MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — First of all, it’s really improbable. So brace yourself. But I’m telling you there’s a chance. The Minnesota Vikings still have an outside chance to make the playoffs in Mike Zimmer’s first season as head coach.

It’s kind of crazy and if any of these fail to happen along the way, it’s over. But here are the steps to the Vikings making the playoffs:

First of all, the Vikings must win out so that they finish 9-7. The Seahawks must lose out so that they finish 9-7.

The Eagles OR Cowboys (doesn’t matter which) must lose out so that one of them finishes 9-7. The 49ers must lose at least once so that they don’t finish better than 9-7.

Here’s the crazy part: The Rams must win out so that they finish 9-7 and force a 9-7 Seahawks team into a tiebreaker situation. The divisional record is the first tiebreaker — which the Rams would win by having beaten the Seahawks twice. That would result in the 9-7 Vikings being compared with the 9-7 Rams, which they would move ahead of via head-to-head victory in Week 1; whereas, if the Rams weren’t 9-7 and only the Seahawks and Vikings were, the Seahawks would have the tiebreaker over the Vikings and knock them out) WHEW!

And here’s the really crazy part: The Packers and Lions both need to win at least one game. That’s because if either the Packers or the Lions finish 9-7 along with the Vikings, it’ll come down (just like the SEA/STL situation) to the divisional record tiebreaker, which will knock the Vikings out, because no matter what happens, the Vikings will have a worse divisional record than the Packers and Vikings. However, if the Packers and Lions (and yes, it has to be both of them) have a better record than the Vikings, the divisional tiebreaker won’t come into play — because then the Vikings would be compared against 9-7 teams from other divisions instead of first being compared with the 9-7 team(s) in their own division, which would knock them out before even getting to the comparing them against teams from other divisions part.

Crazy, huh? So yes, it’s actually better for the Vikings if they finish with a worse record than the Packers and Lions than if they all finish 9-7.

If all that happens, the Vikings are playoff bound. What do you think of that, Mary Swanson?

David McCoy

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