Vikings fans anxious about their team’s postseason chances can either find peace or add more stress to their lives by spending a few minutes, or hours, with the handful of NFL playoff predictors offered online.
NFL.com, ESPN and FiveThirtyEight are among those offering the opportunity to create the perfect results that send your team to the playoffs. The Vikings are one of the teams in the playoff hunt that will need a lot of help to get in.
FiveThirtyEight continues to be among the leaders in statistical analysis of sports, science, politics, economics and culture. According to this site, the Vikings only have a 19 percent odds of making the playoffs and three percent odds of winning the division entering Sunday's game against Indianapolis.
Their forecast is based on 100,000 simulations of the season and is updated after every game. Their “Elo ratings” measure strength based on head-to-head results and quality of opponent to calculate a teams chances of winning and advancing to the playoffs. Now they give you the opportunity to decide what teams will win the remaining games to predict the final playoff picture.
I pieced together two different scenarios.
The first is what I think will play out based on a similar head-to-head and strength of opponent evaluation process that FiveThirtyEight uses. I picked the Vikings to beat Indianapolis, lose to Green Bay at Lambeau Field, and beat Chicago in the home regular-season finale. As for the teams the Vikings are chasing, I finished out Detroit 1-2, Green Bay 2-1, Atlanta 2-1, Washington 2-1, Tampa Bay 2-1 and the New York Giants 2-1. It wasn’t enough to get the Vikings into the playoffs.
Then I started to mess with the results from a NFC North angle-only and here is what I discovered. Even if Detroit goes 0-3, Green Bay wins the division and gets in. The Vikings need to win at Green Bay and Detroit needs to lose its final game against Green Bay to get in.
If Detroit loses-out and the Vikings beat Green Bay in two weeks, Minnesota repeats at NFC North champs. If the Lions beat the Giants this weekend and then lose their next two while the Vikings finish 3-0, both teams get into the playoffs with Minnesota as the wild card.
Again, these results are still factoring in my aforementioned picks for the other NFC teams in the playoff race.
There are surely many more outcomes that could send the Vikings to playoffs. Spend some times with these predictors and share some of your results with us.