Surveying the Home Stretch: What the Vikings Must Do to Earn a Playoff Berth

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Surveying the Home Stretch: What the Vikings Must Do to Earn a Playoff Berth
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Christian Ponder and the Vikings lit the world on fire over the first five games but have regressed over the last three.

If the season ended today, the Minnesota Vikings would be in the postseason at 5-3. They would be one of the NFC's two wild-card teams along with the Green Bay Packers.

But while the Vikings would be playoff-bound today, if they continue to play the way they have for the past three weeks, they won't be.

The Vikings have become turnover-prone, mostly because of poor quarterbacking, but they've also shown no ability to stop the run—a staple in Minnesota teams since 2006.

And then there's the second-half schedule. It's brutal. Minnesota plays half of its games against playoff teams from last season and has a game at Seattle and two against the Chicago Bears (the NFC's second-best team at this point).

If the Vikings continue to play the way they have (turnover-prone, unable to protect the QB, unable to stop the run, inconsistent passing attack), then they won't make the playoffs.

These are my seven keys to Minnesota making the postseason. One not included: luck (it can't hurt).

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