The 5 Teams Vikings Could Face in Playoffs

Opponents in Round 1
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The 5 Teams Vikings Could Face in Playoffs

The Minnesota Vikings climbed to 11-3 in 2022, stunningly actionizing the biggest comeback in NFL history on Saturday over the Indianapolis Colts. Kevin O’Connell’s team also clinched the NFC North, a feat that eluded Minnesota for five years.

Minnesota is now guaranteed to host at least one playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium, probably on Wildcard Weekend. These are the teams it could face in Round 1.

The 5 Teams Vikings Could Face in Playoffs

1. New York Giants

The 5 Teams Vikings Could Face in Playoffs
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

Playoff Probability = 87%
Remaining Schedule = at MIN, vs. IND, at PHI

Because the Giants won on Sunday Night Football in Week 15, they slid over to the driver’s seat for playoff positioning. Had they lost, we’d be talking about the Washington Commanders in this very paragraph.

But they didn’t lose, and Daniel Jones got off the schneid in primetime games. His team held an 0-9 career record in primetime before Week 15, but that dubious streak is dead.

If you, the Vikings fan, is to assume that Minnesota will find a way to hand the No. 2 seed to the San Francisco 49ers — all the 49ers need is one win and a Vikings loss — then the Giants are the most likely team to visit Minneapolis in Round 1 of the playoffs.

Should that occur, the Vikings will have played the Giants twice in 21 or 22 days — in the same building.

2. Detroit Lions

The 5 Teams Vikings Could Face in Playoffs
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Playoff Probability = 41%
Remaining Schedule = at CAR, vs. CHI, at GB

Since the Lions traded T.J. Hockenson to the Vikings, Detroit became a suddenly-hot juggernaut football team. It’s bizarre.

The Lions essentially “control their own fate” in reaching the postseason, thanks to beating the Vikings in Week 14. The dream is alive. Dan Campbell’s team started the season 1-6, and now here they are at 7-7. Impressive.

The Vikings still have the best odds to face the Giants in Round 1 of the tournament, but the Lions are right there, too. Most of the what-ifs on Minnesota’s opponent depend on the Vikings ability to retain hold of the No. 2 seed.

3. Washington Commanders

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Playoff Probability = 35%
Remaining Schedule = at SF, vs. CLE, vs. DAL

The Commanders totally ravaged their playoff hopes on Sunday night while hosting the rival Giants. They now need the Giants to drop games while the Lions, Seahawks, and perhaps Packers lose, too.

Taylor Heinicke is assuredly lovable and all that rah-rah jazz, but he isn’t very good. He makes crucial mistakes repeatedly in games — ones that are masked by his on-the-field passion and presence.

Still, the Commanders could snag the seventh seed with some help and face the Vikings — if Minnesota doesn’t relinquish the second seed.

4. Seattle Seahawks

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Playoff Probability = 30%
Remaining Schedule = at KC, vs. NYJ, vs. LAR

Let’s face it. The Seahawks will probably lose next weekend at Arrowhead Stadium to the Chiefs. It’s science.

But if they don’t, they’d maintain a puncher’s chance at reaching the January dance. Unfortunately for their sake, they’ve lost four of their last five games, seemingly a death sentence for playoff aspirations, especially with a road date at the Chiefs upcoming.

5. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers Lauds Viking as 'Best Player in Game'
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Playoff Probability = 6%
Remaining Schedule = vs. LAR, at MIA, vs. MIN, vs. DET

Here’s a dirty little secret: if the Packers run the table and defeat all four opponents listed above, they have a 67% chance of entering the playoffs. The problem? Running the table.

Green Bay will likely topple the Rams on Monday Night Football because the game is in Wisconsin. But then they travel to Miami for a showdown with an angry and desperate Dolphins squad.

If the Vikings don’t fumble the No. 2 seed — and the Packers go 4-0 in the next four games — you are indeed probably looking at a Vikings-Packers matchup in Round 1. However, that will have meant San Francisco curiously lost one or two games, and Minnesota lost at Green Bay on New Year’s Day.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).