7 biggest takeaways from the Vikings stunning win over the Panthers

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /

The playoffs are not a fantasy for the Vikings

Following their disappointing loss to the Cowboys last week, the hope of earning a spot in this season’s playoffs seemed very close to disappearing for the Vikings.

But then Week 12 happened. Minnesota not only got an improbable win over the Panthers, but the Vikings also pulled within a game of the final playoff spot in the NFC after the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears both lost on Sunday.

Minnesota’s next two games are against the 1-10 Jacksonville Jaguars and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has lost three of their last four matchups. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are taking on the 7-4 Los Angeles Rams and a gritty 4-7 New York Giants team while the Bears are still looking for their first win since Week 6.

FiveThirtyEight currently has the Vikings with a 30 percent chance to make the playoffs this year. That will increase to 40 percent next week if Minnesota beats the Jaguars, Arizona loses to the Rams, and the 5-6 San Francisco 49ers lose to the Buffalo Bills.

The Vikings are 4-1 since their bye week and if they continue to play like they have during their last five games, then their season should end with an opportunity in the playoffs.