Who would have pictured Case Keenum to lead the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. Nobody. On the game’s final play, the Minnesota Miracle was born.
You heard it in the Fox broadcasters’ voices as Keenum threw an unbelievable 61-yard last-ditch pass that sent wide receiver Stefon Diggs into the endzone. It was a wild finish to an even wilder season for the Vikings.
Simply a stunner, this game demonstrated how skill, errors, and luck can truly make a difference in the final score. The Vikings took command of the game early in the first half due in part to their defense that pressured New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Brees was not the usual surgical passer we have come to known. He was flustered in the pocket early getting sacked, throwing multiple interceptions, to fumbling the ball. The Vikings defense proved why they are the best in the league.
This allowed Keenum to manage the game. Throwing short intermediate passes followed by a complementary run game performance by Latavius Murray. Keenum did display great throws, floating the ball in tight windows when it counted to Stefon Diggs.
Although leading 17-0, you cannot count out Drew Brees. Brees heated up in the second half connecting with wide receiver Michael Thomas for two touchdowns. This still was not enough as errors started to plague the Saints defense.
The Saints secondary did not match up well against Stefon Diggs. Diggs took control in every moment possessing the ball, overpowering and making defenders miss. When the game was on the line Stefon Diggs delivered while defenders like Marcus Williams of the Saints did not. That was the true difference.
That is what separated miracle from defeat for the Minnesota Vikings. A team that lost their starting quarterback and running back early in the season made the playoffs and got a wild win from a journeyman quarterback in Case Keenum. Seriously. Who writes that?
Keenum’s season is a cinderella story you could not rout against. Yet, questions will be asked about whether this season was a fluke performance from a player who inherited a loaded roster. For now, the legend of the Minnesota Miracle will live on.
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