Vikings' playoff outlook gets an assist from around the league on Sunday

Some of the Vikings' main competition for a playoff spot took a loss, boosting Vikings before they play Monday.

The Vikings know the season comes down to the final four games and it depends on how they take care of their business.

In the meantime, the rest of the league helped Minnesota on Sunday.

The Vikings ended their loss to New England a week ago out of playoff position. Then Philadelphia beat Washington on Monday night to give Minnesota the sixth spot temporarily.

More help came on Sunday with Philadelphia, Washington and Carolina all losing. All three teams now sit at 6-7 behind the 6-5-1 Vikings. Minnesota could use a win Monday night at Seattle to aid its cause.

The Redskins appear to be finished with four straight losses and losing quarterback Alex Smith for the season. They lost at home to the New York Giants 40-16.

The Eagles haven't looked like defending Super Bowl champions and they couldn't follow up the win against Washington, losing 29-23 in overtime to Dallas, which appears ready to wrap up the NFC East.

Carolina is also fading with five straight losses after Sunday's 26-20 loss in Cleveland.

Minnesota's season hasn't lived up to the preseason expectations with much inconsistency, but the Vikings are closing in on a playoff berth.