Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vikings Stun Saints on Last-Second TD

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vikings Stun Saints on Last-Second TD

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Campbell Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS | There wasn't much left for Case Keenum to do but to fling the ball deep and hope for a miracle.

Miracle answered.

Keenum completed a lastditch heave near the sideline Sunday on the game's final play, and Stefon Diggs slithered away for a 61yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 2924 victory over New Orleans and send the Vikings to the NFC championship game, with one more win needed to become a firsttime Super Bowl host.

Drew Brees had driven the Saints in position for Wil Lutz's goahead 43yard field goal with 25 seconds remaining, punctuating a steely rally from a 17point deficit that stood until 1:16 was left in the third quarter.

The Vikings were out of timeouts and nearly out of options when Keenum dropped back with 10 seconds to go from his 39 and threw high into a crowd. Diggs jumped in front of Marcus Williams, who rolled awkwardly underneath Diggs during an illfated attempt at a tackle.

Diggs held his ground, kept his feet in bounds and raced untouched into the end zone as the crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium erupted.

"I'm just thankful," Diggs said. "They count us out all the time. Nobody thinking we can do it. This game was over. I don't stop playing till the clock hit zero. That's it."

This wasn't quite Franco Harris and the Immaculate Reception for Pittsburgh in the 1972 playoffs, but these Vikings are on some kind of special path. They finished 133 during the regular season, giving the career backup Keenum the keys to the offense after Sam Bradford went down with a knee injury after the opener.

The Vikings will play at Philadelphia next weekend, after Jacksonville takes on New England for the AFC title. The Super Bowl is in Minnesota two weeks later.

"A heck of a game, wasn't it?" coach Mike Zimmer said. "And the good guys won."

Now the Vikings have spun an unprecedented scenario in NFL history. Next weekend, instead of the usual winorgohome stakes, they're in a winandgohome situation with the Super Bowl set for Feb. 4 under the reverberating translucent roof of U.S. …

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