix in whatever is happening on special teams and this seems like a disaster.

This won’t be as lopsided as the Vikings’ loss to the Falcons was, but it feels like a game they would be hard-pressed to win.

Prediction: Panthers 27, Vikings 24