It will go down in history as one of the best plays in Minnesota Vikings history and in the history of the National Football League--Case Keenum's heave to Stefon Diggs and a spectacular 61-yard touchdown pass, the go-ahead touchdown ending the game and giving the Vikings a 29-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints in a thrilling back-and-forth contest.
1st Down: "The Minneapolis Miracle" as it will forever be remembered, was minutes in the making. The Saints scored a touchdown on a 14-yard pass to Alvin Kamara with 3:01 left in the fourth quarter to take a one-point lead. Then with 1:29 left in the game, the Vikings drove down the field and took a two-point lead with a 53-yard field goal from Kai Forbath. Drew Brees and the Saints weren't done however, as he led his team on an 11 play, 50-yard drive that took 1:04 off of the clock, ending in a 43-yard Will Lutz field goal to make it a 24-23 game. This is when the legend was made.
2nd Down: The Vikings started with the ball on the Minnesota 25-yard line with 25 seconds left after a touchback on the kick. They then shot themselves in the foot as Mike Remmers was called for a false start to make it 1st and 15 on the 20-yard line. Case Keenum in the shotgun then found Stefon Diggs on a 19-yard pass down the middle of the field to bring the Vikings to their own 39-yard line with 18 seconds to go. Diggs didn't go out of bounds so the Vikings were forced to call their final timeout. On first and ten Keenum tried to hit Jarius Wright but his pass fell incomplete, bringing the clock down to 14 seconds. Then the Vikings looked to move it closer with a short pass to Jerick McKinnon but that also fell incomplete. Then came the miracle.
3rd Down: With ten seconds left, Keenum came to the line of scrimmage with Adam Thielen out wide to his left and then two wide receivers in close on the right, including Diggs, with McKinnon next to him in the shotgun. Keenum snapped the ball, dropped back looked for a receiver, and heaved a throw up to his right towards Diggs. Diggs leaped in the air, hauled in the pass with five seconds left, and as Saints defensive back Marcus Williams dove past his legs while he was in the air, Diggs landed on his feet and ran unopposed as time expired into the end zone for the go-ahead score and a trip to the NFC championship game.
4th Down: In a game where the Vikings had a 17-0 lead at halftime that they blew, and were outscored 24-12 in the second half, it didn't matter as the Minneapolis Miracle is all that will be remembered from this game. Now the Vikings go to the NFC Championship game and face the one-seeded Philadelphia Eagles with a trip to the Super Bowl to face either the New England Patriots or the Jacksonville Jaguars on the line.
The game between the Vikings and Eagles will be at 5:40 on Sunday afternoon on FOX.
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