Following the Week 14 slate of the NFL season, the NFC has its 1st playoff team officially set in stone. Unfortunately, that team is not the Minnesota Vikings, but instead, it is the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly improved to 12-1 by beating the snot out of their division rival, the New York Giants. The Eagles soared to a 48-22 victory, their second consecutive win of 20+ points.
With the lead that the Minnesota Vikings had built in the NFC North early in the season, especially compared to the competitive NFC East where every team sits at 7-5-1 or better, it would have been an easy assumption that the Vikings would be the first team to clinch a playoff spot.
The Vikings could have joined the Eagles in Week 14, but after their 34-23 loss suffered at the hands of the Detroit Lions, no such occurrence took place. There technically still is a world where the Vikings miss the playoffs, but they’d have to lose the rest of their games, and the Detroit Lions would have to win all four of their remaining games.
Seeing as three of the Vikings final four games are against opponents with losing records, including this Saturday against the 4-8-1 Indianapolis Colts, there is only a miniscule chance that this scenario plays out.
However, the other wrinkle that seems to have been all but decided after Week 14’s events is who the No. 1 seed in the NFC is. In the weeks following Philadelphia’s loss to the Washington Commanders, a glimmer of hope remained that the Vikings may catch Philadelphia for the top spot.
That seems extremely unlikely now, though. Seeing as the 12-1 Eagles defeated the 10-3 Vikings in Week 2, they hold what is essentially a three-game lead over Minnesota. The Vikings would have to win out, and the Eagles would have to lose three of their final four games against the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and New York Giants.
Personally, I wouldn’t bet on that occurring, but hey, stranger things have happened. For now, let’s just hope the Vikings can officially join the Eagles in the NFC playoff bracket when they take on the Colts this weekend.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.