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NFL playoff picture: What does Patriots-Vikings mean for AFC, NFC standings

The Patriots face the Vikings in Minneapolis on Thanksgiving night. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings speaks with head coach Kevin O’Connell in the second quarter of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

UPDATE: The Vikings won a wild one over the Patriots by a score of 33-26. Minnesota improved to 9-2 while New England dropped to 6-5. The Vikings are a half game back of the Eagles for the No. 1 seed in the NFC and five games up on the Lions and Packers in the NFC North. The Patriots drop into last place in the AFC East, a half game back of the Jets. They slipped from sixth place to eighth place in the wild card race.

The Thanksgiving slate wraps up Thursday night with an inter-conference showdown between the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The game kicks off at 8:20 p.m. ET and will air on NBC. The Vikings are a 2.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Patriots playoff picture

The Patriots are 6-4 and tied for third place with the Jets in the AFC East. New England has the tiebreaker edge on New York due to a head-to-head sweep. They are a game back of the Dolphins and Bills in the division.

The Patriots are currently in sixth place in the conference, holding the second wild card spot. Along with the Jets, they’re tied with the Bengals but have the conference record tiebreaker. If the Patriots win on Thursday, they’ll remain in sixth place due to tiebreakers. If they lose, they could drop to as far as ninth in the conference.

Vikings playoff picture

The Vikings are 8-2 and have a 4.5 game lead on the Lions and Packers in the NFC North following Detroit’s loss Thursday afternoon. They are in second place in the NFC, sitting a game back of the Eagles for the No. 1 seed. They’re two games up on the third-place 49ers. Win or lose, the Vikings will remain in second place. They lose the head-to-head tiebreaker to the Eagles, so at best they can move into a tie with a win and an Eagles loss. If they lose to the Patriots, they will remain in second place given their two-game lead on the 49ers.