Still, the day following the most bizarre ending in NFL playoff history, there is disbelief. There’s really no way to put the ending of the New Orleans Saints loss to the Minnesota Vikings in words. Be that as it may, the players must be wondering what the heck happened. Arguably, this loss is the most painful loss in the 50 plus years for the Black and Gold.
Saints Divisional Round Loss Was Heartbreaking and Fans Are Still in Mourning
The Buildup Before the Madness
Certainly, as older Saints fans know by now, the game is not over until there are four zeroes on the clock. That should be a given. Over the years, there has been an array of things, too many to list, that have broken the hearts of Saints fans. But the touchdown by Stefon Diggs on Sunday was not so much a miracle, as an inexplicable buildup for disappointment.
New Orleans looked to be down and out, down 17-0 late in the third quarter. Then, the Saints caught fire. Drew Brees connected with Michael Thomas for a 14-yard touchdown. Then another Brees to Thomas hookup cut the lead to three (17-14). Eventually, Alvin Kamara would work his magic and help the Saints grab the lead for the first time as they went up 21-20. Then things got really crazy. The Minnesota Vikings drove down the field and kicker Kai Forbath nailed a 53-yard field goal to help the Vikings reclaim the lead, 23-21.
But there was still plenty of time left for Brees and company to put together a string of their own immaculate plays to setup Wil Lutz for a supposed game winning field goal that put the Saints up 24-23. It’s impossible to describe what happened the next 25 seconds, especially the last ten seconds.
— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) January 15, 2018
The actual name of the Diggs’ touchdown catch was called “Seven Heaven,” but it ended up being a hellish finish for Who Dat Nation. There were ten seconds left on the clock, and the Vikings had the ball on their own 39-yard line, with no timeouts remaining. Vikings quarterback Case Keenum on the play:
“I saw [Diggs] go up, and I was like, ‘He’s got a chance to catch it.’ He caught it. Then, ‘Oh, he’s got a chance to get out of bounds. Get out of bounds!’ But he fell kind of back in bounds, away from [Williams], and then he almost fell over. I could not imagine what was happening. I really couldn’t.”
While the Saints players and fans were stunned, Vikings players poured on the field like a March Madness buzzer beater had just occurred. In any case, after Diggs’ touchdown, the scoreboard read the Vikings 29 Saints 24. At least that’s what it looked like.
Football is obviously not a life and death situation. No matter the outcome of any game, the sun will still come up, and eventually this feeling for Saints fans this will pass. However, the jolt of an emotional high from coming all the way back, to an unthinkable end is going to sting for awhile. That being said, that day won’t be soon. But the Saints should be proud of their body of work as a whole. Coming into the season very few believed that this Saints team would even sniff the playoffs. But that connection to Diggs is going to haunt Who Dat Nation for a long time.