Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings-Packers start time changed; playoff update

Posted by: Chris Miller under Vikings, AFC, NFC, NFL post-season, Packers Updated: December 24, 2012 - 11:54 AM

The Vikings-Packers game time Sunday has been changed to 3:25 p.m. by the NFL.  If the Vikings win, they will make the NFC playoffs as a wild-card. They can also make the playoffs, if they lose, if Chicago, Dallas and the N.Y. Giants also lose.

The NFL also flexed the Dallas-Washington game, which will decide the NFC East title, to 7:20 p.m. and moved the New England-Miami game to 3:25 as well.

Of course, if the Vikings beat the Packers, the teams could very well meet in the first round of the playoffs, at Lambeau.

Here is the updated look at the playoffs.

NFL playoff picture
 

NFC
• Atlanta (13-2) has clinched the South title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
• Green Bay (11-4) has clinched the North and can clinch a first-round bye with a victory over the Vikings or a loss by San Francisco.
• San Francisco (10-4-1) has clinched a playoff spot. Can clinch the West title with a victory over Arizona or a Seattle loss to St. Louis. Can clinch a first-round bye with a victory and a Green Bay loss to the Vikings.
• Washington (9-6) can win the East by beating Dallas.
• Seattle (10-5) has clinched a wild-card spot; can clinch the West with a victory over the Rams and a San Francisco loss.
• The Vikings (9-6) can clinch a wild-card spot by beating the Packers on Sunday. The Vikings also can make the playoffs, with a loss, if Dallas, Chicago and the N.Y. Giants lose.
• Chicago (9-6) can make the playoffs with a victory at Detroit and a Vikings loss.
• Dallas (8-7) can win the East by beating Washington.
• The New York Giants (8-7) can make the playoffs with a victory against Philadelphia and losses by the Vikings, Dallas and Chicago.


AFC
The six-team field is set but not the matchups.
• Houston (12-3) is the South champ and can clinch No. 1 seed with a victory over Indianapolis or a loss by Denver.
• Denver (12-3) is the West champ and can clinch first-round bye with a victory or a New England loss; can clinch No. 1 seed with a victory and a Houston loss.
• New England (11-4) is the East champ and can clinch a first-round bye with a victory and a Denver loss. New England also can clinch No. 1 seed with a victory and losses by both Houston and Denver.
• Baltimore (10-5) is the North champ.
• Indianapolis (10-5) will be the No. 5 seed as a wild card.
• Cincinnati (9-6) will be the No. 6 seed as a wild card.

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