Every weekday, we walk you through what’s going on with the Vikings.


— The Vikings took care of business in primetime last night to clinch a playoff berth and set up a winner-take-all showdown with the Packers.

— With safety Harrison Smith, outside linebacker Anthony Barr and nose tackle Linval Joseph back against the Giants, the defense was lights-out.

— Smith’s second-quarter pick-six put the Vikings in control last night.

— The Vikings in December are starting to look more like contenders.

— Next week’s showdown against the Packers will be in primetime, too.

— If last night ends up being the Vikings’ final home game at TCF Bank Stadium, coach Mike Zimmer enjoyed his time at their temporary home.


— The Giants looked like quitters in an embarrassing loss to the Vikings.

— In New York, it feels like the end is inevitable for longtime Giants coach Tom Coughlin as another Giants season ends in disappointment.

— The Giants missed suspended wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. last night, but his presence probably wouldn’t have made a difference.


Zimmer rewarded the Vikings for last night’s win by excusing them from meetings this morning. They’ll report to Winter Park to get a workout in and then get the rest of the day off. Zimmer will be on the podium at 2 p.m.


Depending on how this upcoming weekend plays out, the Vikings could wind up playing the Packers, the Seahawks or the Redskins in the first round of the playoffs. While the Redskins, who at 8-7 have already won the weak NFC East, appear to be the least formidable of those foes, going into D.C. and beating them would not be a cakewalk. The Redskins are on a roll right now with three straight wins and quarterback Kirk Cousins has been excellent at home. At FedEx Field, Cousins has a 74.7 completion percentage with a 16-2 touchdown-to-interception differential and a 117.0 passer rating.

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NFL playoff picture: Vikings clinch a spot

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Zimmer focused on preparation, not motivation to beat Green Bay