Chart: Vikings' complicated playoff picture

  • December 17, 2012 - 10:15 PM


In the NFC, three division leaders -- Atlanta (12-2), San Francisco (10-3-1) and Green Bay (10-4) -- have clinched playoff spots.

Seattle (9-5) is the wild-card leader.

The Vikings (8-6) would nab a wild-card berth and the sixth seed if the playoffs started this week, but the Vikings still wouldn't necessarily qualify for the playoffs if they win out.

Here's why:

Washington, Dallas and the N.Y Giants are all 8-6 and battling for the NFC East title.

• Washington and Dallas play each other in Week 17, so either team would claim the East title by winning out.

• The Giants can earn at least a wild-card spot by winning out. If the Vikings and the Giants both go 10-6, the Giants would win the tiebreaker (better record in conference games).

• If the Vikings and Chicago both go 10-6, the Vikings would win the tiebreaker (better division record).

• If Seattle and the Vikings both go 10-6, the Seahawks win the tiebreaker (victory in head-to-head meeting).

But ...

Losing Sunday at Houston wouldn't necessarily eliminate the Vikings from a playoff spot. If they beat Green Bay in Week 17, they still could make the playoffs if the Bears finish 9-7 and both the Giants and Cowboys lost in Week 17, changing the tiebreakers.


Team Dec. 23 Dec. 30

Vikings (8-6) at Houston vs. Green Bay

Dallas (8-6) vs. New Orleans at Washington

Washington (8-6) at Philadelphia vs. Dallas

Chicago (8-6) at Arizona at Detroit

N.Y. Giants (8-6) at Baltimore vs. Philadelphia

Seattle (9-5) vs. San Francisco vs. St. Louis

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