Analysis

Vikings Ready to Run the Table

The Minnesota Vikings came up short against the Seattle Seahawks, but they still hold a playoff berth and control their own destiny. With only four games left in the season, the Vikings are in perfect position to make the postseason, and maybe even win the division. If they want to do so, they’ll more than likely have to run the table the rest of the way.

Let’s take a look at the Vikings remaining schedule.

12/8 – Detroit Lions (home)

The Detroit Lions are probably the most middling team the Vikings will face down the stretch. With only three wins on the season, the Lions are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. In addition, any more wins will only worsen their 2020 draft pick, so don’t expect to see a lot of tenacity from this team. 

The Lions will also face the Vikings with a backup quarterback (David Blough) at the helm, and the undrafted rookie will have his hands full at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings have yet to lose a game at home (knock on wood) this season, and this looks like the perfect opportunity for a blowout win. Mike Zimmer’s defense will also be looking to make a statement after giving up 400 yards last week.

12/15 – Los Angeles Chargers (away)

The Chargers are in just about as bad of shape as the Lions. Actually, things might be worse in L.A., as rumors continue to swirl about moving their franchise overseas. The Vikings will technically be on the road for this matchup, but it may feel like a home game considering how few fans Los Angeles has, and how there is a legion of purple living in Los Angeles. There are several Minnesota Vikings bars in L.A., including the Pineapple Hill Saloon, so hopefully we see our west coast friends out in full force.

12/23 – Green Bay Packers (home)

Ah yes, the coveted Green Bay grudge match. The Vikings and the Packers look like totally different teams since they last faced in September. In week two, Kirk Cousins was still finding a rhythm and couldn’t calm his nerves in a late comeback attempt. Aaron Rodgers spent the first half of the game tearing up the Vikings defense, while Green Bay fans were calling Mike Pettine a hero for rallying the Packers defense.

It feels like years have passed since that game. Now, Cousins truly looks the part of a franchise quarterback, as he has piled up seven more wins since that Lambeau loss. Not to mention, he has become the comeback king. Rodgers, however, has relapsed significantly and is struggling to put up his usual big numbers. Normally, a slump like this wouldn’t be the end of the world for Green Bay, but their defense has looked rough and is getting eaten up by opposing offenses. Cue Kirk Cousins and co.

12/29 – Chicago Bears (home)

Now this could turn out to be an interesting game. The Bears have had an absolute roller coaster of a season. They went from Super Bowl contenders to playoff pretenders, temporarily benched quarterback Mitch Trubisky, and now they’re nipping at the heels of wild-card teams like the Vikings. If Chicago continues their revival, they could represent one last hurdle between the Vikings and their playoff dream(s). As was the case in last year’s week 17 matchup, there should be plenty to play for in this one. Even if the Bears are out of playoff contention, Minnesota may still need one last victory to surpass the Packers and reclaim the NFC North.

The Vikings have a favorable schedule down the stretch, but they’ll have to run the table to make the playoff cut. Here’s to hoping Minnesota goes 4-0 in the last quarter of the season.

Follow Reid Johnson on Twitter, Instagram, or subscribe to his personal Vikings blog, Purple Reign News for more Minnesota Vikings content.

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