NFL Playoff scenarios: All the chaos Vikings need to make the playoffs in Week 18

The Minnesota Vikings need a lot of help to make the playoffs this season. Here is everything they need to happen in Week 18 for the Vikings to clinch a berth.

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and wide
Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and wide / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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The Minnesota Vikings overcame a 0-4 start to the season to win six games in a row and get seated in prime Wild Card positioning. This was impressive, especially after the team lost starting quarterback Kirk Cousins for the season due to an Achilles injury in Week 8. But after that 6-4 start, the team lost four of their next five games. They needed to win out to really help their odds.

But on New Year's Eve, the Vikings put up a dud of a performance against the Packers, losing 33-10. Rookie quarterback Jaren Hall struggled in the first half, resulting in him getting benched after the first half in favor of veteran Nick Mullens.

Even with the loss and the Vikings sitting at 7-9, they can still make the playoffs. However, it's not going to be easy. Simply put, the Vikings will need a lot of chaos to transpire in Week 18 to clinch a Wild Card berth.

How the Vikings can clinch a playoff spot in Week 18

The Vikings have two ways of clinching a Wild Card spot and making it into the playoffs. They are as follows, courtesy of ESPN senior NFL insider Adam Schefter.

  1. Vikings win and Packers loss and Seahawks loss and Buccaneers loss
  2. Vikings win and Packers loss and Seahawks loss and Saints loss

That's right, a win alone over the Detroit Lions isn't enough to propel the Vikings into the playoffs. The Lions are likely not resting their starters as they look to secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC. So, it won't be an easy battle for the Vikings this upcoming Sunday.

What is needed is for the Green Bay Packers to lose to the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks to lose to the Arizona Cardinals. Besides those two results, the Vikings need either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lose to the Carolina Panthers or the New Orleans Saints to lose to the Atlanta Falcons. With that, a playoff berth is clinched. Easy, right?

The Vikings' playoff destiny does not rest in their hands. They need help, and a lot of it, come Week 18, to make it to the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Next. NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 18: Packers, Steelers, every contender can clinch. NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 18: Packers, Steelers, every contender can clinch. dark