Redskins-Vikings: It All Comes Down To This (More or Less)

Mark MyersAnalyst IDecember 20, 2007

Icon Sports MediaThe NFL playoff chase is relatively mild this year, but the scheduling gods have given us one great matchup in Week 16.

Sunday night, Washington travels to Minnesota for what is, for all practical purposes, a playoff game.

While the game alone won't determine the fate of either the winner or the loser, this much is clear:

The losers will need a miracle to make the postseason, and the winners will either control their own destiny or need only one piece of help to make the playoffs.

At, we calculate a figure called Team Impact, which numerically expresses how much a particular game can impact each team's playoff chances. The maximum impact of 100 for a team would occur when a win would clinch a playoff spot and a loss would lead to elimination.

For Washington, Sunday's game has a Team Impact value of 42.7. For Minnesota, the Team Impact is 56.3.

In other words, the game is roughly half as important as a playoff tilt.

Of course, it doesn't really take a lot of math to figure this out. A look at the standings reveals that a) the Vikings Control their own destiny; and b) the Redskins are in a deep hole if they lose on Sunday.

So while this isn't Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, it does have the makings of a great game.

Two teams that seem to be evenly matched fighting for their lives. The playoffs seem to have come a bit early.