AnalysisGeneral News

Path to the Playoffs: Week 13 Edition

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.

First, let’s make sure everyone understands NFL tiebreakers that could end up playing a role down the road.

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″]
Tiebreakers Within A Division
  1. Head-to-head record
  2. Best division record
  3. Best common games record
  4. Best conference record
  5. Strength of victory
  6. Strength of schedule
[/vc_column] [vc_column width=”1/2″]
Tiebreakers For Wildcard

(If the wild-card teams are from the same division, apply the division tiebreakers instead.

  1. Head-to-head record (if applicable)
  2. Best conference record
  3. Best common games record
  4. Strength of victory
  5. Strength of schedule
[/vc_column][/vc_row]

There are quite a few more tiebreaks than listed above in the off chance that there is still a tie. Though they are very unlikely, you can find the full breakdown on NFL.com.

As mentioned previously, all odds and predictions used in this post (and similar posts in the future) are from the very robust NFL Playoff Simulator created by The New York Times. This simulator allows you to select winners for every remaining game in the regular season and then runs simulations to determine your team’s odds for a variety of scenarios. To be more specific, the machine runs 160,000 simulations to make it’s predictions on the remaining games if you don’t select a winner. This tool seemed like a good way to determine what games impact the Vikings odds for not only the playoffs, but also winning the division, winning the #1 seed, etc. (If you’re interested in learning more specifics about how the simulator works, there’s a good breakdown here.)

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look at the current playoffs landscape:

Playoff Picture

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″]
NFC
  1. Panthers (11-0-0)
  2. Cardinals (9-2-0)
  3. Vikings (8-3-0)
  4. Redskins (5-6-0)
  5. Packers (7-4-0)
  6. Seahawks (6-5-0)
[/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″]
AFC
  1. Patriots (10-1-0)
  2. Bengals (9-2-0)
  3. Broncos (9-2-0)
  4. Colts (6-5-0)
  5. Chiefs (6-5-0)
  6. Texans (6-5-0)
[/vc_column][/vc_row]

What We Want: Week 13

Seahawks at Vikings: Vikings Win

I know this one goes without saying… However, I just wanted to illustrate how things change for the Vikings if they win this game. Before this game, the Vikings currently make the playoffs in 92% of simulations. After winning, that number bumps up to greater than 99%. When it comes to winning the division, the Vikings odds go from 49% to 57% with a win. Essentially, if the Vikings win this weekend, it becomes almost certain they make the postseason.

Packers at Lions: Lions Win

As if you needed any more motivation… The Packers travel to Detroit to take on the Lions for the second time this season. If the Lions win, not only will it be the first time since 1991 the Lions have swept the Packers in a season, but it also does wonders for the Vikings playoff chances. You know that 57% chance the Vikings win the division mentioned above if they win this weekend? Well, if the Vikings win and the Packers lose, that number bumps up significantly to 71%. The Packers are the only thing standing between the Vikings and the NFC North division title (besides themselves). If you have a limited amount of “rooting power,” allocate everything to the Lions this week.

49ers at Bears: 49ers Win

Considering the Bears are still in the playoff picture and the 49ers are all but eliminated, it makes since here to root for San Francisco. If things go wrong and the Vikings don’t win the division, we’ll want other wildcard contenders to have worse records.

Jets at Giants: Jets Win

AFC team up against an NFC team who is also a wildcard contender? Easy decision: Jets.

Cardinals at Rams: Rams Win

Though this game has no real impact on the Vikings winning the division or any wlidcard implications, it could impact what seed the Vikings have if they do make the playoffs. Currently, the Cardinals hold the #2 seed. The Rams aren’t in the playoff picture so we should be rooting for them in the hope that the Vikings can take one of those higher seeds and get a first round bye.

Falcons at Buccaneers: Buccaneers Win

Right now, the Falcons are the bigger threat to a wildcard spot. Let’s hope the Falcons continue to struggle and the Buccaneers can walk away with an important win for them and their playoff chances.

Eagles at Patriots: Patriots Win

Though this game is pretty far removed from impacting the Vikings, the NFL is a crazy place and the Eagles haven’t been eliminated from anything at this point. AFC vs NFC? Choose AFC.

Panthers at Saints: Saints Win

Currently undefeated and with a tight grip on the #1 seed, it would for the Panthers to be unseated from that position. However, it doesn’t hurt to try. If everything plays out as outlined above and the Saints beat the Panthers, the Vikings odds for a #1 seed go from less than 1% to 3%. #Longshot

Cowboys at Redskins: Cowboys Win

Surprisingly enough, the Cowboys (3-8-0) are not completely out of the playoff picture. Right now, Washington sits atop the NFC East. However, if they were to be dethroned from that position and be in contention for a wildcard spot, we’d want their record to be worse.


Alright, let’s recap: We want the Lions, 49ers, Jets, Rams, Buccaneers, Patriots, Saints, Cowboys and, of course, the Vikings to win. If all this happens the Vikings have a:

  • >99% chance of making the playoffs
  • 74% chance of winning the division
  • 30% chance of getting a first round bye
  • 3% chance of getting a #1 seed

I’ll be back next week with an update on how we did and who to root for in Week 14. In the meantime…

Go Lions!

Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson (Founder) is a passionate Viking fan hailing from Sin City, Las Vegas. He can remember, as a child, scraping his knee on the playground and his friends being completely shocked by the purple blood trickling from the wound. When Brett isn't scouring the Internet for some semblance of Vikings news, he enjoys blindly putting money on them to beat whoever their opponent may be, and daydreams about being their next Tight End. Brett graduated from UNLV with a degree in Architecture and specializes in web/graphic design; he hopes to provide this site’s visitors with the best Vikings experience on the net.

Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ccarterhof
5 years ago

That was crazy stuff there. Only the Lions….well, we’re just going to have to win this thing ourselves!

Derek
Derek
5 years ago

That was no fask mask penatly. He never touched his face mask.I’ve never seen anything like that. The NFL seriously has a love affair with Rodgers and the Packers, the refs gave them that free play, never should have happened.

It’s like watching the WWE. Terrible call, so so lame.

Jake
Jake
Reply to  Derek
5 years ago

All true. The game was over. But…..

We lost the Buffalo game on a 4th and 20 play last year. We should have called a time out to set the defense. Since that loss, Zim has done that a couple of times and it has worked for us. Detroit should have called a time out before the Hail Mary play. Their defense was not ready for that play and they played it poorly. All of the defenders were behind the Packer receivers and the result was a jump ball td… I would have put Megatron down on the goal line and told him to catch anything they throw…

Derek
Derek
5 years ago

That was one of, if not the worst calls I have ever seen. Dude didn’t even touch Rodgers face mask. That penalty and that hail Mary never should have been.

The NFL has a love affair with Rodgers and the Packers, this is starting to be like watching the WWE.

ccarterhof
Reply to  Derek
5 years ago

I don’t know Derek, looked like the dude’s finger just caught his mask. They almost had to call that. Lions have to knock that down! Lesson to be learned watching that…glad it wasn’t us!
We’ll beat them in Lambeau.

Derek
Derek
5 years ago

He never touched his face mask. Watched that a hundred times. Watch it again. Rodgers does what Rodgers does, plays for the penatly. He was going to the ground and dycking as that defender grabbed his shoulder. If you think his finger got inside his mask you need to watch that again.

I know we will beat them in GB, bug I’m sick of the NFL giving star treatment to some players, and that’s all that was. A phantom call and completely inappropriate in the situation. It ruins the experience for me when the refs make calls like that.

If it was Brady, I’d say the same thing, star power phantom call that ruined the game. That’s exactly what it was. Watch it again.

Derek
Derek
5 years ago

“No player shall grasp and control, twist, turn, push, or pull the facemask of an opponent in any direction,” Rule 12, Section 2, Article 14 states.

The rule comes with an important caveat: “If a player grasps an opponent’s facemask, he must immediately release it. If he does not immediately release it and controls his opponent, it is a foul.”

Watch it again tell that was a good call.

ccarterhof
Reply to  Derek
5 years ago

Yeah, looks like maybe the finger grazes it but that’s it. You’re right, definitely not a facemask. Packers lucked out…

CalVkg
CalVkg
5 years ago

amazing how they get so many calls. at first, in real time, the face mask call looked believable, but not after the replays. feels like the lions are our little brother and we need to kick GB’s ass for that. i wish they would need to win the last game to get in (probably not gonna happen) and we knock them out – cold

Derek
Derek
5 years ago

And the worst part is Rodgers, McCarthy,and every cheese head acting like greatness just occurred. That call decided the game and may impact the division and playoffs. Really leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Malte
Malte
5 years ago

I think the penalty was good (especially looking at it live).
However I think it was extremely bad play by the lions, you just had to tackle him. A penalty is the only thing you can’t allow in that situation.
On the next play. Why.. oh god why not put megatron in? if he doesn’t catch it, then he’ll make sure nobody else gets close to it.

Derek
Derek
5 years ago

You are watching a different play if you think that was a good call.

Franciscan Viking
Franciscan Viking
5 years ago

I’ve also heard there was a lot of PI in the end zone by the Packers. (Can’t bear to watch it myself….)

Derek
Derek
5 years ago

Fran if you didn’t see the game or the last two plays, don’t bother it will just make you mad. The nail was in the coffin of the Packers season and the refs pulled it out, and the lions did what only the lions could do to resuscitate the Packers season. I’m still in shock, spare yourself.

Fran the Man
Fran the Man
Reply to  Derek
5 years ago

Too late, saw it live. . .just now sobering up.

Back to top button