Unfortunately for fans of the Minnesota Vikings it’s come to a point in the season where terms like ‘must-win’ have started popping up. Four weeks back that would have been laughable, but after losing three out of four, Minnesota has its back to the wall.
The Detroit Lions come into town Sunday as winners of their last two, and as a much better team than the Vikings defeated in week four. They’ve started to regain their form from 2011, and have recently even found a running game.
You could even argue this is a matchup of two teams heading in the opposite direction, but is it really a must-win for the Vikings?
I’m going to say no, but only by the smallest of margins. It’s a game just short of a must-win, and only because of the Vikings’ remaining schedule. While they do have a brutal slate in the second half, it’s a second half full of division games, so wins in those contests will go along ways towards determining the team’s playoff chances.
So while this game against the Lions won’t determine the Vikings’ fate for sure, it’s still a game the team needs to win. Going into their bye week at 6-4 versus 5-5 will make a huge difference in the team’s morale (one would think).
If they can somehow limp into their week 11 bye with a win, the outlook for the rest of the season will be much brighter on a lot of levels.
Clearly this is a winnable game for Minnesota, as they’ve already gone on the road and beat this same team, but things have drastically in the last month. If the Vikings can pull out a win, it will at minimum hold off talks of must-win games for a another couple weeks.