With Case Keenum returning to US Bank Stadium to face the team he lead to the brink of a Super Bowl berth during the magical 2017 season, it’s time to revist the most exciting moment of that season: The Minneapolis Miracle.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the NFC Divisional round playoff game and was even luckier that the seats were as sweet as you can imagine: Section 127 of US Bank Stadium.
The Vikings first four drives resulted in a Jerrick McKinnon touchdown run.
A Kai Forbath field goal.
A punt and a 1-yard Latavius Murray touchdown.
The New Orleans Saints’ first four drives resulted in three punts and an Andrew Sendejo interception.
At 17-0, it felt like the Vikings had the game well in hand and would stroll to an easy victory. But then the Saints countered with a pair of Michael Thomas touchdowns.
The Saints would take the lead with an Alvin Kamara touchdown reception and the Vikings would take the lead back with a 53 yard Kai Forbath field goal but then the Saints would retake the lead at 24-23 with a Will Lutz 43-yarder, leaving 25 seconds on the clock.
The Vikings received the kickoff, ran a couple plays to advance to their own 39 yard line. At third and ten with ten seconds remaining, the Vikings needed to get into field goal range to pull off a victory.
And the rest is history. Quarterback Case Keenum gave Stefon Diggs a chance and he went up and grabbed ball, remained in bounds, and scampered the rest of the way for the walkoff touchdown that would etch his name in Vikings history for his role in the Minneapolis Miracle.
The 9th Greatest Play In NFL History
The NFL recently placed the Minneapolis Miracle as the ninth greatest play in league history.
NFL Next Gen Stats has the animated diagram of the play.
It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over
But the best part of the play was my own experience watching it.
The guy sitting next to me had been grumpy all game and after Lutz hit his field goal to secure the Saints’ lead with 25 seconds left, the guy sighed and said “That’s it.”
“Have faith,” I replied.
He rolled his eyes and left the bulding. Sucks to be him.
The crowd at US Bank Stadium erupted.
Case Keenum lead the crowed in the Skol chant, a fitting rebuttal to Saints head coach Sean Payton who only moments earlier had mocked Vikings fans by doing the Skol chant himself.
So, yeah, say what you will about the guy as a quarterback, but Case Keenum will always have a place in our hearts.