Playoff scenarios: Win and in for Vikings

OK now. Sunday's late afternoon games are complete and we can dramatically simplify our earlier playoff scenarios.

The upshot: The Minnesota Vikings control their playoff destiny and the Chicago Bears will be -- gasp! -- huge Green Bay Packers fans this week. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions will be in direct position to be a playoff spoiler.

In all, three-quarters of our division are either in the playoffs are in reasonable reach of them as we approach the final week of the 2012 season.

The Vikings can advance in one of two ways. The easiest will be to defeat the Packers at the Metrodome on Sunday. That will give them a 10-6 record and one of the NFC's wild-card spots.

If they lose to the Packers, the Vikings can get in at 9-7 if the following results occur in Week 17:

  1. The New York Giants lose to the Philadelphia Eagles

  2. The Washington Redskins beat Dallas Cowboys

  3. The Bears lose to the Detroit Lions

For the Bears to advance, they must beat the Lions at Ford Field and have the Vikings lose to the Packers. Hence, the Green and Gold pom-poms that will no doubt be in the hands of every Bears fan this Sunday.

Meanwhile, our far-fetched scenario of both teams earning wild-card berths remains alive, at least for a few more hours. The Vikings and Bears would be the NFC's fifth- and sixth seeds, respectively, if they both win next Sunday and the Seattle Seahawks lose their final two games. Both of the Seahawks' games are at home, beginning with tonight's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Back with you in the morning. This will be as wild of a Week 17 as I can remember in this division.