15 Jan Vikings one step from hometown Super Bowl after miraculous win
Long-suffering Minnesota Vikings fans are starting to think about a hometown Super Bowl after a stunning, historic playoff win Sunday.
It looked like another heartbreaking end to another heartbreaking season for the Vikings, who blew a 17-point halftime lead and trailed 24-23 after the New Orleans Saints kicked a field goal with 29 second left in their NFL divisional playoff matchup.
But on the game’s final play, as time expired, Vikings quarterback Case Keenum found an open Stefon Diggs on the sideline. Diggs made the catch as he leaped over a defender, who fell down, and then scampered untouched into the end zone for a game-winning 61-yard reception. Final score: Vikings 29, Saints 24.
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis exploded into bedlam in perhaps the most dramatic moment in the franchise’s history. It was the first fourth-quarter “walk-off” touchdown in NFL postseason history, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
The Vikings will travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday, with the winner going to the Super Bowl to meet the winner of the New England Patriots-Jacksonville Jaguars game.
Minneapolis will host the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 on Comcast Corp.’s CMCSA, -0.38% NBC. No Super Bowl has ever featured a team from the host city, although the San Francisco 49ers came close in 1985, which was played at Stanford Stadium.
Despite reaching the Super Bowl four times in the 1970s, the Vikings have never won a championship. The team hasn’t appeared in a Super Bowl in 41 years, and has suffered a number of heartbreaking playoff losses in that time, including one by perhaps the most talented Vikings team ever on a missed field goal by Gary Anderson in 1999.
The Vikings last made the NFC Championship game in 2010, when they lost to the Saints in overtime.