Vikings Need These 4 Teams to Win on Sunday

Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell reacts during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings played their Week 15 game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday.

Unfortunately, the Vikings fell in overtime to Cincinnati by a score of 27-24, and now, they are in danger of losing their cushion for the No. 6 seed yet again as well as falling out of contention in the division race. In order to continue hanging around, they will need some help this weekend.

Here is a look at four teams that the Vikings need to win in order to build their cushion back up in the NFC playoff race.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Oct 15, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) drops back to pass against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers sit at 6-7 right now, but they control their own destiny to the playoffs as they hold the lead in the NFC South. As a result, a victory from Tampa Bay this weekend doesn’t impact Minnesota’s hopes for the playoffs.

This weekend, the Bucs go into Lambeau Field and take on the Green Bay Packers, who also sit at 6-7. The Packers hold the No. 7 seed in the NFC and are coming off a disappointing loss to the New York Giants on Monday night. With a win, Green Bay would move into a tie with the Vikings and another matchup looming in Week 17.

New York Giants

Dec 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) and New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) greet each other after their game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

New York has been riding high since Tommy DeVito took over the starting QB job, and they have improved to 5-8 by winning their past two games.

This weekend, Vikings fans will be rooting for the Giants as they take on the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. New Orleans has continued to hang around the NFC playoff picture, and a win last week over the Panthers improved their record to 6-7. Minnesota also holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints, but an eighth loss from New Orleans would greatly improve the Vikings’ chances at securing a playoff spot.

Carolina Panthers

Oct 15, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) attempts a pass against the Miami Dophins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s to hoping the Panthers can win their second game of the season. Carolina has stumbled to a 1-12 start to the year, but the Vikings would benefit greatly from this team ending their current six-game losing streak.

This weekend, the Panthers will take on the Atlanta Falcons at home, and Atlanta enters the weekend as yet another 6-7 team. The Falcons are another team that lost to the Vikings earlier in the season, so Minnesota holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over them as we enter the final stretch of the year. Still, it would be nice for the Vikings to hold onto their cushion for that No. 6 spot in the conference.

Washington Commanders

Vikings Need
Jan 8, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) celebrates with Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) after connecting on a long pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders are coming off their bye in Week 14, and now, they are set to take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Washington sits at 4-9 this season, so a win by them won’t do anything to the Vikings in regard to the NFC standings.

However, Los Angeles has been red-hot as of late even despite a tough 37-31 overtime loss against the Ravens last weekend. The Rams, of course, sit at 6-7 on the season and could be a threat in the NFC if someone doesn’t knock them off down the stretch of the year.

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.