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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 16 if you are a Minnesota Vikings fan

Week 16 is here and the Minnesota Vikings are holding one of the wild card berths. Who should Vikings fans root for to help their chances?

Minnesota Vikings fans react after a fourth down stop by the Cincinnati Bengals during overtime of a NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on December 16, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings head into Week 16 with a 7-7 record and sitting in the final NFC wild card berth. Minnesota has lost three of four, but the middle of the conference has been mediocre enough to keep them in the thick of the playoff race.

The Vikings head into the final three weeks of the season with two games against the Lions and one against the Packers. They can control their own playoff destiny if they keep winning, but the schedule will put plenty of pressure on them. If they beat the Lions in Week 16, they will keep their faint NFC North title hopes alive. If they lose, they’ll look to other games on the schedule for some help to protect their playoff position.

If you’re a Vikings fan, here are the games you’ll be paying attention to as the team looks to improve their chances of a playoff berth.

Sunday result: The Vikings lost to the Lions, which allowed Detroit to clinch the NFC North title. Minnesota dropped to 7-8 with the loss, which dropped them out of the final wild card berth.

Saints vs. Rams

The Rams beat the Saints 30-22 on Thursday Night Football to open the week. The Vikings would have preferred a Saints win given they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over them, but what are you gonna do? The Rams are now a half game up in the wild card race.

Colts vs. Falcons

Result: The Falcons beat the Colts with relative ease to improve to 7-8. The Vikings have the tiebreaker advantage.

The Falcons are a game back of the Vikings and Minnesota holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. Nonetheless, a Falcons loss would drop a competitor out of the picture.

Atlanta Bay is a 2.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Jaguars vs. Buccaneers

The Bucs are currently leading the NFC South, and if that holds up, they won’t be competing for the wild card berth. But nonetheless, any inter-conference matchup will have the Vikings rooting for the AFC team.

Tampa Bay is a field goal favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Seahawks vs. Titans

Result: The Seahawks scored a touchdown in the final minute to beat the Titans. Seattle moves to a game up on Minnesota for the final wild card berth.

The Vikings holds the conference record tiebreaker over the Seahawks with a two-game edge in the loss column. Given that they are both 7-7, it’s easy for them to root against the Seahawks here.

Seattle is a 3.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Packers vs. Panthers

Result: Green Bay beat Carolina with a last-second field goal. Minnesota holds the tiebreaker edge with their win in the first of two head-to-head games.

The Packers are a game back, but Minnesota also won the first head-to-head game between the two teams. They meet in Week 17, so getting more breathing room would help the Vikings.

Green Bay is a five-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.