On what proved to be something of an historic day, the Minnesota Vikings reached 13 regular-season victories for the second time in franchise history while finishing with the league’s best defense and securing the second seed in the NFC playoffs.
Perhaps just as important, the No. 1 seed looked remarkably weak, as the Philadelphia Eagles couldn’t move the ball with or without quarterback Nick Foles.
The Vikings may at the moment be the - choose one - best, scariest or best-positioned team in the NFC.
Sunday, they beat the Chicago Bears, 23-10, at U.S. Bank Stadium, to finish the season 13-3 and earn a first-round bye in the playoffs.
This season may provide a rarity, in that the NFC’s top seed may be the weakest team in the playoff field, now that they’re trying to function without Carson Wentz.
The Vikings’ defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in two games - the Bears’ only touchdown came on a misdirection punt return. Latavius Murray turned in another strong game of power running, scoring the Vikings’ first two touchdowns. The offense went without a turnover for the second straight game.
The Vikings’ offense again moved the ball both cautiously and efficiently, neither attempting to make nor requiring big plays.
If there were concerns raised on Sunday or by the last three games, it is that the Vikings haven’t had to play a good team since they lost at Carolina on Dec. 10, and haven’t beaten a good team since they were in Atlanta on Dec. 3.
By the time the Vikings play in their first playoff game, they will be well-rested, well-positioned and perhaps a little worried about how their offense will function if they fall behind or have to win a high-scoring game.