The Vikings improbable comeback against Arizona last Sunday might have saved Brad Childress’ job, but looking ahead, there’s plenty of work to do.
Green Bay (6-3) has a bye week this week. So, in order to keep the math simple, let’s say the 3-5 Vikings do beat the 5-3 Bears this Sunday.
That would mean Week 11 starts with the Packers still at 6-3, the Bears at 5-4 and the Vikings at 4-5.
The Packers remaining games would be against teams with a combined 30-26 record. The Bears would have the most difficult schedule remaining with their opponents sporting a 33-25 mark. The Vikings, meanwhile, have the best chance of facing teams under .500 at 28-30, of course, those records are considered of this morning.
As of today, the Packers and the Bears face three teams below .500 and the Vikings two. What is skewing the records portion a bit is the Vikings have the winless Bills on their schedule, so Buffalo’s win-loss mark is throwing it off just a bit.
The Bears would need an amazing end-of-the-season run to stay in the NFC North race. They face Philly, Detroit, New England, Minnesota, the Jets and Green Bay to end the year.
While there’s a lot of speculation to end the season, let’s try to realistically look at the Packers and Vikings remaining season:
First, Minnesota. Let’s say the Vikings beat the Packers at the dome to reach 5-5. They lose at Washington, then beat Buffalo, the Giants, Chicago, lose to Philly and finish with a win against Detroit. Record 9-7.
The Packers, after a loss to Minnesota to become 6-4, lose at Atlanta, beat San Fran, Detroit, fall on the road to New England (again, Tom Brady has been brilliant at home, winning 25 in a row), lose at home against the Giants and beat Chicago. Record: 9-7.
The Bears, I speculate, will finish with a 7-9 record: Beating Miami, losing to Philly, beating Detroit, losing to New England, Minnesota, the Jets and Packers.
So, considering all the variables, the Vikings must first beat Green Bay. If they somehow find a way to win a road game in Washington, it’ll be a bonus, if not a necessity.
No matter which way you look at it, the Vikings need the Packers to lose in Atlanta to keep their chances strong.
Brett Favre’s career-high 446 yards through the air against Arizona was the first time he passed the 400-yard mark in 16 years, 337 days. He threw for 402 yards against Chicago Dec. 5, 1993.