E Point Perfect

Vikings Can Face 4 Teams in the Wild Card Round — Here’s How


Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) following the game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The scenarios are complicated this late in the season, but the playoff picture is starting to get clearer. The Vikings clinched the NFC North weeks ago, and coming with that is a home playoff game.

Minnesota was sitting at the second spot in the NFC standings for most of the season, but the red-hot San Francisco 49ers stole the spot with a win in Week 17 against the Raiders while the Vikings lost to the Packers. Both teams have a 12-4 record, but the 49ers have a better conference record, a tie-breaker.

Vikings Can Face 4 Teams in the Wild Card Round — Here’s How

The Vikings have various scenarios in Week 18 and could face four different opponents in the wild-card round.

New York Giants

  • 49ers win
  • or: both Vikings and 49ers lose

This is the most likely scenario. The Vikings will host the Giants next week if the 49ers win at home against the Cardinals. The two teams played each other on Christmas Eve in a 27-24 nailbiter. Greg Joseph hit a 61-yard field goal game-winner.

Vikings Can Face 4 Teams
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (97) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams have a first-year head coach that will be in the spotlight in the postseason for the first time. Brian Daboll and Kevin O’Connell have done a wonderful job turning around their organizations. Quarterback Daniel Jones is in a career year, and former Bills offensive coordinator Daboll is certainly helping him develop.

Running back Saquon Barkley is the lone Pro Bowler of the Giants. Their last playoff meeting was in the 2000 NFC Championship game, one of the worst games in Vikings franchise history.

Green Bay Packers

  • Vikings win at Bears
  • 49ers loss vs. Cardinals
  • Packers win vs. Lions
Vikings May Have Blown Chance for Postseason Run
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scores a touchdown against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Brian Asamoah II. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

The 49ers are a 14-point favorite in the NFC West contest, while the Packers are a 4.5-point favorite. The Vikings and the Packers split the series in three consecutive seasons. Either team would like to forget one of the two games of the 2022 season. The Packers were badly beaten in Week 1, while the Vikings had a catastrophic game in Week 17.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been the biggest nemesis of the purple team for more than a decade, and it could be their final rodeo. The last playoff game of the two teams was in the 2012 season, and the Vikings started quarterback Joe Webb, trying to run over the Packers with MVP Adrian Peterson. The Packers won 24-10 just a week after losing to the Vikings in Week 17.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Vikings win at Bears
  • 49ers loss vs. Cardinals
  • Seahawks win vs. Rams
  • Lions win vs. Packers
Jan 9, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After playing the Seahawks in four straight seasons, the Vikings and the Seahawks were not matched up with each other in the 2022 season. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith is enjoying an unlikely breakout season at age 32. The offense also features running back Kenneth Walker, and on defense, cornerback Tariq Woolen. Both have chances to be named Rookie of the Year.

Head coach Pete Carroll was the defensive backs coach for the Vikings from 1985 to 1989 in the staffs of Bud Grant and Jerry Burns.

Their last matchup in the postseason was in the 2015 season, another heartbreaking loss for Vikings fans after Blair Walsh famously missed a 27-yard field goal.

Detroit Lions

  • Vikings win at Bears
  • 49ers loss vs. Cardinals
  • Rams win at Seahawks
  • Lions win vs. Packers
Dec 11, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports.

The Lions need the help of the Rams, who have to beat the Seahawks without playing for anything. However, the Rams beat the Broncos on Christmas by 37 points, followed by a 21-point loss against the Chargers in Week 17. Minnesota and Detroit split the regular season series in the last two seasons.

Before that, the Vikings managed to win seven games straight. Overall, the Vikings have an 80-41-2 record against their NFC North rivals. The two teams have never met in the postseason.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt


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