Playoff Hopes Are Alive and Well: Sunday Worked Out Perfectly for the Vikings

Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (40) during the first quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings managed to capture a 3-0 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, improving to 7-6.

While it was a very ugly win for the Vikings on the road, any type of win at this point in the season is a good thing for Minnesota’s playoff hopes. In fact, Sunday worked out perfectly for the Vikings regarding their victory and the results of other games around the NFC.

Playoff Hopes Are Alive and Well for the Vikings

Playoff Hopes
Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell reacts with wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) before the game against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

If we look at the competition with the Vikings for the final Wild Card spots in the NFC, there were five teams on their heels heading into Week 14:

  • Green Bay Packers
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • New Orleans Saints

Of course, the Packers will face off against the New York Giants on Monday night, but the other four teams were in action on Sunday. Three of the four teams lost, with the Saints being the only team to win by earning a 28-6 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

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 Los Angeles Rams played a very competitive game against the Baltimore Ravens, but ultimately, they could not pull off a victory because of a 76-yard punt return from Tylan Wallace in overtime to earn Baltimore a 37-31 win.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 29-26, thus losing their lead in the NFC South and creating a three-way tie between New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and themselves at 6-7.

Seattle also suffered a 28-16 loss on the road at San Francisco with Drew Lock at QB, dropping the Seahawks to 6-7 as well.

Dec 10, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Tylan Wallace (16) and quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrate after winning in overtime against the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the NFC North might be up for grabs once again as the Detroit Lions lost to the Chicago Bears. Chicago dominated Detroit on both sides of the ball en route to a 28-13 victory. Once again, the Vikings have moved within two games of the Lions for the lead in the NFC North.

As everyone knows by now, the Lions and Vikings will meet up in Weeks 16 and 18, and those games could very well determine who actually wins this division.

Overall, after the past few weeks saw Minnesota’s cushion for the playoffs completely disappear, the Vikings now have a one-game cushion in the Wild Card hunt once again. This bodes well for them as they prepare for a Week 15 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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