The fairy-tale story of winning the Super Bowl in their home stadium was all but over for the Minnesota Vikings. Another heartbreaking postseason loss that brought flashbacks of Blair Walsh’s missed chip-shot field goal in 2015 against the Seahawks. Just one of many post-season debacles that plague Minnesota’s history. Call it a curse, call it bad luck, the Vikings probably have both. l was all ready to start researching who the Vikings could get in free-agency as well as draft needs to put them over the hump for next season. The Vikings sideline was thinking about tropical vacation spots they could travel to avoid the nasty Minnesota Winter that was waiting for them outside US Bank Stadium. No one was thinking about how to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game. And then it happened. Whether you call it the “Minneapolis Miracle” or the “Minnesota Miracle”, the Vikings’ season was given new life.
This video has gone viral and has been played over and over on ESPN and every type of media under the sun. As thousands of Vikings’ fans rejoiced, residents of Wisconsin could probably hear a collective “SKOL” chant penetrating their cheese head hats. You’ve seen the countless clips of Vikings fans jumping and screaming in total disbelief, a New Orleans Saints fan throwing his TV off his balcony, and hilarious post-game reactions by Minnesota Vikings players. But no one saw the 61-yard game-winning touchdown by Stefon Diggs coming. Everson Griffen put it best:
Is it just me, or does no one else think it shouldn’t have taken a play this unbelievable to save the Vikings season? They were up 17-0 late in the third quarter, and apparently thought they only needed to play 45 minutes instead of all 60. The offense turned conservative and got stagnant, and the defense played uncharacteristically undisciplined. The Vikes played not to lose instead of stepping on their opponent’s throat and not allowing them back in the game. If not for the clutch kicking of Kai Forbath (that’s something new for Vikings fans) and of course the throw and catch from Keenum to Diggs, the players and coaches would be clearing out their lockers and getting ready for the offseason.
I guess it’s better to be lucky than good though, right? The purple and gold have been given a second chance to continue their season and the incredible opportunity to prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game. With an impressive run game mixed with a stout defense, the Eagles are built very similar to the Vikings. It will take a full team effort as well as stellar QB play to beat the number one seed on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
In ten years, the only thing fans are probably going to remember from this game was the final play. The gut-wrenching feeling of no hope being immediately replaced by pure, unadulterated joy. But is this the way the Vikings want the world to remember their season? As a fluke? As dumb luck? They have an opportunity this Sunday to prove not only to themselves, but to the rest of the NFL, that they more than just belong in the NFC Championship game, they belong in the conversation of the NFL’s elite.