Vikings lose to Seattle, now all their games are must win
Written by Tony Schultz on December 2, 2019
At the beginning of the season you tend to look through the schedule to see what games might be losses and which might be wins. I’m pretty realistic when it comes to looking at matchups that teams face. You know that some games will be a win or loss just because of it being in a certain stadium or how those teams matchup against each other. Some are more of a toss up because the changes the teams have made though the draft or free agency haven’t played out yet. When I first perused the schedule for the Minnesota Vikings I had them losing potentially four to five games based on their history and changes. At this point the Vikings have four losses with two in their own division: Bears, Packers, Chiefs and Sehawks. Of those four I had the Chiefs and Seahawks games slated as losses with the Packers game a toss up. They weren’t blowouts, but they were frustrating because the Vikings had a chance to win each game in one way or another and just seemed to make one or two mistakes too many. They’re at the four losses and the Vikings can’t have five.
Now that the season has played out more the teams have taken shape and shown their true colors. The Packers benefiting from a weaker schedule and what seems like more home games then everyone else currently lead the division with a 9-3 record. They only face one winning team the rest of the season – that being the Vikings. Otherwise they face the Redskins and Lions with losing records surrounding the Bears with a 6-6 record. The Vikings played the Seahawks tonight in a primetime game that was sure to be a battle. After tonight they get the Lions, Packers, Bears at home and the Chargers on the road in between them. The thing is, barring an epic collapse by the Packers the Vikings basically cannot lose a game if they want to win the NFC North Division and get a possible home game and bye week in the playoffs. The NFC as a whole is so good this year that a team that has a 12-4 record may only be a wildcard entrant in the playoffs. The NFC East is so bad though that the team that wins their division may get to host a playoff game with a slightly better than .500 record.
The Sehawks are a good team with MVP candidate Russell Wilson at quarterback. They don’t have the vaunted defense they once had, but they are still a threat to pick off a ball or two or cause a fumble that could turn the tide in a close game. That’s basically what happened. They have two losses this year and they both came at home to Super Bowl contender teams: the Saints and the Ravens. Their other wins have been shootouts where the offense just needed to score more than the defense gave up. That was an advantage to the Vikings as they have the ability to score in a number of ways. Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Kyle Rudolph, and Stephon Diggs have all been very active this year especially with Adam Thielen still fighting a hamstring injury. Heck, Laquon Treadwell scored a touchdown tonight! They were able to overcome a 20 point halftime deficit two weeks ago against the leagues 5th best defense. Something that in the last five years 99 other times the losing team couldn’t overcome. They are literally the 1 out of 100. They showed that resiliency again tonight as they continued to fight back after being down by 3 scores. It was only right that they would fumble the final kickoff with 14 seconds left to end the comeback attempt. Sure you can debate the pass interference that wasn’t called on an interception, but there were other opportunities to complete the comeback.
The Vikings lost this game in close fashion and maybe lost some players due to injury. However, the playoffs are still in reach as is the division. They need to win out and control their own destiny to have the best most comfortable ride to the playoffs and through them. If the Vikings win out with a defeat of the Packers they win the division because they would have a better “like opponent” record then the Packers because the Vikings will have beaten the Eagles and the Chargers and the Packers lost to both teams. The Vikings are one game ahead of the Rams in the Wildcard race, but the Rams have to play the powerful 49’ers team and the Seahawks so they have a tough path to win out on. Win ’em all and you might get to stay home and get a week off or lose just one and you have to travel to keep playing. This Vikings team has the talent and the resiliency to do both. Get ready for an exciting ride!