After the conclusion of Week 12, the Minnesota Vikings sit at 9=2 atop the NFC North and in the NFC’s No. 2 seed. While the Vikings position in the NFC has remained steady, the conference around them is continuously shifting. Because of that, the current NFC playoff picture suggests that the Vikings have a new Wild Card matchup for the third time in as many weeks.
Ahead of Week 13’s action, the Vikings are slated to take on the Washington Commanders in U.S. Bank Stadium in the NFC Wild Card round. The Commanders are currently 7-5 sitting in the seventh seed in the NFC.
The two teams have already met once this season, and the Vikings beat Washington on the road, 20-17. In this game, the Vikings overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit, and Kirk Cousins led a game-winning drive that resulted in a Greg Joseph 28-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
This win looks extremely impressive three weeks later as the game came in the midst of what has been an incredible stretch of games for the Commanders. Since Week 5’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Commanders have gone 6-1 in their last seven games, including 5-1 with Taylor Heinicke as their starter.
This stretch has largely been due to their defense, and the fact that the Vikings scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to win the game is an incredible feat looking back at it.
Most recently, the Commanders pulled off a 19-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons, largely because they made a goal-line stop at the end of the game, intercepting a Marcus Mariota pass in the end zone.
This matchup for the Vikings seems like the most likely scenario, unless the Commanders sweep their games against the New York Giants in two of the next three weeks. The Seattle Seahawks sit on the outside looking in after Week 12 with their 6-5 record.
They seem to have come back down to earth after Geno Smith’s scorching start to the year, and Seattle has lost their last two games against the Buccaneers and Raiders. Because of this, along with a tough schedule to close the year, there should be doubts regarding whether or not they can bounce back in time for the playoffs.
Regardless, Vikings fans should feel good about their chances against any of the potential seven seeds this season. Having already beaten Washington, especially on the road, shows that they have the blueprint to pull it off again.
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.