Even though Green Bay lost to San Francisco on Sunday night, Minnesota must also grind out a victory in Seattle next week to stay within striking distance of the North title.
Despite the outcome of Packers-49ers game, the Vikings cannot consider their coming contest in Seattle any less than the critical trial of their 2019 season.
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Because Minnesota lost in Lambeau Field in Week 2, the Packers now own the most immediate tie-breaking criteria if both teams have the same record at the end of the regular season; a head-to-head victory.
That makes any loss by Minnesota a potential ‘Mulligan Card’ for Green Bay at this point. Even with a win by the Vikings over them in Week 16, the Packers will most likely own the most conference–and NFC North–wins despite having the identical final record.
The Vikings also have to snatch a victory in Seattle a week from this coming Monday. Their following schedule is also favorable after the tough tilt on MNF, but winning out would become a moot point if Green Bay does the same–even if they lose to the Vikings in late December.
Yes, at 12-4, both teams would head to the playoffs, but one would most possibly enjoy a bye week as NFC North Champion and the other would be on the road in the Wildcard Playoff Game as the tournament’s sixth-seed.
|San Francisco 49ers (1)||10||1||0||West Champion|
|New Orleans Saints (2)||9||2||0||South Champion|
|Green Bay Packers (3)||8||3||0||North Champion||head-to-head record|
|Dallas Cowboys (4)||6||5||0||East Champion|
|Seattle Seahawks (5)||9||2||0||Wild Card #1|
|Minnesota Vikings (6)||8||3||0||Wild Card #2|
|Los Angeles Rams||6||5||0|
|Chicago Bears||5||6||0||conference win percentage|
|Philadelphia Eagles||5||6||0||conference win percentage|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||7||0|
|Detroit Lions||3||7||1||conference win percentage|
|New York Giants||2||9||0||head-to-head record|
Scenario: Vikings WIN in Seattle–
Both teams have three losses and the showdown is set for Week 16. Winner takes the NFC North. Around that game, the Packers play the Giants, Redskins, Bears and Lions; an easy argument for four wins.
The Vikings play the Lions, Chargers and Bears, no vacation trip, but each game winnable at the least.
Scenario: Vikings LOSE In Seattle–
The Vikings are now 8-4 and have no other choice but hope the Packers get upset twice by Washington, Detroit or Chicago before or after meeting Minnesota at US Bank Stadium on December 23rd.
Xmas Marks The Spots
Two days before Christmas, the NFC North will most likely be decided. But will it be before or after the game is played between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis?
That will depend on the outcome of a Monday Night Football contest between the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest.