Vikings playoff hopes hanging by a thread after embarrassing loss to Packers

Minnesota Vikings defenders Patrick Jones II and Cam Bynum
Minnesota Vikings defenders Patrick Jones II and Cam Bynum / David Berding/GettyImages

Making the playoffs this season is now unlikely for the Minnesota Vikings after getting blown out by the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

In an effort to run his offense without his quarterback turning the ball every other possession, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell opted to go with rookie Jaren Hall as his starting signal-caller for Sunday night's big divisional matchup against the rival Green Bay Packers.

Well, after Hall reminded everyone over and over again that he's a rookie on Sunday, it only took two quarters before O'Connell decided to make a quarterback change and go back to Nick Mullens in the second half.

Unfortunately, the switch under center was too late for the Vikings as the Packers cruised to an easy 33-10 win in front of a deflated crowd inside U.S. Bank Stadium that looked like they regretted skipping their friend's New Year's party to attend Sunday's terrible game.

Different week, same outcome for the Minnesota Vikings in their Week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers

After turning their season around and winning five games in a row to get their record to 6-4 heading into Week 11, Minnesota has now lost five of their last six matchups, and at 7-9, a spot in the postseason seems incredibly unlikely.

Going into Week 18, the Vikings now have a three percent chance to make the playoffs this season, according to Upshot's 2023 NFL playoff simulator.

In order for Minnesota to sneak into the 2023 postseason, they will need to defeat the Detroit Lions on the road and then hope that the Packers lose to the Chicago Bears, the Seattle Seahawks lose to the Arizona Cardinals, and either the New Orleans Saints lose to the Atlanta Falcons or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose to the Carolina Panthers.

Or if the Vikings lose to the Lions next week, they will likely have a selection among the first 10 picks in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Which outcome would be better for the future of Minnesota? The answer seems obvious, even though some of us might not want to admit it.