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Vikings vs. Panthers Will Say a Lot About the NFC Playoff Picture

posted Sep 20, 2016, 10:57 AM by Austin James
This week the Vikings will square off against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. The Vikings are 7 point dogs against the defending NFC champions. The Vikings are coming off a solid win against the previous favorite to win their division, the Green Bay Packers, and the Panthers dominated the 49ers last week. Both teams are looking like the favorites to win their division, so this game will give a good indicator of how the NFC playoffs could go.

The NFC champion will likely not be the winner of the East. The division is wide open and will be hotly contested down the stretch. All the teams are at about the same level, but that level is mediocre. I think it is safe to say that the Panthers will win the East, and the Cardinals should win the West. After Sunday night, it looks like the Vikings are serious contenders in the North, and the division is going to come down to either Minnesota or Green Bay.

It is only week 3, but it looks like this game will give a good look as to how the NFC playoff race could shake out. It seems like the Packers and the Vikings are on equal footing this season. As long as Sam Bradford continues to play well I can't see why Minnesota can't win the division. Their defense has looked great so far, and their receiving core is looking the best it has in a long time. So this week, we are going to see how the North stacks up against the South as it stands right now. If the Vikings can play the Panthers close, and defend Cam Newton well, I think whoever wins the North may have a chance to make a playoff run.

It's early, but this is one of the first gauges we will get of the NFC playoff picture.
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