Don’t shoot the messenger, but the 2020 NFL season is coming to a close. Minnesota has arguably had the most confusing season of any team in the NFL. There have been highs of beating the Packers and lows of losing to both the lowly Cowboys and hapless Falcons.In any other year, the Vikings would be dead in the water right now…but not this year! As any delusional fan would, I’ve been crunching the numbers on the odds to see the Vikings in the playoffs. Despite the seemingly devastating losses where Dan Bailey and the D-Line ripped your heart out in the last two weeks, it’s possible. We’re not dead yet.
Who to Root for
To be honest, the Vikings path isn’t all that complicated. They obviously need to win out to have any hope whatsoever. Should be easy, right? In addition to that, they need the Cardinals to collapse in on themselves like the Steelers have recently, and lose their last two. The final puzzle piece lies in the Bears losing at least one of their last two. If ALL of that can happen, the Vikings will be playoff-bound as the new 7th seed. There are some other games that don’t DIRECTLY affect these chances, but would certainly help the Vikings as well. Here’s how you should be rooting for the next two weeks.
Vikings @ SaintsObviously need the Vikings to win out. This game will be played on Christmas day, and it’s hard to think of a better present than a Vikings win against the Saints. 2009 still hurts, and knocking the Saints out of the playoffs in painful ways has been fun the last couple of years, but this feud is far from over. Sean Payton’s cheating scandal and smug face probably don’t help the animosity.
49ers @ Cardinals
Still need the Cardinals to lose out. The Niners just got their doors blown off by the Cowboys, so hopefully that sparked a little bit of fire in their locker room. Unfortunately, one of the last remaining healthy offensive weapons in The Bay was just taken away as Raheem Mostert was put on IR. It’s a divisional game and they always play each other close, so let’s just hope Kyle Shanahan can live up to his “offensive genius” hype and pull out a W.
Bears @ JaguarsIt’s simple, Minnesota just needs the Bears to lose one of their last two. With the Jets winning last week, Jacksonville is now in the driver’s seat to draft Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick. If I had to guess, they’ll be in full tank-mode so hopes aren’t high here. It’s 2020 and stranger things have happened, so it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
Titans @ Packers
The Packers are currently in the #1 spot in the NFC. If they want to keep it that way, they just have to stay ahead of the Seahawks. If the Packers win against the Titans, their strength of schedule and quality wins would put them ahead of the Seahawks. That is assuming they end the season with the same record. If that were to happen, it would mean an unnecessary game against the Bears in Week 17 if the Rams were to lose to the Seahawks this week. Nobody wants that.
Rams @ Seahawks
Both of these teams are playoff-bound in the NFC no matter what. I hate Pete Carroll more than anyone. Okay, maybe not as much as the players and coaches who had their life ruined by him at USC, but it’s close. With that being said, I’ll be rooting for that gum-smacking geriatric for the next two weeks. The Seahawks winning makes me physically ill, but it also means the Packers have to play for the #1 seed in Week 17. I’m willing to make that sacrifice.
Vikings @ Lions
Whether week 16 went favorably or not, you never want to lose to the Lions. Stafford and the kittens played lights-out last week and took down the Titans. It’d be a real shame if that torso injury flared up and he wasn’t able to be under center for this matchup. Regardless of who’s on the field, the Vikings have got to leave it all out there. Hey Zim, free tip here: maybe feature your Pro-Bowl RB and WR duo in Cook and Jefferson.
Eagles @ CardinalsAssuming Week 16 went poorly for the Cards, nerves would come in to play here. The Eagles are currently FLYING (not sorry about the lame pun) with Hurts in control of the offense. It’s absolutely shocking that it took them this long to make the switch from Wentz. Let’s hope that he can come out on top in the battle of former Oklahoma QB’s…the season might depend on it.
Packers @ Bears
This one is going to be PAINFUL. If you’ve got a Packers/Vikings Favre jersey that’s sewed together half-and-half…this is the time to wear it. Wash your mouth out with soap if you have to, but you’re probably going to need to cheer for the Packers in this matchup. Hopefully, they’ve still got the #1 seed to play for in week 17, otherwise, this might be a rest-game for A-a-ron and the rest of their starters.
Seahawks @ 49ers
Checking the clock and box scores ahead of this game will be critical. If the Packers have won both of their last two games, this one won’t matter. But if they lost to the Titans and beat the Bears (best case scenario), then the Seahawks can clinch the #1 seed ahead of them with two wins. Even if the Vikings don’t get everything they need to make the cut, it’s always encouraged to root for bad things to happen to the Packers.
The internet tells me there’s a big gen-z movement on Tik Tok right now about manifesting something to happen. I’m not on “the Tok” but other guys at 10k are putting out phenomenal stuff that’s worth a follow and have kept me up to speed. I don’t know anything about how the whole manifesting trend works specifically and it sounds like cult witchcraft to me, but it’s worth a shot. Say it with me, “We’re not dead yet”.
I’ve been hit by cars three times, which is an indication of how stubborn I am.
I write about everything across the board, but focus on Hockey and the pain that is Minnesota sports.
Argue with me on Twitter: @venividiveech