The Vikings Can Leap Up in the NFC Standings on Thursday Night

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
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After back-to-back losses in Weeks 11 and 12, the Minnesota Vikings sit at 6-6 and have lost some ground on the NFC leaders.

However, despite the losing streak, Minnesota has remained in the No. 7 seed in the conference throughout, and by the end of Thursday night, they could actually move up the NFC standings to the No. 6 seed.

The Vikings Can Move Up in the NFC Standings

NFC Standings
Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) reacts with tight end Josh Oliver (84) and guard Dalton Risner (66) after a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Currently, that No. 6 seed is occupied by the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll’s crew currently sits at 6-5 and is set to take on the 8-3 Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. If Dallas were to defeat Seattle tonight, both Seattle and Minnesota would be 6-6, but because of an in-conference record tie-breaker, the Vikings would be awarded that sixth spot.

The Vikings currently hold a 6-3 record against NFC opponents, earning victories over the Bears (Week 6), 49ers, Falcons, Packers, Panthers, and Saints while losing to the Bears (Week 12), Buccaneers, and Eagles.

The Seahawks currently are 5-3 against in-conference opponents with victories against the Cardinals, Commanders, Giants, Lions, and Panthers while losing to the 49ers and Rams (twice).

Jan 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) embraces wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) following a touchdown pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

A loss on Thursday night would drop them to 5-4 against NFC opponents for the season while a victory would move them to even with the Vikings at 6-3. From Weeks 14-18, both teams will play three more in-conference games. As a result, there is added importance for Minnesota not only because their NFC games are all NFC North games, but they could also impact the Wild Card race as well.

If the Vikings were to jump Seattle for that No. 6 spot, and the standings held for the remainder of the regular season, Minnesota would be set to travel to Detroit in the Wild Card round. It would be the third time in four weeks that the two teams play each other, considering they also are scheduled to meet in Weeks 16 and 18.

Heading into the evening, Seattle sits as whopping nine-point underdogs before the game in Dallas. The Seahawks rolled out of the gates to a 5-2 start, but three losses in four weeks have dropped them to 6-5. They need a huge closing stretch if they want to get back into consideration for the NFC West.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell greets safety Harrison Smith (22) before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The problem is, Seattle’s schedule doesn’t exactly get any easier. After their game in Dallas tonight, they have another road game against the 49ers before going home in Week 15 only to be greeted by the Philadelphia Eagles.

While Seattle goes through the gauntlet, Minnesota is on bye this weekend before a trip to Las Vegas in Week 14 and then another road trip to Cincinnati and the Joe Burrow-less Bengals in Week 15.

Even after a couple very rough games for the Vikings, this should be a reminder that they are still very much in the mix for the playoffs. Vikings fans should be rooting for the Cowboys tonight, and then, Minnesota needs to get on a roll to start the final stretch in order to secure a higher seed in the Wild Card.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. 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.

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