Wait, I didn’t say that right.
That’s more like it.
I’ve graced planet Earth with my presence for 31 years, 8 months, 1 day, and 3 hours, and that was easily the craziest thing I’ve ever seen on a football field — EVER!! I asked for better football, I received better football:
Insane. Crazy. Wild. Complete stupidity. Total elation. There are countless ways to describe the improbable nature the Minnesota Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints….
The Vikings completely dominated the 1st half, taking a 17-0 lead into the locker room. Here are the Saints’ 1st half possessions:
Punt, Punt, Punt, Interception, Interception, Missed field goal. That’s not a recipe for success.
The 2nd half went slightly better for the Saints. Their 1st possession ended in a Michael Thomas touchdown. And after a horrible interception by Case Keenum, their 2nd possession ended in a Michael Thomas touchdown. 17-0 quickly became 17-14.
Sean Payton has been the head coach of the Saints for 12 years. He has a winning record. And he’s won a Super Bowl. However, he is NOT a good coach. Just minutes into the 4th quarter, when timeouts are crucial, Payton used TWO challenges over a span of 4 plays. Both plays were obvious, so Payton decided his TWO red flags were better served as toilet paper.
After a Kai Forbath 49-yard field goal, the Vikings took a 20-14 lead. Just 4 minutes and 44 seconds later, the Saints blocked a punt, setting Drew Brees up with great field position (the Vikings’ 25-yard line). Just 2 minutes and 20 seconds later, the Saints would take their 1st lead, 21-20, on a beautiful ‘wheel route’ by Alvin Kamara.
With just 3:01 left to play, it was time for Keenum to do what he’s been doing all season; prove his worth. He did just that, setting his team up in field goal range. Kai Forbath’s 53-yarder was as true a kick as you’ll ever see. Now trailing 23-21, Drew Brees was left with 1:29 and 1 timeout (thanks to his genius head coach). After 2 first down completions, followed by 3 straight incompletions, the Saints’ season came down to a 4th & 10 from the Vikings’ 46-yard line. Drew Brees dropped back and threw the most confident, perfect pass of the season, a 13-yard completion to Willie Snead. And with just 25 seconds left to play, Will Lutz drilled a 43-yard field goal, putting the Saints up 24-23. Case Keenum’s back must be getting used to that wall….
With just 18 seconds remaining and no timeouts, the Vikings had 4 downs, from the Saints’ 39-yard line, to pull off a miracle. And with 10 seconds left, on 3rd & 10, Case Keenum made believers out of many of us. Stefon Diggs rose for the reception with 5 seconds left. When his feet hit the ground, at the Saints’ 34-yard line, he was surprised as anyone he wasn’t being brought to the ground, so he took off. Diggs crossed the goal line as time expired, doing the impossible.
Watch the play here, then we’ll continue our conversation.
There are no excuses for this play. Yes, we should all blame Marcus Williams for not tackling Diggs upon catching the ball. Seriously, Marcus, what were you thinking (or not thinking)?!?! However, this is ultimately on the head coach. If you’re the Saints, all you have to do is keep Diggs inbounds and the game’s over. Why weren’t the Saints in the most ridiculous prevent defense ever?? There should have been three Saints behind Diggs, not just Marcus Williams.
But I still need to talk to my man Marcus here….
Marcus, I don’t want to hear about how you were trying to avoid the defensive pass interference penalty. And I don’t want to hear ANYONE (ahem, Ryan Clark, ahem) justifying ducking under Diggs to avoid the penalty. All you had to do, Marcus, was wait 2 yards behind Diggs, and tackle him inbounds the second he touched the ball. Game over. Vikings finished. Saints move on to the NFC Championship.
Instead, the Vikings move 1 game closer to hosting the Super Bowl. They’ll travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles next Sunday. If the Vikings win, they’ll become the 1st team in NFL history to host a Super Bowl.
Oh no, I didn’t forget about my gamblers. For those who bet the Vikings, I feel for you. The Vikings closed at 5.5 point favorites. With the Vikings up 17 points, this bet seemed like a lock. As the Saints mounted their comeback, Vikings bettors watched their winnings slip through their fingers. However, with the Vikings’ miracle, walk-off, touchdown, hope was sprung back into their lives. All the Vikings had to do was kick the extra point, and they’d win by 6 points, covering the 5.5 point spread. Unfortunately, after the dust settled from the Vikings’ on field celebration, they chose to kneel on the extra point. This was the moment when degenerates, who double as Vikings’ fans, experienced the most bittersweet moment — ever.