Tha Sports Junkies 101

Minneapolis Miracle Keeps Vikings Alive

Minneapolis Miracle via Flickr


Minneapolis Miracle Keeps Vikings Alive

“IT’S A MINNEAPOLIS MIRACLE!”, Vikings play-by-play announcer Paul Allen screamed as Stefon Diggs crossed the goal line and time expired. It was a 61-yard strike from Keenum to Diggs that sent the Vikings to the NFC Championship.

The first-ever walk-off touchdown in the NFL postseason and to Allen’s credit, it definitely was a Minneapolis miracle, but the ride there contained many ups and downs.

First Half

In the first half, Mike Zimmer and his team dominated the Saints. Case Keenum had the Vikings offense playing at a very high level, but it was the defense that stole the show.

The defense held the Drew Brees-led Saints offense to just 144 yards and two turnovers in the first half, but more importantly, zero points. New Orleans was having trouble finding momentum. Mike Zimmer was two steps ahead of Sean Payton with every play call.

The offense for the Vikings also seemed to be clicking on all cylinders. In the first half, the fiery Minnesota offense picked up 17 points on 226 yards. Case Keenum was outplaying future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. The game seemed like it was heading toward being a blowout, but in the second half, the Saints came out with some fire.

Second Half

Despite being down 17 points at the half, it was clear from the start that the Saints were not going away. New Orleans’ defense forced the Vikings to punt on their first drive. Brees countered with a 12 play, 80-yard touchdown drive.

The very next possession Case Keenum threw a pick that allowed the Saints to score 14 unanswered points. Sean Payton and company had the Vikings on their heels after taking the lead late in the fourth quarter.

The final minutes of the game was a battle between Drew Brees and Case Keenum. It was a matchup everyone was waiting to see at the start of the season.

The Final 2 Minutes

Keenum squeaked Minnesota into field goal range, and Kai Forbath connected on a kick from 53 yards out. The Vikings led with a minute and a half to go, but that is a lot of time for Drew Brees, and he capitalized.

Brees was lights out on the 11 play, 50-yard field goal drive for the Saints. On the drive, Brees threw for 51 yards — including a clutch 4th down strike for 13 yards to wide receiver Willie Snead.

With a minimal chance, the Vikings put the ball into Case Keenum’s hands with 25 seconds left and one timeout.

The Drive

Mike Remmers started the drive off very shakily with a false start penalty. That set the Vikings back to their own 20. On the next play, Keenum connected with Diggs on a 19-yard pass and forced the Vikings to take their final timeout.

It was Minnesota’s ball at the 39. No time-outs, and the clock at 18 seconds. On the next play, Keenum failed to connect with Jerick McKinnon on an out route, running the clock down to just 14 seconds.

And then it happened.

Keenum heaved a prayer at Stefon Diggs, and the standout wide receiver answered it. After a whiffed tackle by Saints safety Marcus Williams, Diggs tore up the end zone crossing the goal line as time expired.

A crowd of 60,000-plus Vikings fans screamed in joy, shocked at what had just happened. An unbelievable play that even video games could not replicate.

Miraculously, the Vikings punched their ticket to Philadelphia for a chance at going to the Super Bowl.