The Vikings stuck it to the Panthers again, choking one away against Atlanta.
That leaves the Falcons alive for the NFC South title, for the time being. Granted, the Panthers can salt away the NFC's top seed with a win tonight, but if they lose two and the Falcons beat St. Louis at home, it would make Atlanta the division champ based on the fourth tiebreaker, conference record.
That's where the Panthers' September loss at Minnesota would come back to haunt them.
Under that scenario, Atlanta would be 8-4 in the NFC to Carolina's 7-5. That would also extend the NFC South's first-to-worst streak, in which the team that finishes last has won the division the following year each season since the 2002 realignment.
This might all become moot in a few hours, however, if the Panthers can handle business.