The Vikings did not play Sunday, but they inched closer to a playoff berth.
The Buccaneers and Falcons, two teams that were lurking below them in the standings, both lost to fall to 6-7, two games behind the Vikings. The Eagles, Giants and Redskins, meanwhile, won to join those teams at 6-7.
Up two games in the NFC standings on those teams with three games left, there are scenarios in which the Vikings can make the playoffs this upcoming Sunday with a win or tie against the Bears at TCF Bank Stadium.
Of course, the news wasn’t all good for the idle Vikings this weekend.
The Packers beat the Cowboys, and may have gotten their offense going again in the win, to maintain their lead in the NFC North. The Vikings can claim the division if they win out, though, so they still have a say here.
And the Seahawks won, too, to pull even with Vikings in the NFC standings at 8-5. They have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings after their dominant win two weeks ago. So the Vikings are now the sixth seed.
A lot can change, though, for the good or the bad, these next three weeks.