The Vikings have made it to Week 14 and they are in a good position to determine their own fate for the season. They bring a 6-6 record into their meeting with the Las Vegas Raiders, and they are fairly healthy and rested since they are coming off their bye week.

Of course, they could have been a lot better than .500 at this point, as they lost their last 2 games by 1  and 2 pints, respectively, to the Broncos and the Bears. But head coach Kevin O'Connell is not looking backwards as the Vikings begin the final stretch of the season. The Vikings are currently in a playoff position as the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff structure, and that would actually be a favorable place to land when the postseason begins.

Yes, they have an outside chance at the NFC North title and No. 3 seed since they still have 2 games remaining against the Lions, but that would require a sweep against their rivals and the Lions would have to lose 1 more game while the Vikings go undefeated

The Eagles and 49ers are likely to finish as No. 1 and No. 2 in the NFC, not necessarily in that order. The NFC North champion should be the No. 3 seed, while the NFC South champion will be the No. 4 seed. Dallas is almost certain to have the top Wild Card spot — if the Cowboys don't overtake the Eagles — and they would presumably have an easy game against the NFC South survivor.

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If the Vikings can hang on to the No. 6 spot, they would face the Lions 3 times in 4 weeks — Weeks 16, 18 and first weekend of postseason. However, dropping to No. 7 would bring on the Niners or Eagles (unless the Cowboys overtake Philadelphia), and that would be a major problem.

Josh Dobbs gets another chance and will throw for 1 TD and run for another

After he threw 4 interceptions in the Week 12 Monday night loss to the Bears, O'Connell said he would review his decision of Dobbs as the starting quarterback before announcing who would be under center against the Raidrs. He came to the conclusion that Dobbs would remain under center, and that's a good thing for the Vikings.

Dobbs produced 2 victories immediately after arriving at the trade deadline from the Cardinals, and there is no doubt about his athletic ability or courage. If he can get some time in the pocket from a solid offensive line, the belief here is that Dobbs will do enough good things to help the Vikings get back in the win column.

The key for allowing Dobbs to feel comfortable is making sure Raiders pass rush specialist Maxx Crosby doesn't cause havoc. That may depend on the Vikings double-teaming him on a regular basis.

Dobbs is most effective when rolling out to his right — it gives him the best run-throw option. If Crosby is not in his face he has a much better chance of making the correct decision with the ball.

The other bonus for the quarterback in this game is the return of Justin Jefferson to the lineup. Jefferson has been out since early October with a hamstring issue, so this marks the first time that Dobbs will have a chance to work with the best receiver in the league.

It appears Jefferson is healthy now, but he could be a bit rusty. The Raiders will have to make sure that Jefferson does not run free and clear in their secondary by double-teaming him. That should open things up for rookie wideout Jordan Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson.

The passing game should get going against the Raiders, and Dobbs will return to solid form.

Danielle Hunter must punish the Raiders with 2 sacks

The improvement in the Vikings defense this season is one of the primary reasons they were able to build a 5-game winning streak earlier in the year. They have responded brilliantly to defensive coordinator Brian Flores, and there can be no slippage the rest of the way.

It is doubtful Hunter will let that happen. He already has 13.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, 2 passes batted down and 60 tackles. He is having a brilliant season, and the Vikings are following his lead. The edge rusher will harass Raider quarterback Aidan O'Connell with a pair of sacks in this game.

Hunter is not alone on the Vikings defense. Safety Cam Bynum has become a playmaker with a team-leading 99 tackles, 8 passes defensed, 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. Cornerback Josh Metellus has also emerged this season with 81 tackles, 4 passes defensed, 1 interception, 3 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.

Other key contributors include Harrison Smith, Byron Murphy and D.J. Wonnum.

The rested Vikings should be able to get back in the win column against the Raiders.