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The Vikings don’t play until Monday night this week, meaning you can kick back and watch football all Sunday long without having to stress too much. With the Vikings suddenly back in the hunt for a playoff spot, there are several games to watch or follow that will affect the race for the NFC’s three wild card spots.
Here’s a breakdown of every game Vikings fans should watch – and which teams to root for – on Sunday.
Early slate (12 p.m. central time)
Packers (6-2) vs. Jaguars (1-7)
Who you should root for: The Jaguars, of course. Don’t get your hopes up, though. The Jags have lost seven straight games and are wildly outmatched by the Packers on both sides of the ball. Maybe Jake Luton can work some magic at Lambeau?
Panthers (3-6) vs. Buccaneers (6-3)
Who you should root for: The Panthers. The Buccaneers are currently occupying the NFC’s fifth seed. A loss to the Panthers and a Vikings win on MNF would put the Vikings just 1.5 games back of Tom Brady and company. And the Vikings travel to Tampa in about a month with a chance to make up even more ground. Go get it done, Teddy.
Lions (3-5) vs. Washington Football Team (2-6)
Who you should root for: The Football Team. This one probably doesn’t matter much. The Lions looked nothing like a potential playoff team last week, but they are still tied with the Vikings right now. Go Washington!
Late afternoon slate (3:05/3:25 p.m. central time)
Cardinals (5-3) vs. Bills (7-2)
Who you should root for: The Bills. This one is highly recommended viewing, both because it should be a lot of fun and because the Vikings’ best chance at a playoff spot might be catching the Cardinals. They can come within one game of Arizona if the Bills win this game and the Vikings handle their own business. Time to become big fans of Stefon Diggs again.
Rams (5-3) vs. Seahawks (6-2)
Who you should root for: The Seahawks. Like the Cardinals, the Rams are just two games ahead of the Vikings and currently have one of the NFC wild card spots. A win by the Seahawks would be big.
Saints (6-2) vs. 49ers (4-5)
Who you should root for: The Saints, I think. The 49ers are a half-game up on the Vikings and could still be a factor in the wild card race despite all of their injuries. It wouldn’t be the worst thing if they beat the Saints to drop New Orleans to 6-3, but it’s probably best for the Saints to deal a big blow to San Francisco’s playoff hopes.
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