The Minnesota Vikings have already exceeded all but the most optimistic expectations this year, starting off 6-4 with six games to go.
The Vikings haven't pulled off the prettiest of victories, with some dud performances foreshadowing poor showings in later losses.
That said, a powerful Vikings defense and one of the best running games in the NFL will give the team a chance to compete in its remaining games. The recent revitalization of Christian Ponder's passing game—made all the more impressive given Percy Harvin's absence—may give the Vikings more hope, but a strong slate of games still make the playoffs look like a far off possibility.
It's difficult to project playoff odds from six weeks out, but that hasn't prevented oddsmakers and advanced football statisticians from trying. The Vikings look to have anywhere between a 10 percent chance of making the playoffs to a one-in-four shot, with most of the statisticians preferring a set of odds closer to 25 percent than 10.
The best chance for the Vikings to make the playoffs is as a wild card contender, but various betting markets and metrics haven't ruled them out of a divisional win—Minnesota has a four to 11 percent chance of entering the playoffs as the NFC North champion.
In order to do that, the Vikings have a long row to hoe. While each of the games has playoff implications, Minnesota will naturally want to step up in the divisional games.