If the they defeat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings could end up looking to add a player or two before this season's trade deadline.
The Minnesota Vikings just played their best game of the Kevin O'Connell era. Not the season, not last year, but of the past season and a half under the Kwesi-O'Connell regime.
The 22-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers has given new life to a team that was presumably dead a week ago. That is not to say the team just won the Super Bowl, but it has made Sunday's matchup against the Green Bay Packers come with major implications for the future of the franchise.
Should the Vikings beat the Packers on Sunday, they would get their record back to .500 on the season with matchups against the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, and the Las Vegas Raiders.
Teams with a combined record of 14-21. Going into the bye before the matchup against the Raiders at 8-4 or 7-5 is a real possibility. However, it all starts with Sunday's matchup against the Packers.
Week 8 game vs. Green Bay Packers is vital for Minnesota Vikings return to playoff hunt
Should the Vikings lose, they will drop to 3-5 on the season and 1-1 in the division. They would fall to three games behind the Detroit Lions should the Lions beat the Raiders on Monday night.
This would put Minnesota in a position to be sellers by next Tuesday's trade deadline at 4 p.m. EST. They have key pieces such as safety Harrison Smith, pass rusher Danielle Hunter, and wide receiver K.J. Osborn who have drawn interest from around the league. They can package those assets to collect draft capital and be in a position to rebuild next year.
If there was ever a year to need a quarterback, this year is a great year to do so. The 2024 draft class is star-studded with young passers, headlined by guys like Caleb Williams, Michael Penix, Drake Maye, and Jordan Travis.
Should the Vikings lose to the Packers on Sunday, they can begin a rebuild and create cap space to sign core players like wide receiver Justin Jefferson to extensions this offseason.
This would allow the team to build an infrastructure surrounding their quarterback of the future and build a team around a rookie quarterback on a cheap deal, similar to what the Los Angeles Rams did with Jared Goff and the Philadelphia Eagles with Jalen Hurts before his extension this past year.
Now, should Minnesota beat Green Bay on Sunday, they would be 2-0 in the NFC, have a .500 record, and be in a real position to make a playoff run. This would put them in a position to become buyers at the trade deadline and fill gaps on the roster, such as defensive line and corner.
Washington Commanders pass rusher Chase Young, and Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II are names that come to mind for the Vikings that would fill immediate needs and put them in a position to be an immediate contender.
The way Kirk Cousins is playing this year, Minnesota might be considering another Super Bowl window to be open following a 13-4 record last year.
It is possible the Vikings beat a 49ers team that was missing key players and one that might have quarterback issues the rest of the year. It is also possible Minnesota beat one of the best teams in the NFL while missing their best player out on the field.
The Packers game on Sunday will be very indicative of the direction the Vikings will go this season. Division rivalries normally carry a lot of weight. This one is a must-win for Minnesota, with major playoff implications on the line early in the season.