At this point one year ago, fans of the Minnesota Vikings from coast to coast, border to border, and around the world were preparing themselves for yet another disappointment to add to what seems to be an endless list. After dominating the New Orleans Saints in the first half of their NFC Divisional Playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium, the visitors had come all the way back and then some. When Will Lutz hit a 43-yard field goal to put the Saints ahead 24-23 with just 25 seconds remaining, it looked like the purple had squandered another big opportunity.
Things didn’t look a whole lot brighter after the Vikings got the ball back. A false start on Mike Remmers moved the Vikings back to their own 20-yard line, and a big pass to Stefon Diggs for 19 yards was followed by two incompletions to bring up a 3rd-and-10 from the Minnesota 39-yard line with ten seconds remaining and no timeouts left for the Vikings. The best-case scenario for Case Keenum and company would have seen a long pass to the sideline to allow a receiver to get out of bounds and allow Kai Forbath to attempt a lengthy game-winning field goal.
Then. . .it happened.
Running a play that would go down in history as “Buffalo Right Seven Heaven,” Keenum dropped back to pass, avoided a rusher, and launched a pass towards Diggs on the right sideline. Diggs went airborne to bring down the catch, and in the process managed to avoid Saints’ safety Marcus Williams. Williams then went crashing into his teammate, Ken Crawley. While people at home. . .like me. . .were screaming at Diggs to get out of bounds, he instead kept his balance and raced towards the end zone. A few seconds later, when everyone realized that there wasn’t anyone within ten yards of Diggs, he crossed over the goal line for the game-winning touchdown, and the Vikings walked away with a 29-24 victory.
Now, if you’re a Saints fan or an Eagles fan that wants to come here and troll about how the Vikings got lucky or what happened the next week, seriously. . .shut up. Nobody gives one tenth of one crap about that right now.
It was, seriously, a moment that nobody that was at U.S. Bank Stadium that afternoon will forget. It’s a moment that nobody that saw it on television will forget. I know that I certainly won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.
Someday, this franchise will get the championship that their fans deserve, and this moment might drop down the list of all-time great moments in Vikings’ history. But, for now, this is still awesome, and it always will be.
Where were you one year ago today when all the awesomeness happened?