What are the Vikings playoff chances after Week 13?

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen /

What does another win mean for the Minnesota Vikings and their playoff hopes?

Six weeks ago when the Minnesota Vikings were 1-5, the playoffs seemed like a hilarious fantasy. But after Sunday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Vikings are now 6-6 and sitting in possession of the seventh and final spot in the NFC playoff standings.

With the victory over the Jaguars, FiveThirtyEight now has Minnesota with a 39 percent chance to make the postseason, and Football Outsiders has the purple and gold’s playoff chances at 26.5 percent.

The Vikings literally control their own destiny during the next four weeks. The problem is that Minnesota has a pretty tough road ahead of them.

Difficult schedule could spoil the season for the Minnesota Vikings

According to ESPN’s NFL Football Power Index, the Vikings’ remaining schedule is the fifth-hardest of any team in the league. Three of Minnesota’s final four games are on the road and two of them will be against teams that are expected to make the playoffs this season.

One of these two matchups will take place next Sunday when the Vikings travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. TVA staff member Dustin Baker recently shared his early thoughts on the matchup near the end of the most recent episode of The Viking Age Podcast (starts at the 44:44 mark) and it’s safe to see he’s not very optimistic about Minnesota’s chances.

I did my best to give Dustin some hope for next week. But at the same time, we both agree that it’s going to be very difficult for the Vikings to leave Tampa Bay with a win.

If Minnesota’s falls to the Bucs next Sunday, however, then they probably don’t deserve to be in the playoffs this season anyway. This type of game is going to be what the Vikings will be up against if they make the postseason and a loss would just show that they probably wouldn’t make any noise in the playoffs even if they were able to somehow sneak in.

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