Firstly, It is nearly impossible to discuss football right now without thinking of Damar Hamlin. We have all been keeping him in our thoughts and wish for a full recovery of the 24-year-old Bills safety.
As it stands right now, the Minnesota Vikings are a 3 seed in the NFC playoff picture. Despite a brutal loss to the Green Bay Packers last week, the Vikings can fall no lower than the 3 seed after winning 12 games and conquering the NFC North this regular season. The Vikings however are by no means locked into that 3 seed, and a lot of reshuffling is likely to occur within the NFC between now and the commencement of the playoffs on January 14.
If the season ended right now, the Vikings would have a date with the New York Giants in Minnesota. After being defeated by a last-second 61-yard field goal, the Giants would come into US Bank Stadium hungry to exact revenge on a Vikings team that hardly eeked out a victory against them on Christmas Eve. New York has firmly secured the 6 seed, so if the Vikings are unable to defeat the Bears on Sunday, they will remain the 3 seed and face the Giants on wild card weekend.
But a loss to the Bears is not the only scenario in which the Vikings would play the Giants in round 1. If the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cardinals, the Niners will stay in the 2 seed, once again matching up Minnesota against New York.
But things would get real funky if the Vikings beat the Bears (a likely possibility given Justin Fields’ injury), and the 49ers lose (or draw) to the Cardinals. If that scenario plays out, the Vikings would slide up into the 2 seed, meaning their possible opponents would be the Seahawks, Lions, or Packers.
So let’s say the Vikings do seize the 2 seed, their opponent would depend on a multitude of factors. Right now, Seattle owns that coveted 7 seed over Detroit and Green Bay. Despite all of those teams being 8-8, Seattle has that spot because of their win over Detroit in week 4, and Detroit’s victory over Green Bay in week 9. Wild. However, If the Packers beat the Lions on Sunday Night Football, the Packers will go through, eliminating both the Lions and Seahawks – no need for any tiebreakers. But if the Lions come out on top over Green Bay, they only advance if the Seahawks lose their game against the rams. Because if the Seahawks win, and the Lions also win, The Seahawks will go through because of their week 4 victory over Detroit.
Depending on what occurs this Sunday, the Vikings could see themselves facing the Giants, the Seahawks, the Lions, or the Packers on wild card weekend.