Monday, November 20, 2017

playoff picture

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Who should you be rooting for this week in addition to the Vikings? Find out here.

Stefon Diggs Practice 2015
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It’s that time of the week again where we look at where the Vikings currently stand in their playoffs aspirations and what needs to happen to seal the deal. Although the Vikings were unable to, against all odds, go into Arizona and beat the Cardinals, their playoff situation didn’t get worse. Most of the other teams that needed to lose did, increasing the likelihood of a Vikings playoff berth.

As of right now (pre-Week 15), according to the NY Times Playoff Simulator, the Vikings make the playoffs in 90% of [144,000] simulations. That’s actually 5% higher than where we were before Week 14 despite the Vikings not winning their game.

However, between last week and this week, the Vikings did drop from the fifth seed to the sixth. This is because the Seahawks were able to [handily] beat the Ravens and move to 8-5 themselves. As you know, likely despite your efforts to erase it from your memory, the Seahawks hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. This means that the Vikings drop a spot, drastically altering their course once they’re in the playoffs. (Adam Patrick did an excellent job earlier this week of outlining the preferred seed.)

But let’s go ahead and kick things off by recapping last week and see what went right and what went wrong.

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Who should you be rooting for this week in addition to the Vikings? Find out here.

Vikings Mike Zimmer Travel To Arizona
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About this time last week, the Vikings found themselves in a much more favorable playoff situation. We detailed in our Week 13 Edition of this segment Minnesota’s very high probability of making the playoffs if they managed to win their game against the Seahawks. And if the Lions managed to upset Green Bay? Well, then it was almost a done deal.

However, those things did not happen. And while the odds are still in the Vikings favor that they will make the playoffs, things get more complicated (as they always seem to). As of right now, according to the NY Times Playoff Simulator, the Vikings make the playoffs in 85% of [128,000] simulations. They are currently two games ahead of the next best teams not currently in the playoffs. (The Buccaneers and Falcons who are both at 6-6). The Vikings are also still currently tied with the Packers for the division title. However, as we know, Green Bay holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Last week, we outlined who you should root for to give the Vikings the best shot at the most favorable playoff position. Let’s start by taking a look at how that all panned out.

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Teddy Bridgewater Surprised Face
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After beating the Atlanta Falcons in Week 12, the odds the Vikings make the playoffs increased to 91% according to an excellent playoff simulator created by The New York Times. So even before this weekend’s game against the Seattle Seahawks (another team in the NFC playoff picture), things are looking pretty good for Minnesota.

Despite ultimately being in the driver’s seat, the Vikings playoff chances, and specifically playoff seeding, can be affected by the upcoming results of other teams. That’s why we thought it might not be a bad idea to bring back a segment we did a few years back here at VT where we take a weekly look at the playoff picture and provide a guide of sorts to focus your weekly rooting in a direction that best benefits the Vikings.

We’ll start of by taking a look at the current playoff picture. Before that though, I want to clarify a couple of items that may help understanding things later.

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