The Minnesota Vikings (10-4) beat the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, increasing their chances of making the playoffs to 95 percent from 68 percent. A win next week would clinch a playoff berth.  However, winning the division and a home playoff game is unlikely.  More on that shortly.

The Vikings defense finally looked like it had a pulse again and was very dominate in the second half of yesterday's victory.

The Vikings recorded seven takeaways against the Chargers -- four fumble recoveries and three interceptions -- which hasn’t happened since the 1995 season. Odenigbo balled out. Hunter balled out. Eric Kendricks almost assuredly solidified his Pro Bowl candidacy with the type of performance he put together in Week 15. Minnesota not only won the turnover battle in Los Angeles, it rediscovered its defensive muscle at a critical point of the season.

NFC North in reach … sort of: The Vikings are all but locked into the sixth seed at this point. After Green Bay held off Chicago’s late push in Week 15 to capture a 21-13 win, Minnesota would need to win its final two games -- at home against the Packers and Bears -- and have Aaron Rodgers and company lose to Detroit in Week 17 in order to capture the division title. That doesn’t seem too likely to happen given the Lions dropped their seventh straight game on Sunday by allowing 308 yards passing and three touchdowns to Tampa Bay in the first 20 minutes of the game. Minnesota is in a position to control its own destiny the rest of the way and has a nice cushion in the NFC wild card race with the Rams losing to the Cowboys.

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