A year after the Minnesota Vikings fell apart throughout the season, failed to win close games, and ultimately fired their head coach, they are destined for the playoffs. An official realization of that reality could come as soon as Sunday.
First-year head coach Kevin O’Connell has his Minnesota Vikings enjoying a 9-2 record after a Thanksgiving victory over Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Set to host the New York Jets on Sunday as three-point favorites, a Minnesota win would handle their portion of a playoff-clinching scenario.
So far, only the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings can clinch postseason appearances during Week 13. Minnesota needs to beat New York while having the Detroit Lions lose against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Vikings are favorites, with the Lions as one-point favorites at home. Both the Lions and Jaguars are interesting teams in that they have shown up to post strong performances at unexpected times.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars can get a performance like the one they saw from highly touted quarterback Trevor Lawrence on Sunday, they will be tough to beat. Detroit has looked better than their record at times, and they nearly knocked off the Eagles to open the season in Week 1.
At this point, there’s little reason for the Vikings to be scoreboard-watching. It’s basically a given that they’ll play postseason football this year, and their goal is likely to chase down the Eagles for the coveted number-one seed. If Minnesota can win this weekend against New York, it will be more about handling business against another team they should beat.
No matter what happens with Detroit, Minnesota, or Philadelphia during Week 13, each of their futures for the 2022 NFL season seems set. It should not be overlooked how great the turnaround for Minnesota has been this year, which will ultimately result in strong consideration for O’Connell when it comes to the Coach of the Year award. A season ago, Zimmer kept his superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson from breaking a record, and now the narrative is one of wondering just how far Minnesota will go.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.