NFL Analyst Uplifts Weird Vikings Playoff Possibility

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The Minnesota Vikings have a 44.2% probability of reaching the postseason after Week 15, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).

The New York Times’ playoff machine is kinder and gentler to Minnesota, granting the purple team 52% playoff odds entering Week 16.

NFL Analyst Uplifts Weird Vikings Playoff Possibility

In short, the Vikings basically must win two of their final three games — the combination of two doesn’t much matter — versus the Detroit Lions on Christmas Eve, the Green Bay Packers on New Year’s Eve, and the Lions again in Week 18. That’s the blueprint: win two and in.

Uplifts Weird
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And this week, NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano tweeted an ever-evolving Vikings’ playoff possibility, “NFL storyline that deserves more attention: There is a very real possibility that the Lions and Vikings will play each other 3 times in 21 days.”

How would this happen? Simple. The Vikings have a realistic shot at snagging the sixth seed — so long as they win two games in the next three weeks — nominating a team like the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, or Green Bay Packers for No. 7 seed duty. The Lions are likely to obtain the No. 3 seed, and voila, the Vikings would travel to Ford Field on the weekend of January 16th for a date with the Lions.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) huddles with teammates before a first down against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Minnesota plays Detroit on December 24th (this Sunday), on January 7th, and then potentially on Wildcard Weekend. That’s three showdowns in 20 or 21 days.

Of course, the Vikings reaching the playoffs at all is not guaranteed, nor are the Lions totally locked into the No. 3 seed. But if one plays around with this playoff machine using predicted outcomes according to oddsmakers, most scenarios pan out as Vikings at Lions to start the playoffs.

Nick Mullens got his first start as the Minnesota Vikings QB on Saturday at Cincinnati. Minnesota lost 27-24, but Mullens was productive while causing a couple of turnovers. He joined the Vikings in late summer of 2022 and has served as the team’s QB2 since.

The other possibility for Detroit is fascinating. If it’s not the Vikings in the Wildcard Round, the Lions could draw the Rams, a team quarterbacked by Matthew Stafford, who spent 12 seasons in Detroit. Most Lions fans would probably be paranoid about playing Stafford and the Rams in the team’s first playoff game since 2016.

Interestingly, some NFL fans aren’t enthused by a Lions-Vikings lineup thrice in three weeks. Commenters to Siciliano’s tweet were quite negative. @Lems31M replied, “These double-up division matchups at the end of the year are the worst thing the NFL has done schedule-wise in a long time.”

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

“No idea why the schedule doesn’t start with you playing your division and end with you playing it. Squeezing in both division rival games into 3 weeks is stupid,” @DirkTheDaring76 opined.

The Lions have won one playoff game since zip codes were invented.

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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by