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NFL playoff scenarios: Win gives Vikings new hope in Wild Card race

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Somehow -- improbable as it may have seemed -- the Vikings are still in the hunt for the playoffs

USA TODAY Sports

It seems as though Adrian Peterson is determined to single-handedly drag his team into the playoffs.

Purple Jesus continued his unreal run on Sunday, torching the Bears' defense for 154 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and putting the Vikings back into the heart of the NFC North title race with three weeks left in the season.

With the Vikings' 21-14 win over Chicago, Minnesota is now 7-6 and just one game behind 8-5 Chicago. The Vikings are now waiting to see if 8-4 Green Bay can either extend its division lead or fall back toward the pack this evening against the Lions.

The win also puts the Vikings into a much better spot in the Wild Card race, firmly ahead of dangerous teams like New Orleans and tied (record wise) with the Redskins and the Cowboys.

Depending on what happens with the Seahawks, Rams, Buccaneers and Robert Griffin III, who sustained a knee injury on Sunday, the Vikings might be able to sneak past both of the NFC East's challengers and into the fifth or sixth spot in the Wild Card race.

The Vikings can do their part to push past the Rams -- the two tangle in St. Louis next week -- and then Minnesota faces two huge showdowns with the Texans and the Packers in weeks 16 and 17.

And with the way Peterson won't be denied right now, week 17 might be for the NFC North title -- and a home playoff game.