It Was a Sunday from Hell for Vikings.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Nothing good whatsoever happened to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Not a single thing.

Of course, Minnesota enjoyed a bye week, but on the final day of that vacation, the NFL was cruel.

It Was a Sunday from Hell for Vikings.

Murphy’s Law raged, and the Vikings’ postseason hopes dipped in a single day by about 10%. According to the New York Times playoff simulator, Minnesota entered Sunday with a 51% probability of reaching the postseason. But at bedtime, those odds are situated at 40%.

Here’s what happened.

Falcons over Jets

Sunday from Hell
East Rutherford, NJ — December 3, 2023 — Jet fans in the second half. The Atlanta Falcons topped the NY Jets 13-8 at MetLife Stadium on December 3, 2023 in East Rutherford, NJ. © Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK.

What the Vikings Wanted: Jets over Falcons
The Result: Falcons Win 13-8

There’s always a chance that the Falcons finish with one more win than the Vikings but one game behind the Saints in the NFC South. Minnesota owns the tiebreaker over Atlanta, but if the Vikings finish 2-3 while the Falcons achieve a 3-2 record the rest of the way, Atlanta will walk into the dance if it’s vying for a Wildcard spot.

Life would’ve been more peaceful with a Jets dub.

Rams over Browns

It Was a Sunday
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

What the Vikings Wanted: Browns over Rams
The Result: Rams Win 36-19

The Rams now have the same record as the Vikings (6-6) and beat the turnover-happy Browns. Los Angeles has playoff DNA and now cannot be ignored by Vikings fans in the Wildcard pursuit.

Thankfully, the Rams hit the road for a date with the Ravens next weekend, which won’t be easy.

Buccaneers over Panthers

Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports.

What the Vikings Wanted: Panthers over Buccaneers
The Result: Buccaneers Win 21-18

Probably the least threatening, Tampa Bay is the one team on this list that holds a playoff tiebreaker over Minnesota. Like the Jets example, it would’ve been much more serene for the Vikings’ interest if Adam Thielen’s Panthers won their second game of 2023.

No cigar.

Lions over Saints

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

What the Vikings Wanted: Saints over Lions
The Result: Lions Win 33-28

There was always a miniature glimmer of hope that Minnesota could get hot in the last five games and make a run at the NFC North. But with every Lions win, that fantasy seems dumber and farther-fetched.

Detroit has a full three-game lead on Minnesota in the NFC North, and now the Vikings will hope the Bears or Broncos can score an upset over Detroit to keep the faint division title dream alive. Minnesota must be within two games of Detroit by Christmas Eve to keep a puncher’s chance alive at the NFC North.

Packers over Chiefs

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

What the Vikings Wanted: Chiefs over Packers
The Result: Packers Win 27-19

The nastiest of them all, Green Bay is likely heading to the postseason — regardless of the Vikings’ next five games.

The Packers have the same 6-6 record as the Vikings and take on this schedule in the next five weeks:

  • at New York Giants
  • vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • at Carolina Panthers
  • at Minnesota Vikings
  • vs. Chicago Bears

What a cakewalk. Sunday Night Football was the one game that Green Bay “should” lose — against the Super Bowl champions — but they did not.

Unless the Packers simply collapse versus silly teams, they will reach the playoffs during their first Aaron Rodgersless season.

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