The Vikings needed a miracle, so they called a play called “Seven Heaven.”
With the Vikings seconds away from yet another devastating postseason defeat, they came up with perhaps the most dramatic victory in team history. Stefon Diggs caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum on the final play for a 29-24 victory over New Orleans in a divisional playoff game Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“Wow,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “That was a heck of a game, wasn’t it? And the good guys won.”
The Vikings advanced to play at Philadelphia next Sunday in the NFC championship game.
The Vikings, who had blown a 17-0 third-quarter lead, looked doomed when Will Lutz kicked a 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds left to put the Saints up 24-23. They faced third and 10 at their own 39 with 10 seconds remaining and no timeouts left.
That’s when Keenum lofted a pass to Diggs, who caught it along the right sideline at the New Orleans 34 while safety Marcus Williams fell lunging to make a tackle. Diggs stormed down the sideline untouched and into the end zone as the clock expired and the fans went wild.
“I hate giving out plays, but the play is called ‘Seven Heaven,’ ” said Diggs, who caught six passes for 137 yards. “As I was about to leave (the huddle, Keenum) said, ‘I’m going to give somebody a chance,’ and that somebody was me.”
Diggs was clutching the game ball afterward, which he said fellow receiver Jarius Wright “saved” for him after he let it go in the end zone and started celebrating. Diggs called it a “play that you dream about your whole life,” and said he initially was in disbelief.