Maybe, just maybe, the Minny Miracle has reversed the longstanding playoff curse that has bedeviled the Minnesota Vikings.
It’s hard to find a more improbable ending to a football game than the play that gave the star-crossed Vikings a 29-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints and a ticket to the NFC Championship game.
More improbable than the Immaculate Reception of 1972 or the Music City Miracle of 2000? The craziest ending to a playoff game in NFL history? Yeah, why not?
Visions of Super Bowls danced in the heads of Viking fans when Stefon Diggs leaped for Case Keenum’s desperation pass, somehow eluded two defenders and raced down the sidelines to complete an unbelievable 61-yard touchdown pass.
The Vikings, founded in 1961, have played in four Super Bowls – and lost all four, the last to the Oakland Raiders 41 years ago. Minnesota shares the title of biggest Super Bowl loser with the Buffalo Bills, also 0-4.
However, the Vikes have come close many other times, only to suffer playoff disappointments. Here are the top five Minny heartbreakers.
2015 – Kicker Blair Walsh hooks a last-minute, chip shot field goal as the Seattle Seahawks hang on to defeat the Vikings 10-9 in a divisional round stunner.
2010 – Three fumbles, two by Adrian Peterson, and a Brett Favre interception that led to overtime were crucial in this loss. The Saints went on to win 31-28.
2001 – The Vikings appeared primed for their first Super Bowl appearance in a quarter century. But they ran into a New York Giants buzz saw and suffered a 41-0 loss, the worst setback in NFC Championship game history.
1999 – Gary Anderson, perfect in the regular season, missed a 37-yard field goal that would have given the Vikings an insurmountable lead late in the NFC Championship game. The Atlanta Falcons scored the game-tying touchdown in the final minutes. Minnesota, 15-1 in the regular season, lost the coin flip in overtime and never got the ball back as Morton Anderson’s 38-yard field goal won it for the Falcons.
1975 – In the play that birthed the term “Hail Mary,” Roger Staubach connected with Drew Pearson on a 50-yard touchdown in the waning seconds and the Dallas Cowboys squashed Viking Super Bowl dreams with a 17-14 victory at the old Metropolitan Stadium.
Minny Miracle Call: http://awfulannouncing.com/nfl/vikings-radio-minneapolis-miracle.html