Every game they play seems to wind up being extremely close. They are equally competent and incompetent in that their consistency is just not there. The Minnesota Vikings are kind of a complicated bunch. But they sit at 5-5, in the thick of the NFC Playoff race, a chance to qualify.

Through all of the ups and downs, they have played themselves into a must-win contest of sorts with the 49ers this upcoming Sunday. Do they have what it takes to finish as a top-seven team?

The Good

Coming off blowing a game to the Ravens, Minnesota was sitting at 3-5, and things could have gotten away from them. They had the Chargers and Packers slated as their next two games. It could well have been a story where the team drops to 3-7, thinks about throwing Kellen Mond out there and giving up on competing.

But, they came out and surprised the Bolts. And then, they upset Green Bay, a team that had not lost with Aaron Rodgers on the field since week 1. It reminded the league that despite all of the struggles they have dealt with, Kirk Cousins can still sling the ball to his top guys. And Dalvin Cook can come through when you need him to.

Between Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, there is no struggle for great playmaking at the receiver position. They have gotten good moments out of both Tyler Conklin and K.J. Osborn too.

This is a team that has had 30+ points in five games this year. They have also not had a game be decided by more than 13 points.

The Bad

For all the good things I just said about Minnesota, there is plenty of bad. They have allowed 30+ points on three occasions. They have lost twice in overtime. Kirk Cousins has bungled so many situations that wound up costing the team games. All five losses they have endured have been by one touchdown or less, showing just how small the room for error can be.

Their defense has allowed 400+ yards in three of the past four games, and four times on the year. They need to understand how to execute in late-game situations every week, not just decide to do it some of the time.

There have been times where it would appear the team had a major disconnect. That Mike Zimmer’s time at the helm could be coming to an end.

Credit to them for hanging in.

The Rest

The offensive line has done a good job, allowing Kirk to be sacked just 14 times in 10 games. The defense has recorded 31 sacks on opposing QB’s meanwhile, making sure that life is tough throughout for whoever is trying to beat them.

They have intercepted eight passes and forced seven fumbles. And all in all, they have gotten a good year from Greg Joseph, who has hit 21 of 25 field goals, including going 6-7 from 50+ yards. He did miss a short one last week, but the team got the points back and it didn’t cost them.

On the downside, they have just five rushing scores. So perhaps that’s something to circle.

Upcoming Schedule

The rest of the year looks like this for Minnesota: @ San Fran and Detroit, home vs Pittsburgh, at Chicago, home vs the Rams, at Green Bay, and then home versus Chicago. They really only have three easy games left to play out of the seven, so it will take a lot for them to get to the postseason.

Crazier things have happened, though. A win over the 49ers can go a long way. And to answer the question… yes, the Vikings are a playoff team.

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