2nd Chances Are Running Out for Vikings, with Hungry Lions Afoot

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Despite a run of three losses in their last four games, the Minnesota Vikings still hold their playoff fate in their own hands — a remarkable happening when you consider Minnesota also only won a single game in their opening five fixtures.

2nd Chances Are Running Out for Vikings, with Hungry Lions Afoot

The five-game win streak has kept the Vikings alive in a closely contested wildcard race between several teams. A good division and conference record has given them favorable tiebreakers that may prove useful — but only if they win more games. Second chances are running out for the Vikings, with hungry Lions on the horizon and a game against the Packers sandwiched in between.

2nd Chances
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Incredibly, despite wins for many of the other teams chasing the playoffs, Minnesota still sits as the sixth seed in the NFC playoff race. If the Vikings win all three of their remaining games, they would still win the division if the Lions lost their other game on the road at the Cowboys. There is a good chance the Vikings will clinch a playoff place with two wins and an outside chance that it would only take a solitary victory.

Kevin O’Connell won’t want to be relying on other teams to help his Vikings team stumble into the playoffs. Two wins are the minimum requirement over the next three weeks. Anything less, and the Vikings don’t deserve to be playing playoff football in a season that has provided much adversity with injuries and the need to play catch-up after a slow start.

It is a credit to O’Connell and his team that they are in this position with three games to go. The next three weeks will provide a big test of where this team and their young head coach in terms of their development. Playoff football after losing your starting QB halfway through the season — and starting four different QBs — would be quite an achievement.

Hungry Lions On The Horizon

It all kicks off on Christmas Eve when Dan Campbell brings his Lions to US Bank Stadium for an NFC North showdown. Victory will ensure Detroit is a division champion for the first time since 1993. However, a Vikings win would put pressure on the Lions, who would head to Dallas under pressure to face a Cowboys team that has won all seven home games this season.

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The Vikings have historically dominated this series with an 80-41-2 record, but Campbell is eager to prove he is nurturing a different breed of Lions than we have witnessed for the last three decades. Claiming the NFC North crown on enemy soil with two games to spare would signal the dominance they looked to be exerting on the division.

The Recipe For Vikings’ Success is Simple

Minnesota has a simple recipe for success: win their games, and they are in.

After that, it’s a case of watching what others are doing and hoping. How do the Vikings win their three games and make what other teams are doing a nonissue? It’s another simple equation — don’t turn the ball over.

Somehow, the Vikings have managed to make their games even closer than last season, with 13 of their 14 games decided by one score. Minnesota hasn’t been as proficient at coming out on the right side of those one-score games this year, with a 6-7 record, but you can be almost certain these last three games will be close.

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There have been far too many mistakes that have spread throughout the entire team. With the season on the line against a good Detroit team, the Vikings can’t afford another game riddled with mistakes.

It’s essentially playoff football from here on out for the Vikings, with the caveat that they might get one more second chance. However, the time to look for favors from elsewhere has passed, and this Vikings team needs to show its mettle and show the NFL whether it is or isn’t a playoff-caliber team in its current incarnation.