Vikings' Week 17 theme: Win and they're in

The Vikings can make it easy on themselves to get into the playoffs: beat the Packers and the Vikings are in the postseason. They will attempt to do it in the late afternoon game, a switch in schedule.

The Vikings' win against the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff race, the Houston Texans, put them back in control of their own destiny. Win against the Green Bay Packers in the regular-season finale and the Vikings might be playing the Packers in back-to-back games.

If the Vikings beat the Packers at Mall of America Field, they would finish the season 10-6 and enter the postseason as a wild card team. They will need to extend their winning streak to four games to get in that way. The Vikings are currently the sixth seed in the NFC, and the Packers could wind up the No. 3 seed if they lose.

Either way, Sunday's regular-season finale will be played at 3:25 p.m. Central, the NFL announced Sunday night, a switch from the previously scheduled noon kickoff at Mall of America Field.

If the Packers beat the Vikings next Sunday, the Vikings could still get into the playoffs with help, but it would take the Giants losing to the Eagles, the Cowboys losing to the Redskins on Sunday night and the Bears losing to Detroit. It would seem the odds would be against each of those scenarios.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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