Packers and Lions both Win Sunday Updated NFC Playoff Picture
Neither the Minnesota Vikings nor their upcoming opponent, the Chicago Bears, played today. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t games with major implications for both NFC North teams, as both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions had games Sunday. Let’s take a look at how the Vikings’ most recent opponents fared and what it means for Monday and beyond!
The Packers went into Sunday’s game with the 1-7 Jaguars heavily favored, but struggled against this lesser opponent which reinforced what we’ve known about the Pack and the NFC as a whole in 2020.
That the NFC doesn’t have a clear front-runner at the mid-point, which means that the Vikings very well could make a decent playoff run if they’re able to build on the past couple weeks.
The Packers have looked great at times, but they’ve also struggled against other decent teams like the Bucs (who have been similarly great one week and then Meh the next), or now this game against the Jags (who they bested 24-20).
The win was enough to at least temporarily grant the number 1 seed to the Packers over the Saints, who are facing the 49ers today. It’s those 49ers who seemed to be one of the main impediments to any post-season run by the Vikings, as the NFC West looked like a three playoff team division before injury after injury turned the Niners offense into essentially the roster from the Keanu Reeves masterpiece’The Replacements’.
As of the writing of this piece the Saints are tied with the 49ers, 10-10, but you’d have to think that the Saints will end up winning that game and re-landing atop the NFC standings. What about the Detroit Lions?
The Lions faced the Washington Football Team today and ended up winning 30-27, keeping their playoff chances alive and improving their record to 4-5 on the season (good enough for the 9th seed). That makes the Vikings the 11th seed, for now, with the 49ers taking the 10th spot.
Should the Niners actually lose, the Vikings would be the 10th seed with a chance to leap-frog the Lions and trail the Bears by half-a-game (if you take the tie-breaker into consideration) should the Vikes best the Bears on Monday Night Football.
The Bears currently, at 5-4, trail the LA Rams for the final (for now) post-season spot. By falling to 5-5, they’d still have a game over the (again, assuming they can win) 4-5 Vikings (even with the Vikings having the head-to-head advantage).
If anything, though, what we knew coming into Week 10 was reinforced by today’s games. The NFC has some good teams but is really anyone’s conference. That means that the Vikings really, REALLY need to win Monday’s game against the Bears as they could end up taking their blueprint of riding the league’s best back, combined with one of the best 1-2 punches at both receiver and tight end, the NFL’s second-most accurate passer EVER and a scrappy defense a lot further than any of us could’ve hoped during the bye week.