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That really happened: Vikings beat Saints on last-second play

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs catching the game-winning touchdown pass against New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams during the fourth quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff game on Sunday.

Wait, this is Minnesota, right? And those are the Vikings? For ESPN Courtney Cronin writes, “With time running out and the window to punch their ticket to the NFC Championship Game closing, Case Keenum exorcised all of the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff demons with one heroic, career-defining throw. Trailing by one point, Keenum dropped back and stepped up into the biggest play of his life, launching a last-second bomb that was caught down the sideline by Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard touchdown reception. The Vikings wide receiver caught the pass over Saints defender Marcus Williams, regained his balance upon coming down to the ground and turned upfield untouched. It was the stuff of legend. The type of play that not only wins games, as it did the Vikings’ 29-24 victory over the Saints, but solidifies the players on both ends of the play in Minnesota sports history.”

For USA Today, Lindsay Jones says: “The Vikings are now just one win away from becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl at home, after a stunning finish secured a 29-24 divisional-round win against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs scored the game-winning 61-yard touchdown as time expired, as Saints safety Marcus Williams dove at his legs rather than trying for a tackle. After Diggs regained his balance, he had a clear path to the end zone, where he was mobbed by teammates while fireworks exploded inside the stadium.”

Jim Souhan of the Strib says, “As if all of the bad luck and misery that had attended so many of their big games was reversed by one strange, inexplicable, fortune- and reality-altering play. … Gary Anderson’s miss? Brett Favre’s interception? Drew Pearson’s push off? Blair Walsh’s shank? All were not forgotten but momentarily diminished by one of the strangest and greatest plays in franchise history.”

Meanwhile, a combo Strib/Washington Post story says: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has apparently not yet decided if he’s going to run for the U.S. Senate. The Washington Post on Sunday quoted a prominent GOP donor as saying rumors that he would jump into the race are unfounded. … A Minnesota GOP insider who is close to Pawlenty confirmed to the Star Tribune Sunday that Pawlenty did indeed make that comment at a meeting two weeks ago. But the source told the Star Tribune that it’s possible Pawlenty has reconsidered since then. The source was not sure where Pawlenty stands now. Pawlenty is also known to be considering another run for governor, and that prospect remains on the table.”

Well-known Minnesota political analyst Sarah Janecek has died. From the Pioneer Press: “‎Sarah Janecek, a longtime Minnesota political analyst, died unexpectedly Friday while traveling in South America, her sister Karen Hoyt confirmed Saturday in a Facebook post on Janecek’s page. She had just turned 57. … A self-described ‘Jill of all trades, Mistress of none,’ Janecek, a Minneapolis resident, left her mark on Minnesota politics with a 20-year career as a journalist, political consultant, lawyer, lobbyist, U.S. Senate staffer and GOP activist. She published a political newsletter called ‘Politics in Minnesota’ and was an analyst on ‘At Issue with Tom Hauser’ on KSTP-TV for years.”

The body of missing Minnesota man found. From the AP: “Authorities say the body of a missing Minnesota native has been found in Denver about a month after he was last seen. The Denver Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday identified the man as 29-year-old Adam Gilbertson. His body was found in the North Platte River on Saturday by volunteers who were searching for him. The cause of death is still under investigation. Gilbertson, a registered nurse, did not show up for work on Dec. 15. His employers called his family, who initiated a search.”

Shock is one word for itThe Strib’s Tim Harlow writes: “Motorists using the Government Center Ramp for hourly parking are experiencing sticker shock now that the ramp is no longer run by the city of Minneapolis. … The city charged $3 for the first half-hour and $1.50 for each additional 30 minutes. For 12 hours, drivers paid $12.50 and $14 for a full 24 hours. Sometime this fall, rates jumped. Park in the ramp for 20 minutes or fewer during the day and it’s $5. Stay from 21 to 40 minutes and the rate jumps to $21. After more than 2½ hours the rate is $32.”

Finally, from the Forum News Service: “When a 23-year-old Burnsville, Minn., man called for a sober driver after his arrest for a DWI earlier this week in St. Cloud, Nathan Henning’s father from Brooklyn Center arrived. The Stearns County jail staff then do what they always do. They checked the driver, this time being the father, Richard Henning, 54, with a voluntary breath test for alcohol. The problem was Dad didn’t pass — with his alcohol level later measured at .11.  Minnesota’s legal limit is .08.”

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 01/15/2018 - 12:24 pm.

    Game winning TD

    A friend wrote to tell me that it’s the first time in NFL history for a game winning touchdown to be scored with the time expired. Can that be true?

  2. Submitted by Janice Gepner on 01/15/2018 - 12:31 pm.

    What about Karma?

    How about attributing the Vikings luck to payback. It was the Saints who were guilty of “Bountygate,” paying their players to injure the opposition and narrowly defeating the Vikings in 2010 in the NFC Championship. This loss was their payback for Bountygate. We had Karma on our side.

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