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The Minneapolis Miracle

Jan 16, 2018

It is two days later now, and I am still in shock over what happened in the closing seconds of the best playoff game I have ever witnessed.

The Minnesota Vikings, with 10 seconds left, made US Bank Stadium roar in happiness when Case Keenum, quarterback, connected with Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, for a 61-yard game winning touchdown to defeat the New Orleans Saints.

With a dominating first half, it looked like the Vikings had locked up the game and were going to be travelling to Philadelphia to play the Eagles. However Drew Brees led the Saints with three touchdowns in the second half to make for an extremely interesting final three minutes. In the last 3:01, there were four lead changes and a play no Vikings fan will ever forget, now known as the Minneapolis Miracle.

It all started when Alvin Kamara scored a 14-yard touchdown catch from a beautiful pass from Brees to take the lead 21-20. After, Theilen was able to come down with an amazing catch while Marshon Lattimore was pulling him down brought the Vikings in field goal range and Kai Forbath retook the lead with a 53 yard field goal.

Then the ball went back to the dangerous Brees with 1:29 left in the game to retake the lead. Brees was able to convert a fourth and ten to Willie Snead, receiver, to extend the game and set up a 43-yard field goal for Will Lutz to go on top 24-23 with only 25 seconds left.

At this point hope was falling for Minnesota and fans thought they again were gonna be disappointed by yet another Minnesota team. It didn’t help when the first play of drive wasn’t able to happen due to a fall start moving them back five yards.

“I was really sad, I sat in my chair and just thought about how typical this was for Vikings fans. It was so sad to see the Vikings blow a 17 point lead,” said Cole Kristal, junior.

The next play Keenum connected with Diggs for 19 yards but was kept in bounds forcing the Vikings to use their last timeout. Two plays later they hadn’t moved and it was third and ten on their own 39 with 14 seconds left. At this point, I had no hope of the Vikings to pull this off.

It was the final play of the game, Buffalo right, seven heaven, Keenum dropped  back and threw the ball to Diggs who made the catch, at this moment I thought it was over, Marcus Williams was there ready to make the tackle and end the game. What happened next will be the biggest mistake of Williams’ career, he missed the tackle allowing Diggs an open path to the endzone and a trip to the NFC Championship game.

How did he miss the tackle, I do not know and how did Diggs stay on his feet and march into the endzone, I don’t know. All I know is that at that moment I didn’t believe what I saw. I was speechless.

“Everyone had their jackets on and was ready to leave in disappointment and then the miracle happened,” said Austin Lehman, senior. “I was in complete shock, I teared up and was freaking out. The entire stadium erupted. I was jumping up and down and screaming for a solid 10 minutes.”

Similar to Lehman’s experience, Theo Lentsch, senior, had a once in a lifetime experience inside US Bank Stadium.

“I started jumping and screaming and hugging everyone around me,” Lentsch said. “A drunk fan fell on my cousin and then started hugging us. I️t was the best moment of my life.”

I can’t recall how many times I have watched that play and listened to Paul Allen’s amazing play-by-play call. Everytime I have watched it, I have felt chills throughout my body.

The best video that I have seen so far is the sideline view. Listening to it just brings a smile to my face, you can just hear how loud it got in that stadium and I envy every single Vikings fan that was in there.

After blowing a 17 point lead in the first half, I really thought this would be another story on how a Minnesota team once again let their fans down. I was wrong and I have never been more happy to be wrong in my life.

This is the first-ever, walk-off, game-winning touchdown in NFL postseason history, according to NBC Sports.

The Vikings journey is still not over, next week, they must travel to Lincoln Financial Field and play in the cold against the Eagles. With a win next week, the Vikings would earn a ticket to Super Bowl LII against either the New England Patriots or the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Vikings have made it to 10 conference championships, their last one being in 2009. They have also made it to four Super Bowls, their last one being in 1977 but have failed to win one yet.

If the Vikings are able to make it to the Super Bowl, they would be the first team, in Super Bowl Era, to play in their home stadium for it.

Though no Vikings fan will ever forget the play that happened, it won’t be as big of a deal if the Vikings can’t finish this season. Next week they will be put to the test with the cold conditions, their last time playing like this didn’t consist of much offense for the Vikings.

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