The Vikings Have Work to Do to Get Back into the NFC Playoff Picture

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Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Only two weeks remain in the NFL season.

The Minnesota Vikings took a tumble outside of the NFC playoff picture this week because of their loss to the Detroit Lions, and now, they find themselves with a lot of work to do in order to make it as a Wild Card team.

As for the rest of the league, there are still eight spots up for grabs as we head into Week 17. Here is a look at the updated NFL playoff picture as we head into the final two weekends of the season.

NFL Playoff Picture Heading into Week 17

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.


  1. Baltimore Ravens (11-4)
  2. Miami Dolphins (10-5)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6)
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7)
  5. Cleveland Browns (10-5)
  6. Buffalo Bills (9-6)
  7. Indianapolis Colts (8-7)

  1. Houston Texans (8-7)
  2. Cincinnati Bengals (8-7)
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7)
  4. Las Vegas Raiders (7-8)
  5. Denver Broncos (7-8)
  6. New York Jets (6-9)
  7. Tennessee Titans (5-10)
  8. Los Angeles Chargers (5-10)
  9. New England Patriots (4-11)

Things in the AFC have only gotten more chaotic after this past weekend as there are five 8-7 teams battling for the final Wild Card seed while the trio of the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Jacksonville Jaguars could still win the AFC South.

At the top, the Baltimore Ravens have a chance to seal up the No. 1 seed as they play host to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. If Miami were to win, though, the Dolphins jump back into that No. 1 spot and would be in prime position to seal homefield advantage if they can defeat the Bills at home in Week 18.

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

However, if Miami loses out, and Buffalo wins out, they have a chance to jump all the way to the No. 2 seed and snatch the AFC East crown for the fourth consecutive year. The Bills host the New England Patriots this weekend, so it is a very real possibility.


  1. San Francisco 49ers (11-4)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (11-4)
  3. Detroit Lions (11-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (10-5)
  6. Los Angeles Rams (8-7)
  7. Seattle Seahawks (8-7)

  1. Minnesota Vikings (7-8)
  2. Green Bay Packers (7-8)
  3. New Orleans Saints (7-8)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (7-8)
  5. Chicago Bears (6-9)
  6. New York Giants (5-10)
  7. Washington Commanders (4-11)
  8. Arizona Cardinals (3-12)
  9. Carolina Panthers (2-13)
Playoff Picture
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions sealed the NFC North race with their win over the Vikings on Sunday, and now, the Vikings find themselves falling from No. 6 all the way to No. 8 and out of the playoffs. Minnesota likely will need to win their final two games against Green Bay and Detroit while getting some additional help from other NFC teams to jump past the Rams and Seahawks.

Over the final two weeks of the year, Los Angeles will play two road games against the Giants and 49ers while Seattle will take on the Steelers at home this weekend before traveling to Arizona and battling the Cardinals in Week 18. There are certainly losable games in there, but again, the Vikings also have to take care of their own business in order to capture a playoff spot.

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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.