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Week 14 at Bucs tabbed as Vikings ‘most important’ remaining game

Currently sitting at 5-6 and one game out of the NFC playoff race, the Vikings have the following games remaining on their schedule: versus Jacksonville, at Tampa Bay, versus Chicago, at New Orleans and at Detroit.

Which of the five contests holds the most weight? ESPN’s Courtney Cronin said it’s a little bit of a trick question but highlighted the Week 14 matchup against Tom Brady and the Bucs. She wrote:

The easy answer would be “all of them,” given the Vikings are the No. 8 team in the NFC and one game out of the final [Wild Card] berth. Minnesota got this far after a 1-5 start by beating up on bad teams, with only one of the Vikings five victories coming against a team with a winning record (Week 8 at the Packers). A win on the road against 7-5 Tampa Bay is critical. In order to be taken seriously as a postseason contender, Minnesota needs to show it can defeat better competition. A win against the Bucs would up the Vikings playoff odds significantly.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine answered the same question for the Bucs and also pointed to Week 14, which will follow Tampa’s bye.

The Bucs have lost back-to-back games to the Rams and Chiefs. Laine said the NFC South team is “drifting further from contender status and closer to pretender” and needs a “statement…

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