The Vikings Have the Fourth-Best Playoff Odds in the NFC

The 8 Surprises from Vikings Win over New Orleans
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

We’re through four weeks of the NFL season, and sure, it may be a little early to begin truly speculating about whether or not the Minnesota Vikings are a true playoff team. However, the fact that this squad has started the season 3-1 is very exciting. This is usually the point in the year where it becomes easier to tell what we have in each NFL team, too.

With that said, Football Outsiders has updated their formula to calculate playoff odds for each team following Week 4’s action. Wouldn’t you know it, the Vikings are one of the favorites to make the dance with the fourth-best playoffs odds in the NFC.

Heading into Week 5, the Vikings have a 76.4% chance to make the playoffs, a growth of 11.1% since their victory over the New Orleans Saints. For what it’s worth, Minnesota also has the eighth best odds at the Super Bowl sitting at 3.2%. Here are the seven teams with the best odds to make the playoffs in the NFC according to the site:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: 97.6%
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 79.0%
  3. Green Bay Packers: 78.8%
  4. Minnesota Vikings 76.4%
  5. Dallas Cowboys: 71.0%
  6. San Francisco 49ers: 61.1%
  7. Los Angeles Rams: 48.6%

A couple interesting things to note from this group. Firstly, the two teams that played in the Super Bowl eight months ago have a lower than 50% chance to make the playoffs according to Football Outsiders. The Los Angeles Rams have a 48.6% chance, and the Cincinnati Bengals have a 40.8% chance after starting the year 2-2. Both teams have very tough games this week as well with the Rams playing host to the Dallas Cowboys and the Bengals going to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.

It’s also curious to see the Packers still sitting just above the Vikings, despite Minnesota dominating them in Week 1. The Packers have a 2.4% higher chance of making the playoffs as well as a 2.6% higher chance to win the NFC North.

That said, both teams have much easier schedules moving into the next few weeks. Green Bay should very easily win their next three games against the New York Giants, New York Jets, and Washington Commanders. Meanwhile, the Vikings have matchups with the Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins (likely quarterbacked by Teddy Bridgewater), and Arizona Cardinals.

No matter what, this strong start from the Vikings has put the Vikings in a position that they haven’t seen in the past few seasons. Not only are they in the mix, but they are also the team that others in the NFC are chasing right now. Time will tell if the Vikings got out too hot in this marathon that is the NFL season, or if they are truly pace-setters in 2022.

The Vikings kick off their Week 5 matchup with the Chicago Bears in U.S. Bank Stadium at 12 PM Central this Sunday.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken