Vikings playoff scenarios
• The Vikings can clinch a playoff spot with a win; or a Seattle win; or an Atlanta loss; or with a tie by any of the three teams.
• The Seahawks and Vikings are 9-5; the Falcons (7-7) are the only other team that figures in the wild card picture.
• If the three all end up 9-7, Atlanta and Seattle will earn the wild-card bids.
• In the NFL’s three-team tiebreaker, the first tiebreaker applies to teams within the same division. The second tiebreaker is a head-to-head sweep between the three, which is not applicable because Seattle did not play Atlanta. The third tiebreaker is won-loss percentage in the conference; all three teams would finish 6-6. The fourth tiebreaker is won-lost percentage in common games, minimum of four, and there are not enough common games. The fifth tiebreaker is strength of victory — meaning the combined victories of your opponents. Atlanta would win that tiebreaker and get the fifth seed.
• That would leave Seattle and the Vikings vying for the sixth seed, and in a two-team tie, head-to-head is the first criteria. Seattle beat the Vikings and would get the sixth seed. That’s why Seattle already has clinched a playoff spot; it can lose twice and still get in.
• Barring ties, the Vikings can only win the NFC North with two victories.