Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Alright. Wow. That was a heck of a game wasn't it? And the good guys won. Honestly I don't know what to say to be honest with you. It was an unbelievable game, lot of ebbs and flows throughout the course of the ball game. The first half was obviously outstanding and then we did some things. We turned the ball over, we had a punt blocked and then we took a sack in field goal range and we missed a field goal. If we would have done things better I think the score wouldn't of been this close and we wouldn't have had to throw that last pass. But everything works out in the end.
Q: Was the goal on that last pass to just try and get in field goal range?
A: Yeah, well we were going to try to get out of bounds because we had no timeouts left and you know one of the things I said to one of the guys on the sideline…'We've been practicing all these situations through OTA's and training camp and even during the season.' We actually practice that one every week and you know, [Stefon] Diggs made a great play, great catch. Case [Keenum] made a great throw. I've tried to put these guys in all these different situations throughout the course of the year and luckily it payed off today.
Q: Have you ever been a part of such an exhilarating victory?
A: I don't know. This is pretty good. I mean to get a chance to go play in the NFC Championship game is pretty darn good.
Q: When you saw Stefon Diggs galloping with a clear path to the end zone what were you thinking?
A: You know I was, first thing I did was, I was saying get out of bounds and then I saw him running and I'm looking to see if he stepped out of bounds and then I'm going back to look and see if we had any penalties or anything on it. Then the next thing I did was look at the clock to see how much time was left. So, I don't know some guys jumped on me I don't remember exactly what happened.
Q: Before that were you tipping your hat to Drew Brees with what he was able to do or were you frustrated with your defense?
A: You know, I told the defensive guys after they scored the second touchdown, I said 'we knew this was going to be a dog fight'. You don't play a guy like him and the things they do offensively with the weapons that they have without getting into a fight. We knew it wasn't going to be a 17-0 game. We played outstanding defensively in the first half. We had an opportunity on 4th and 10 and didn't get them stopped. I probably stuck with a call one too many times and when you do that to a great quarterback, "Hey let's open these things up" (to the crowd). I said in my mind if we win today I'm going to open these things up. "You deserve it, you deserve it!" (to the crowd). Alright where are we at, sorry.
Q: How big was that 3rd and 1 stop?
A: Well it was big because if they got that first down they were basically going to run the clock out and win the game. It was another situation we've gone over. Unfortunately had to use two timeouts there, but it was big.
Q: A couple weeks ago you said there's no curse. When you have a play like that does it kind of validate that?
A: I think that crystal ball and that wood spirit is working. If there was a curse, then we probably would of lost today. (Crowd chanting "Zimmer") I love it, I love it. Go ahead what's next?
Q: Joe Berger said in the huddle that Case Keenum said 'I'm going to give one of you guys a chance'. Is that kind of what he's done for you guys all year long?
A: Yeah, you know I thought he played, the interception was poor but he made some great throws, that throw to Jarius Wright was an unbelievable throw. I was disappointed in the interception, or the, well the interception obviously but the sack. You know, we're in field goal range. I just got done telling Pat [Shurmur], "no sacks here Pat, make sure we get him protected." Those are situations we work on too.. we're in field goal range and it's 3rd and 7 or something like that, the worst thing that can happen is we get a sack and get out of field goal range.
Q: How big was Case Keenum's first pass to Jarius Wright after the interception?
A: That was a big time throw, that showed his um, that showed his moxie.
Q: For your offense to come up with a miracle play like that, what does that say about these guys?
A: Well I thought our offense played well today. They went down the field early in the ball game and scored a touchdown. They went down just like we planned it. This team has a lot of confidence. (Crowd chanting "Zimmer, Zimmer!") This is the best press conference ever. "Come to Philly"(to the crowd). This team has a lot of confidence in each other and you can tell the offense has confidence in the defense… Linval Joseph was standing on the sideline saying 'we're gonna win this game' and I mean, just so many… but they have a lot of confidence in each other, they believe in one another, they work hard with one another. (Crowd chants "we want Philly!") I'm not saying that, I'm not saying that, I'm not saying that on TV for sure.
Q: What'd you think of the crowd?
A: The crowd was unbelievable today. Just like these guys are here. It was the loudest environment I've ever been in. The atmosphere was the best I've ever seen. It was so loud. Every time the defense went out there, they started yelling and cheering. They got quiet when the offense was out there. Can you guys bring me a beer? That's the best crowd I've ever witnessed. They helped us today. They did and the man upstairs did.
Q: You emphasized situational football so much this season, have you ever seen that translate so much?
A: Well, most of the time, we didn't play great in the red zone today on defense. The first time we played this team, we played great in the red zone. They scored touchdowns today, which hurt us. There was a couple times when we ended up having to kick field goals where we should've got touchdowns. That part today was not nearly as good. They changed some things up and we had to adjust.
Q: What were your emotions like during that final couple minutes?
A: There's so much going on at that time, we're trying to stop them, I'm trying to make calls. It's third down, fourth down, third-and-one. Hoping they miss the field goal or we block it. We get the ball back, thinking of when to call timeouts, we only had one left, so I'm thinking of when to use it. I mean, there was so many things going on that I don't know if I had time to be emotional. After the game, I was still kind of in shock to be honest with you. A couple guys grabbed me and hugged me, jumped on me. Proud of this team, though, fighters.
Q: What did you think of Case's composure on that final drive?
A: Case is a pretty cool customer. Kind of tells you a little bit about this guy, he was excited before the game, like most of our guys were. I think the way that he handled himself today. He's got a big chip on his shoulder. He's always trying to prove people wrong. I do love that about him, he's a lot like our team. Our team is always trying to prove people wrong. I get criticized for playing the underdog role but that's just who we are.
Q: How would you describe your emotions before the last play?
A: Well, I saw the coverage that they were playing. They probably should have had a chance but you know, at the end of the game like that, if you mess up or you miss and it was a great throw, Kyle went out in the flat real quick and sucked the one guy up and then the other guy was hanging back. We talked about throwing a double move on the other side of the field because the safety was hanging in the middle and they changed the coverage a little bit. So, it just worked out. As a matter of fact, I was in a game like this once. When I was in Dallas, we played the Giants, it was like hardly any time left, their kicker kicked it out of bounds, they just scored. We threw the exact same play, completed it, kicked the field goal and went home. Now that I think about it. It was the same play.* *
Q: You talked about not getting too high after a win like this, is that going to be tough after this one?
A: I think at times you have to be able to celebrate an unbelievable play like this. This team is pretty well grounded. They'll get back to what they do. They know we're going to have a tough task next week in Philadelphia. Last time we played there, we didn't play great.
Q: What went into the decision to active Sam Bradford?
A: Shamar Stephen was a little bit banged up, so I needed an extra defensive lineman and Bradford played great against this team in the past, so that's why I thought about it.
Q: Still don't think there is a curse, correct?
A: That didn't look like a curse out there to me, that looked like a Hail Mary.
Vikings Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs
Q: When you guys break the huddle are you thinking this is going to be the last play or where you thinking you were trying to get into field goal range?
A: We've had so many situations where we have limited time so I was thinking more or so catch and get out of bounds or maybe we could kick a field goal range. I felt a guy brush past me and I took a picture before I turned around to catch the ball and there was only one guy there. If he slips, then I'm going to try and stay up
Q: Did you feel you were going to fall out of bounds?
A: I was preparing for somebody to contact me so I could get out of bounds but nobody touched me, I lost my foot a little bit and then I just tried to gather myself and my hand never let me go, the rest is history,
Q: What was going through your mind as ran into the end zone?
A: I couldn't believe it, really. It's plays like this that you dream about your whole life and finally it happens. Give it all to God because he came through in this situation. It's our team, we have a group of fighters, guys that fight until the end until the clock hits zero. Especially the guys on offense. Half the guys on offense nobody wanted
Q: What does it mean to win a game like this?
A: It's a turning point for everybody. Majority of people doubt us, they don't think it's going to happen especially because of history. People have a way of saying history repeats itself, I guess this is not one of those cases. You want to give it all to God most importantly because he put us all in this position and this something special.
Q: How often would you say you practice this situation?
A: Never. This specific situation, we were mostly just playing for it to go out of bounds, so we could kick a field goal and we call that 'mayday mayday mayday'. Hopefully kick the field goal and make it but god had other plans today.
Q: Did you think based on what you saw on the defense pre-snap that there was a better chance it was coming to you?
A: Nah. We ran that same play twice. We ran it that time before that and we were just trying to get down the field. We just have to make it work and Adam said before we went out, "I don't care what it's called make it work." Adam has history of making things work obviously and everyone was just doing their job.
Q: Have you ever been in a situation like this in your career?
A: This is the highest level, so I would say, heck no. This is definitely something special more or so because of my teammates and the guys we have. We have a history of things going up and down especially considering how last year went. People still think we're going to blow it, we came pretty close this game, but god had other plans.
Q: Was that a play that you practice all the time?
A: No, I usually don't talk about plays because, you know, you talk about this play and then they're going to watch it. But regardless, we run what works. We run what we feel comfortable doing and Case threw a great ball. The rest is history.
Q: What was it like seeing Kai Forbath hit the 53-yarder?
A: Kai being Kai. It's kind of funning because Kai had to drain one on his old team. It's kind of big and you kind of see that with players that used to play somewhere else. They usually play really well. It was a special moment, especially for us. At that point in the game we went up. We didn't think it was over. We kind of figured we had a long way to go and once we get the ball back, we got to go score or get some points. It was definitely a special moment for him. We knew it wasn't over but we sure did appreciate it.
Q: How did you feel about Case Keenum being able to bounce back after the interception?
A: It's Case being Case. Kind of like I said earlier, half the guys on offense nobody really wanted – late round guys, guys that got a lot to prove with a chip on their shoulder. I feel like Case has done that each and every week. Guys, not just guys, but majority of people count him out because he hasn't been there because he hasn't played a playoff game, and now he has. And to see him persevere and push through adversity, that's what our team represents. Our coach talks about it all the time- adversity is going to hit at one point in the game. It's all about how you respond. I feel like he responded really, really well, especially when the pressure is on. He'll crack a smile at you to let you know he's in it to win it, always.
Q: There weren't many times that the offense game from behind to win the game. How fulfilling was this?
A: I actually don't feel that fulfilled. It's a great feeling to execute. To see that the time that you put into the game that you love kind of come into fruition, but more so, we want to play cleaner football so that you won't be in that situation. It just so happen that we were put into that situation and kind of had to make it work.
Q: When people say Stefon Diggs, they're going to associate you with that play. Are you prepared for that?
A: No. No, it's kind of fresh. I'm more so happy for us going into the NFC Championship because with how this year went and the guys that we got. It all played out the way it was supposed to, with the ups and the downs and the naysayers and the people that did support us pushed us in the right direction. That's all we really cared about. It meant so much to me to see my quarterback believe in me the last play of the game or potentially last play of the game. I'm not getting emotional; don't worry about it. For him to believe in me at that moment God put me here.
Q: How do you feel about going to Philadelphia and potentially coming back home to play in the Super Bowl?
A: I wasn't really tripping. It really didn't matter. We got the best fans in the league. It would have been nice to be home, but I feel like if we take care of business the way we're supposed to we'll have another chance to see our fans. But, going to Philly, I don't care where we play at. I'm just happy we have another opportunity to put some good stuff on tape, clean up the mistakes, you know and go out there and do what we got to do to win. Like I said last week, I don't care how we do it. I don't care how we got to do it or what we got to do. I just want to win.* *
Q: What were you thinking when you saw that you were going to score a touchdown?
A: Funny story, they all laid on me and I almost passed out. There were some heavy guys and I don't weigh that much. I was just trying to catch my breath but I didn't really think about what happened. I still don't. It's kind of like a storybook ending and it never ends that way. Usually it's reality, it's real life so the things you worry about, you walk home and you worry about tomorrow, but today had other plans. Like I said, I give it all to God. Things like this just don't happen.
Q: How does your game winning touchdown compare to your brother and his recent College National Championship win?
A: He's still one up on me. He's got a Natty, so I never even came close to smelling a Natty. I'm happy for him. I was so excited. I can't wait to see his jewelry. I'm proud of him.
Q: Is he here?
A: Yes, my little brother is here. The one that won the Natty. It's his first NFL game. First NFL game ever, so good to end it on a good note.
*Q: How long do you let yourself celebrate? *
A: A couple hours. Tomorrow we go back to work and I got squats.
Q: Did you cry?
A: I didn't boo-hoo, teary-eyed a little bit. I'll cry when I'm by myself.
Q: Any of your teammates ugly cry?
A: They're all ugly regardless if they're crying or not.
Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Case Keenum
Q: What did you say in the huddle during that last drive?
A: I don't remember. There's a lot I don't remember. I'm still swimming with a lot of emotions. It was probably on the lines of "Hey, let's give it a chance." We needed a big chunk. We saw the timeout and we knew there was still a possibility. Still some hope. But we just said, "Hey, let's get a chunk or two and see what happens."
Q: Based on the coverage you saw, did you think you'd have that pass to Stefon Diggs?
A: Yes, I was throwing the ball to Diggs on that play. It was pretty well covered. I mean it wasn't like a normal – I don't know. I'll have to watch the film, too. I just saw a little bit of an opening. Threw it, he jumped up and you all saw it.
Q: In that situation, do you throw it to the deepest guy?
A: Yes, Diggs was the deepest guy on that route. We had a couple guys on the sideline there. We were all trying to get out of bounds if he caught it. He happened to not get out of bounds.
Q: Is that play called seven heaven or seventh heaven?
A: Seven heaven.
Q: Did you just need to make a play or that play?
A: I don't know. Yes, I'm not going to say I picked it out beforehand, but I knew that we needed a big chunk like that. Adam [Thielen] was on the other side but they had a couple guys covered over there. Just try to give a guy a chance. I don't know what the percentage was, but just try to give the guy a chance and [Diggs] made an awesome play.
Q: Did you have a clear view after Stefon Diggs broke the tackle and what did you do?
A: I saw him go up and I was like, "Oh, he had a chance to catch it." He caught it, and I'm like, "Oh he's got a chance to go out of bounds." Like, get out of bounds. He fell kind of back in bounds, away from, I don't know who was it, 48 or 43, and he almost fell over. I couldn't believe what was happening. I really couldn't. It was awesome.
Q: With 10 seconds left, it's probably the last play call that's not a Hail Mary, what are the nerves like in the huddle?
A: There's no nerves at that point. We're just fighting, and clawing and scratching, and just trying to get the ball down the field. Most of those guys have been running down the field two-minute mode, so they were all just trying to get their breath back. I wouldn't say there's nerves at that point. You're just doing everything you can to win the game.
Q: Did you have a target yard line you were trying to get to to give Kai Forbath a chance?
A: There's always the 35, 30 that you try to get to. That's not something I was thinking of at the time. I was just trying to get as many yards as we could and get out of bounds.
Q: When you get to the line of scrimmage and you see the defense, does that tip you off at all to where you are going to go or was it more the situation?
A: Yes, there are pre-snap reads. Based on that play, it was more of a progression. I just threw it, [Diggs] just caught it and then he ran in the end zone.
Q: To prepare you in those moments, Coach Zimmer said you've run that play a lot. To prepare you in those moments, do you already have a mental memory of it?
A: Yes, at that point you're just reacting. When you're that tired, it's that late, you're just fighting and clawing, like I said it's a reaction. I remember being on the sideline, being on the sideline, looking over some last minute plays. I just was thinking, just go react and play. Just a kid, throwing a football to another big kid and he just runs and scores.
Q: Has it occurred to you yet that you are going to see that play for the rest of your life in highlight films?
A: No, I haven't thought of that. I still, like I said, I don't know if I can put it in perspective right now. My family is here. I am just going to go enjoy the night and get ready for conference championship on Sunday.
Q: Have you ever played in an offense there is this much trust in what you're doing?
A: I've got a lot of trust in those guys and we all trust each other. There was a moment before the game today. I remember just looking around, it was after warmups. We came back in and everybody was high fiving, going around and just getting locked in. I remember thinking, "This is such a special group of guys. This is such a special group of guys." I've never been around a group like this before, from top to bottom. That's not even counting what kind of football players they are. It's the type of guys they are. It's really cool. To do what we did today with them, I can't put words with that. To do what we did today in this building, how awesome was that atmosphere? I couldn't hear myself think when we were over there on the sideline. It was stinking loud. Those fans were incredible. They stayed until the end. They stayed as long as they could. They're still probably still in there. They're probably trying to kick them out. It was an awesome day.
Q: Stefon Diggs makes that play, Jarius Wright makes the catch down the sideline, and Adam Thielen makes the one. How does it calibrate the way you play quarterback if you give them any sort of chance?
A: That's what I've done all year. That's what those guys have done all year. That's what they ask me, is "Hey, just give me a chance." There is a bunch of plays that I can look back that they've made huge plays. You never know which play is going to be when you look back and be like, "That play was huge. This play was huge." And all of those guys can make those plays.
Q: How important was that throw to Jarius Wright to come back after the interception the next throw to put that one behind you?
A: That interception was a bonehead play by myself. But to come back to get a couple scoring drives was really nice. I think Coach Shurmur called a great game today. I think it was a good bounce back drive. * *
Q: [Kyle] Rudolph said it would have been shame to waste that play and lose this game?
A. Yeah. It's very magical, miraculous. I am sure you guys will find lots of good words to name the play or whatever you guys are going to do, but yeah for us, we don't waste any opportunity, any opportunity that's given to us, especially this one, so does it put more pressure on the future or this next game? No this game is big no matter what, so it's a big game and against a good opponent.
Q: It seemed like you had that school-yard style where you just put it out there and see what happens. It seemed to work for you?
A: Yeah, sometimes you get in trouble too. The play after the pick, I was doing something I wasn't supposed to, so there's a fine line you have to walk; taking chances and giving guys chances, but also being smart with the football, and then just settling down and then going through your reads and making the plays that are there to be made.
Q: Was today made up of a number of memorable moments?
A: Yes, there are lots of moments today. I'm going to have to make sure that I look back and remember a lot of those because yeah, that was one. There were many today.
Q: Do you believe the outcome of this game? You guys were behind with :30 left.
A: I don't. I really don't. It's incredible. I still can't believe it. I guess I can believe it now. I believe it now, but I don't know.
Q: You have been here less than a year, and a lot of these moments have tended to go the other way? Do you feel the significance of this game?
A: So far. We've got a few good games ahead, so yes; definitely so far. It was a special end. It was a special game, that's for sure.
Q: What was going through your head after the touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs?
A: I don't know. You guys know better words than I do to describe that type of moment. I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't, at the time. I was, I was looking for people to hug, and I knew I wasn't going to get all the way to [Stefon Diggs] Diggsie, but linemen, anybody, anybody that was close enough just yelling and screaming at each other. It was fun. It was a lot of fun.
Q: Has it processed yet you're one game away from the Super Bowl?
A: No, we have another game ahead of us and that's what the playoffs are about. We're going to take this one step at a time.
Q: What is a moment like this, checking off a fourth quarter come back?
A: It gives you confidence I think. Like I said, being a kid growing up, that's what you do in the backyard. There's thirty seconds to go, you're down by two, fourth quarter, playoffs. Drew Brees is the quarterback for the other team. That's what you dream about.* *
Q: Is this so exciting for you to take in the collective anxiety of the fan base?
A: I don't have the history that the Vikings fans have around here. I know the history, but I'm just excited for all fans, the Wilfs', coach [Mike] Zimmer, [Rick] Spielman, all those guys, and the fans especially. I'm so excited that they get to be a part of something like this,that the people that were here tonight get to be a part of something special. I just think it's incredible, and it's incredible for anybody that's a Vikings fan.
Q: You have your first playoff game under your belt, along with a win. Is there a calming effect that comes along with this?
A: We move forward, and we move forward with how we know how to, and that's playing our style of football, that's being smart with the ball, that's running the ball, it's scoring more points and to try and put it in perspective, it's hard to do right now. We're just going to try and keep moving forward.
Vikings Linebacker Anthony Barr
Q: Thought on the win?
A: I've got nothing to say, I don't know. I don't know what happened. I don't know how it happened. I don't know.
Q: Is that the most dramatic ending to a game you've ever been a part of?
A: On the winning side, yeah. Two years ago when we lost, missed a field goal. Whatever that feeling was this is the exact opposite, 180 degrees, man. I love these dudes.
Q: What do you want to say to Diggs?
A: 'I wish you could have done that a little earlier. That would've been nice.' He just comes to work every day. He deserves it; we deserve it. We earned it.
Q: Thoughts after they hit that last field goal?
A: I was disappointed. I felt like we let the fans down, let the city down again, let each other down, but we didn't and we came up victorious today. Everybody deserves it. The city deserves it. This state deserves it. These fans deserve it. We worked so hard for this and we have a little way to go still, but we are not done yet.
Q: Did you guys not want to leave the field after the last-second touchdown?
A: I didn't believe it, I didn't know what happened. I didn't understand that could happen. It doesn't make sense. How does that happen in the NFL? I don't know. I'll take it every time.
Q: Can you explain the two halves of the game, seemed like two very different halves?
A: Everybody is a football team. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We came out hot and started fast and a couple turnovers there and got some good field position. They had some great plays by Drew Brees. It's going to be hard to find a dude who throws the ball better than that. Where he puts it right on the spot every time, I feel like right where he wants it to be, right where they need it to be. They make good plays. They've got great player sover there. 41 is the real deal. But so do we. We have a lot of great talent in this room, a lot of guys that care about this organization, this team. I'm proud of the way we showed up, fought until the end. Sometimes you have to make your own luck and we kind of did that throughout the season.
Q: Has it sunk in you are headed for the NFC Championship?
A: I'm excited about it. I haven't even thought about Philly yet. Give me a little bit and we'll get back after it tomorrow. Start getting ready for those guys, they're a great football team. I saw what they did Saturday and they deserved to win that game and it's going to be a great fight.
Q: It seemed like your team never panicked tonight, did you?
A: I wasn't panicking. It just hurt once they made that field goal. We had played so well all year; situational football was our thing. We do what we need to do and we execute when we have to execute and it felt like at times we had some lapses in some areas, something that is not characteristic for us. That's not what we do, win the game at the last second. That's not our team DNA. But we made it like that today and we are a resilient bunch. I think that's the DNA of this team and that showed.
Q: Where were you when Diggs scored and what were you doing?
A: I honestly didn't see it. My head was kind of down, I was kind of feeling sorry for myself to be honest. I heard the crowd go crazy and didn't think much of it. Then I see Diggs running down the sideline and I just didn't think that was real. I figured something would either get called back or he stepped out of bounds or something. I guess not.
Q: How memorable is this throughout your entire career?
A: It's up there. If it's not one, it's top three. But it has to be one; I can't think of a better win than this. So I'm going to say it is the best win of my career.
Vikings Receiver Adam Thielen
Q: Can you talk us through what just happened?
A: I just saw Case (Keenum) give him a chance and I saw Diggs go up and as soon as he caught it I knew he was gone. He's made that play so many times and I know that when he's got an opportunity to make a play he's going to make it. God is good, that's for sure.
Q: Have you ever been in a game remotely like that?
A: No, but honestly, we knew that was going to happen. We knew this team is an unbelievable football team. We knew the Saints were going to be the toughest test we've had all year. I knew it was going to be a fight but I had no idea it was going to end like that.
Q: What were you guys thinking on the sideline when you got the ball back?
A: We knew that we still had a chance. We had a timeout, we knew we had some time on the clock and we knew that all we needed was a field goal. Obviously, we knew it was going to be tough because all they had to do was stay back and not give up the big play. I don't think that anybody in the huddle was down, we were just trying to make a play. And another great job by Case (Keenum) by just letting us make a play and giving us a chance.
Q: What's going through your mind with 10 seconds left in the game?
A: Just try to make a play. Case (Keenum) said in the huddle he's going to give one of us an opportunity to make a play and he did that. Honestly, after that I was just thinking about God because there's nobody else that can do that but God.
Q: What does an ending like this tell the rest of the world about this team?
A: That we're fighters. We love this game of football, we love each other, we don't really care what people think about us we just love to play football. We know we're going to play 60 minutes and maybe more if there's overtime. We just love the game of football and we're just so thankful for the opportunity.
Q: How memorable is this moment in your playing career?
A: I don't think this will ever be topped honestly. I've never been part of something like this, I've never been part of a team like this and I just don't even know what to think right now.
*Q: How about the resiliency of this team? *
A: I think that is something that we have a lot of faith in in this locker room. We know that nobody is going to quit and nobody's going to give up. We know that we have to fight till the end and I think that's something Coach Zimmer instilled in us a long time ago when he got here.
Q: You knew you kind of needed a miracle, what were you thinking?
A: Honestly, we didn't even think about that because we had some good time, we knew we only had to get to the 40-35 yard line and we knew Kai (Forbath) was going to make it. Once we started missing a couple plays and time was running down we knew it was going to be more difficult. But we knew we had an opportunity. Any time you have the ball in your hands you don't know what's going to happen. We just took advantage of the opportunity.
Q: What was your reaction when Stefon Diggs scored?
A: Thank the Lord. I pointed straight to the sky because God is good.
Q: Are you still in shock right now?
A: I am, yeah, I don't know if I'll ever get over this. Emotionally it was a whirlwind and I'm just thankful to be a part of this team and this organization. I love my brothers and like I said I'm thankful for them.
Q: Do you consider this team family?
A: Yeah, absolutely. And I know it's cliché to say that but honestly there's just a lot of guys in this locker room that love the game of football and they want to go fight for one another.
Q: Can you walk us through what you saw in that last play?
A: I just saw Case (Keenum) give him (Stefon Diggs) an opportunity. And when the ball was in the air I knew he was going to come down with it because Diggs is so good with the ball in the air and he had one on one. Those are plays that we expect Diggs to make. Honestly, I thought he was going to go out of bounds but for him to stay up like that that's a player. That's a Pro Bowl player, that's an All Pro player and that's one of the best players in the NFL right there.
Q: Have you ever been through anything like this before in sports?
A: I've been through some crazy games. I've been a Vikings fan my whole life so I've seen crazy endings. But no, this will never be topped, no way.
Q: Does this make up for some of the crazy endings that went against the Vikings?
A: Yeah, I think so. But at the same time, we have to take advantage of this opportunity and we have to go back to work and really put this one behind us. As awesome as it was to win, we have to get back to work because we have a really tough Philly team and we have to play at their house. So, we know we have to get back to work.
Q: In the final seconds what was Mike Zimmer saying to you guys?
A: He just said go get it. He knows that we have a lot of fighters and that we have a lot of playmakers. Until that clock says zero, we're not done.
Q: Can you talk about 2009 and being from Minnesota and the fan base?
A: 2009, 1998, just being a Vikings fan since day one. I've been through a lot obviously as a fan. But it's different when you're a part of a team. You don't really think about those things. You think about these guys in the locker room, how hard we've fought, how much we've been through, how close this group is and that's why we want to win. We want to fend for this group, we want to win for the fans obviously and God.
Q: After being up 17-0 that would have been a hard pill to swallow wouldn't it?
A: Yeah and that's on us as an offense. We have to take that pressure off of our defense and we have to put up points in the second half. We know that we have to close out games with our offense and take pressure off our defense. We don't need to let them win the game for us. We're going to go back and watch this film and there's going to be a lot of things we could have done better.
Q: Do you have empathy for what the fans just went through?
A: Yeah, I can't wait to just see all of the hype and it was already going in this game. We felt so much energy throughout the week from social media, the news and it's just been so fun to see everyone so excited in this community and really just having our backs and going all out this year.
Q: What can you say about Stefon Diggs?
A: He's the man. He's one of the best players that I've ever been around and one of the most competitive guys I've ever been around. We just have an unbelievable receiver group. We have a lot of fighters that love to play football and that are going to make plays when their number is called.
Q: Can you talk about your relationship with Stefon Diggs?
A: Yeah, he's my guy. I love him to death. I appreciate all he does for this team and I applicate all he's done for me. He's pushed me harder than anybody has pushed me in my life. The competitor he is and the way he attacks the game of football is really unbelievable.
Q: Is there a Vikings curse?
A: No, it's football. You have to make plays and you have to close out games. It has nothing to do with a curse or anything like that it comes down to players and making plays in big time situations.
Vikings Defensive End Brian Robison
Q: What is it like when you see Stefon Diggs going down and you know it is a touchdown?
A: The first thing you do is, you're in shock. The second thing you do is, look for penalty flags. Then the third thing is, everything goes blank. I still cannot believe it.
Q: When Drew Brees does what he does and puts them up with only 25 seconds left, how does that feel?
A: They did a great job coming back in the second half. Made some adjustments at halftime and were able to make some plays. I mean that is what Drew Brees does, he is the most accurate quarterback in football. You have to keep playing, at the end of the day that is what you have to do, just keep playing.
Q: When Andrew Sendejo went out what did that do to you guys?
A: I mean obviously you want everyone of your guys out there, but that is the game of football sometimes you are going to have some guys go down. We had Shamar Stephen go down tonight. You want those guys out there, in the trenches with you, in the battle with you. When they go down, the next man has to step up. Everybody has to pick up the slack and we have to do a better job of it next week.
Q: You had that stop on 3rd and 1 to force them to kick the field goal with 25 seconds left what did you see on that play?
A: They just tried to run the ball up the middle, up front we tried to gain penetration. Our linebackers came down-hill. I haven't seen it on tape or anything yet, but that's what I feel happened. We were able to make the stop. It was one yard, you don't know it but you kind of figure they are going to try to run it. They have two really good running backs, they had Mark Ingram II back there I believe it was. We just made the play.
Q: Was there a moment there at the end where you thought not again to the Saints?
A: There was definitely a moment, but like I said, you have to believe. I believe in this offense, you know what all the haters can say what they want about our offense but they picked up the slack for us tonight. They won the game for us. We have to play better in the second half. But hats off to those guys, they had our backs tonight.
Q: How does this match up for you in terms of crazy games?
A: I don't think it does. This is the craziest game I have ever been a part of. It's the most intense game I have ever been a part of. It had the best ending I have ever been a part of, so thank God for that.
Q: What is the range of emotion from the kick to the touchdown?
A: Oh my gosh, I mean you're pretty low. You're pretty low but, I still thought we had a chance. With our offense having a little bit of time left, I was thinking if we could get the ball out of bounds a couple of times maybe even clock it. Give Kai Forbath a chance. I never thought we would score a touchdown, especially in that fashion. Emotions went from low to extremely high.* *
Q: What is it like to know that this ride isn't over yet?
A: I have been in this league for eleven years, I have been a part of this organization for eleven years. You don't know if you're ever going to have an opportunity like this again, a lot of these young guys take it for granted. But you cannot ever take these opportunities for granted because they are few and far between. Sometimes guys play 12, 13, 15 plus years in this league and never get this opportunity. I mean you have to grab ahold of these opportunities when you can and hold on for dear life.
Q: What does it mean for this franchise to win a playoff game like this?
A: I mean it is huge for this franchise, it is huge for our fan-base but, if we don't go win next week it is all for not. At the end of the day we are not here to win playoff games, we are here to win championships. This fan base, this franchise, is thoroughly in need of one.
Q: From start to finish what kind of a grind was it?
A: We were able to get a big lead in the first half, things kind of slowed down. We knew we had to keep our foot on the pedal. Drew Brees was able to do what they are known for doing and come back a little bit. Drew was able to pick us apart a little bit. They made some changes on offense and defense to help them get back in the ball game. I mean it was just a rollercoaster of emotions in that game. You're up, you're back down, you're up. It was one of those games where you didn't know what was going to happen until zeros hit the clock.
Vikings Fullback CJ Ham
Q: On that last play, what did you see?
A: I saw the ball go up and I thought that [Stefon] Diggs might catch it and go out of bounds and hopefully we would have a chance at a field goal. Then all of a sudden, everybody started screaming. I looked up at the jumbotron and was lost for words. I'm blessed, unbelievably blessed and we are ready to get started for next week.
Q: That's a walk-off win. What were you thinking?
A: I was speechless. I was 100% speechless. I had no idea what to feel or what to think. I could not believe it happened. I was looking around and there were no flags. It is an unbelievable feeling right now.
Vikings Defensive End Danielle Hunter
Q: How difficult was it to contain Drew Brees and stop that offense?
A: I mean the main point was just getting to him. We knew he was getting the ball out in 2.5 seconds, or something like that. So the main job was just getting to him and the defensive backs needed to do their jobs and we needed to be on one page.* *
Q: The first half you really contained the running with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II the second half things kind of changed but what did you keep telling yourselves on defense?
A: Just that the game is not over yet. We still have time on the clock. Just go out there and do your job.
Q: You had a few hiccups but how did you come out and finish this one?
A: As you saw, we held them to a field goal instead of scoring at the end and that kind of helped us out on offense. We just had to sit on the sidelines and believe and you saw what happened.
Vikings Defensive End Everson Griffen
Q: What was your reaction to the last play?
A: I was taking off my tape and I was just sitting there. Kyle Rudolph and I were talking about it and it is about time. That was the greatest play I have ever been a part of. I am just in complete shock right now. I am happy. It is unbelievable how that turned out. To catch it, score and win the game. We are on to the NFC Championship game.
Q: Can you talk about how the last play of the game finally went your way?
A: It is about time. It was special. I am shocked. I do not know what else to say. This is the first time ever I am out of words. Wow. That was unbelievable. About time.
Q: How did you get your hand on that ball to force that interception?
A: This is crazy. I do not know. Wow. Case, Diggs, all around it is never going to be easy once you get to this point. They came out strong in the second half. You stick in there and anything is possible.
Q: When is this going to sink in?
A: When I go home and watch "Remember the Titans". I do not know. I just want to go see my family, get in the car and drive and soak it in. This is real. This is unbelievable. About time.
Q: Can you believe the end of that game?
A: I do not believe it. I am in complete shock. It is unbelievable. It is amazing. About time. It does not matter how you win. Like Vin Diesel said, "You win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning." It is unbelievable.
Q: What is the range of emotions on the sideline?
A: My emotions were sad then they got really happy. I was completely in shock. I am in shock right now. I do not know. We won the game. It is unbelievable.
Vikings Linebacker Eric Kendricks
Q: 25 seconds left in the game you're on the sidelines thinking what?
A: I am hoping for that to happen, exactly. 100%. It happened, which is crazy.* *
Q: Can you explain the emotional flow of that game it went all over the map?
A: It was all over. We knew they were a good team, good offense. We made a few mistakes here and there, and it cost us a little bit. But we always fought; we are always going to fight. We are always going to scrap. We have seen that throughout the season when we are down, it doesn't matter. We've worked so hard. We have earned this.
Q: What are your emotions like after Drew Brees but them ahead and you're coming off the field?
A: You know, honestly the competitor in me, I couldn't help but think it was on me. I wanted to make that play, but they made a great play. That is why I have teammates; they have my back.
Q: When Stefon Diggs first came down with the ball did you think it was actually happening?
A: It better have been happening because I was already reacting. I was already celebrating. I didn't even see him cross the end-zone. I saw him running with no one around him and just started celebrating.
Q: Have you ever seen anything like that at any level?
A: Never. Never. I have never been on the same side of that. It is pretty crazy.
Q: You're up 17 – 0 and then they are chipping away describe that game?
A: We started off hot. We knew they were a good team though. We knew they were going to battle back. They are in a tough place. Our crowd is crazy. It is tough to play here. They settled down, started making plays. We have to do better.
Q: What do you think was able to disrupt Drew Brees so much in the first half?
A: A lot of things. We were playing team defense. That is half the battle. We had some contested looks and got off of the field early.
Q: 3rd and 1 where they kicked the go-ahead field goal you guys don't make the stop its game over what did you see on that play?
A: I mean, we knew they were going to run it a little bit. Everyone just played aggressive and got the stop.
Vikings Safety Harrison Smith
Q: What did you do after Diggs scored?
A: I think everybody just kind of walked out. I just ran on the field and threw my helmet, had to go back and find it. It was kind of surreal. It was almost like," Is there a flag? Is there a something?" It was just one of those plays that will go down.
Q: How important is it to keep composure in the end of games?
A: That's obviously easier said than done. I think this will help us moving forward because having that experience and knowing what we could have done differently, obviously what we did well at the end. But, defensively we've got to find a way to get off the field there and go ahead and win the game before the heroics are needed.
Q: What did you think of the hit that injured Sendejo?
A: I thought it was an illegal it. If you're going to talk about defenseless receivers and all that stuff, it has to go both ways. That's what I saw.
Q: Were you surprised to see the flag picked up afterwards?
A: Yeah, Sendejo got suspended for what was a legal hit and so I don't know anymore.
Q: Did this game show no matter how far a team is behind they can win?
A: You always have to have that faith, but as a defense we expect more out of ourselves in the second half. We have to watch what we could have done better and try to improve.
Q: What do you remember about your third and short stop that forced a field goal?
A: I don't know. Guys up front made the play and it turned out being big.
Q: Did you have an idea they were going to run to the middle on that play?
A: I mean they'll dial up anything at any time so you just have to play your keys.
Q: Is this the craziest game you have been a part of?
A: On the positive side, yeah. I've been on the other side before, but it's nice to be on this side of it.
Q: Brian Robison mentioned that people often talk about your defense more than your offense, thoughts?
A: They won the game. As a defense we have to do better in that second half and this team is a team: offense, defense, special teams. We needed them and they came through.
Q: A win like this shows a lot about this team, right?
A: Yeah, we are always going to compete. It doesn't matter how much time is left. We just try to go out there and make something happen.
Q: What was your view of Diggs' touchdown?
A: I was watching the big screen and initially I was like, 'Okay he caught it, just get out of bounds and set up this field goal,' and then I kind of started panicking and realized it was a walk off. You just don't see it that much.
Q: What was your attitude as your offense headed out there for the final drive?
A: We were disappointed in ourselves. We had a chance on fourth down to get off the field and didn't make it. We expect ourselves to make that play and we just watched the offense go to work and they won it for us.
Vikings Guard Joe Berger
Q: This team never says die, never says quit. What you say about what your offense did at the end of that game?
A: It's incredible. We had that opportunity at the end, and we knew if we could keep Case [Keenum] up, we got great receivers and someone would find a way to make a play.
Q: What were you thinking on the sidelines as you watched the defense and hoped you would have an opportunity to get back on the field?
A: A lot of games in the NFL come down to the last drive, the last series. In this case, there was a lot of last drives, drives that we thought were the last ones. You just go out there and keep faith in everybody and just keep playing.
Q: What can you say about Stefon Diggs's game winning catch?
A: It was incredible. Just the fact that he was able to make the guy miss. In that situation, the decision to step out and what to do there, he knew he could win and he did. It was incredible.
Q: You've been through many meaningful games in your career. Where does this game rank for you personally?
A: It's up there at the top right now. I'm hoping to have a couple more that mean a little more to me, but as far as right now this is it.
Q: Everyone says that you have to believe, and that's what it turned out to be.
A: No question. We left the bench believing something could happen, and it did.
Q: What was the feeling in the huddle before the final drive begun?
A: Kind of the way Case has been all year, just the calm confidence. Just keep him standing, and give someone an opportunity.
Vikings Wide Receiver Jarius Wright
Q: Were you right behind Stefon Diggs as he made that catch?
A: Oh yeah, I was running down the field too. Besides my 87-yard game winner [against the New York Jets on Dec. 7, 2014], even though it wasn't me, that was one of the best plays I've ever been a part of.
Q: When did you know Diggs was gone?
A: Once I saw him break the tackle I knew he was. I was running behind him with my finger up, and it was hard to even believe it then. My heart is still pounding.
Q: What does an ending like this say about this team?
A: How resilient we are, how we fight. We never gave up, even in the huddle and when we lined up, we all believed. We knew what it took to get it done. Special teams, offense, defense, we all played together, and we made a play when it mattered the most.
Q: You're heading to the NFC Championship game. What does that mean to you?
A: I'm getting chills just thinking about it. I've been here six years, and things haven't always gone our way, but today, things went our way. It feels so good, feels really good at this moment.
Vikings Kicker Kai Forbath
Q: What's your reaction to winning in that manner?
A: I think 'Wow' is perfect. I mean, that was incredible. When you're losing by two points or whatever at the end there and no one gave up. Just insane.
Q: The thought is, to get you in range. You had to have been preparing for that. Talk about the wave of emotion, from preparing and then have that type of outcome.
A: Just staying confident – we hit those two before. Just staying ready and even if Diggs went out of bounds, we were going to be in range. I was ready to kick another one, but what an incredible way to win.
Q: What's it like to stare down a 52-yard field goal in a playoff game?
A: I was trying to just tell myself, it's just like practice. I've made that kick plenty of times. Don't change anything – I didn't want to have any regrets after it. Just swing normal.
Q: The season continues – how gratifying is that feeling?
A: It's huge. That would have been a pretty terrible way to lose. We kept fighting and we got it done.
Vikings Tight End Kyle Rudolph
Q: Can you walk us through the final play of the game?
A: I saw him [Stefon Diggs] go up to make the catch and I knew we had a chance. They only had two guys over there and the first guy grabbed me right away so I knew we had a two-on- two with two guys who could go up and make a play. Case [Keenum] told us in the huddle he was going to give someone a chance. It's a play we've practiced all the time in for situations like that. Can't say it's ever ended that way. I knew we'd have a chance to at least kick a field goal to win the game and when he went up to make the catch I saw him make the catch and I saw the safety coming in to hit him low. All I could think was, "Don't hit him and let him fall right there." Then I saw him come down, keep his balance and take off running. I knew there was nobody left to cover him. I knew I was never going to catch him, but I was going to get there as fast as I could to celebrate with him. It's about time.
Q: Tell me more about "It's about time."
A: Just what this organization has been through and what we as a group have been through. Think back to the last time we were in the playoffs and rewind the past two years of all of the injuries and adversity we faced. Look at the first four weeks of our season this year, 2-2 and we lost our starting quarterback and starting running back. For a lot of people they would think it's just not meant to be, but that's not this group. That's not this group of men. That's the leadership that we have and all we know is to fight. They say all the time,"Fight for 60 minutes," and as long as we do that, we'll be happy. I never thought after 60 minutes it would end the way it did today.
Q: That's the most anyone has had to say about that last play, everyone else seems speechless.
A: Like I said, I had a pretty good view of it. I couldn't believe it. Things just don't work out that way. When you keep fighting and you do the right things and do the little things, it's bound to happen at some point.
Q: What are your thoughts on traveling to Philadelphia?
A: The biggest thing is that this is just the beginning. This isn't the end. This is great, don't get me wrong, and we should celebrate this and enjoy this, and it's hard to win playoff games. For a lot of guys, including myself, it's their first playoff win. But it's just the beginning. We've still got a lot of work to do and it would be a shame to let that go to waste by us not showing up.
Q: How satisfying is if for the offense to pick up the defense after all they've done this year?
A: We didn't pick anybody up. They played unbelievable. They held a Hall of Fame quarterback to a goose egg in the first half, put them in some tough situations in the second half and held them to a field goal at the end. That was huge. That gave us the opportunity to get back and try to match with another field goal. Walk off touchdowns are always good as well.
Q: Where does this rank in most memorable games in your career?
A: It has to be at the top. Unfortunately, if you go back through the course of my career, a few years at Notre Dame and a few years here, I've been on the other side of this a lot. I know what they are feeling in that locker room over there. I'm just blessed to be on this side this time.
Q: What can you tell us about Coach Zimmer's reaction to this win?
A: I just think he was so proud of us. Proud of us for fighting until there were zeros on the clock. Getting the ball back with under a minute left, we were in a dire situation, but if you have eleven guys that are out there and they won't quit, you always have a chance. Case told us before the play that someone was going to get that chance, and I never thought it would end like that.
Q: What can you say about this team compared to other years?
A: It's about the character that we have in the locker room, and the camaraderie, the group of guys, the talent, and our defense. They're the best in football. No question about it. To have the offense and special teams that we have to go with it, it makes things a lot of fun
Vikings Defensive Lineman Linval Joseph
Q: What was that like to be a part of?
A: 25 seconds, you never know what will happen. I was on the sidelines, I never gave up hope, I thought we were going to have to kick a 50-yard field goal, but Diggs and Keenum came up big. That was a really big play.
Q: Is this a sign of what this team is doing? Everyone always says the defense carries them but when the offense needs to they make a big play.
A: The offense had an opportunity to make a big play and they made a big play, bottom line. Most of the time the pressure is on us, or it happens to be us, but today it was on them and they delivered.
Q: What were you thinking during that last play?
A: Catch the ball, and give us a chance to kick a field goal, that's what I'm thinking. He caught the ball, the safety missed, whiffed, however you want to say it, he didn't go for the ball, and Diggs stayed on his feet and he scored. That's a play we'll remember for the rest of our lives, that was a crazy play.
Q: What was going threw your head after that happened?
A: I'm just thinking, man, God is good. You just got to believe man, 25 seconds left on the clock, nobody is giving us a chance, and we're their just believing that we got it done, that was a hell of play.
Q: You participate in the SKOL clap, do you like that?
A: Of course man, I love to get the fans involved. Without them, this would be impossible, it was loud today, and we needed that out there.
Q: When Drew Brees did what Drew Brees does, and you guys were walking off the field as defense, what were you thinking?
A: I'm just thinking, 25 seconds on the clock, let's see if we can make a big play.
Vikings Running Backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon
Q: What is your reaction to this game?
Murray: Just excited, happy. Stefon [Diggs] made a great play to finish out the game, and we finished. It's never over until it's over, and today was a great example of that.
Q: In all your years of playing football, have you ever seen a game end that dramatically?
Murray: Never. Great to be a part of it, great to be on the good side of it. I got to give them a lot of credit, they played a great game. They fought, we fought back, and we were able to come up with a big play at the end.
Q: Jerick, what was the mindset of the team on that final drive?
McKinnon: Just trying to find a way to move the ball and hopefully get a kick, get a chance to win the game with a field goal. Time was running out, and Case [Keenum] made a play, Diggs caught it and made a heck of a play. It's a wonderful feeling to come out with a win like that, I've never been a part of something like that. Stefon Diggs man, hell of a player, playmaker right there, he won us the game. Yeah, it's a good feeling, we're ready for next week.
Q: Is it the craziest ending you've ever been a part of?
McKinnon: Craziest ending I've ever been a part of out of my 25 years.
Murray: It's official, he [McKinnon] said he's going to name his kid Stefon.
McKinnon: Stefon, my first kid is going to be named Stefon.
Murray: Mine is going to be Diggs based off of today.
Q: What can you say about Diggs's ability to stay in bounds on the last play?
Murray: You saw him put that third leg down, using his hand. It was just a great play, an athletic play, I think one that we'll be talking about for a while. I haven't even checked my phone, but it's going to be one that's going to be talked about for a while.
Q: On to Philadelphia for the NFC Championship game. One more win and you come back here?
Murray: That's the plan. We've known that all year, but we know we can't look forward to the following week. We have to take it one game at a time. A divisional game, NFC Championship game, I'm excited. I'm excited for the opportunity and excited about this win right now.
McKinnon: One word to describe everything: legendary. But we got a good Eagles team that we're going up against. We played there last year, we know how tough the atmosphere is going to be. We're going to enjoy the heck out of this win, but we need to get everything together because it is going to be a tough one next week.
Q: What can you say about Case Keenum?
McKinnon: Playmaker. Everybody can say what they want to say about Case, but at the end of the day he makes plays, and he's been winning a lot of ball games for us. He fights.
Murray: I agree, he's done some great things. He's put us in this position to win a lot of games. He's our quarterback, he's our leader, and I'm happy to have him.
Q: It was a tale of two halves, right? You guys were dominant in the first half, and then New Orleans made a run.
Murray: That's football, that's going to happen. We've been with our backs against the wall, and I think we know how it can be. But you got to keep fighting, you got to keep playing, and we did that, especially those last 25 seconds.
Q: The fans were unbelievable, weren't they?
McKinnon: Top of the line. The stadium was electric today. You could just tell, especially when the defense was out there, just how loud they were. They've been bringing it all year. Shout out to them, just keep it coming. Without you all we wouldn't be able to do it, so we appreciate it.
Murray: On to Philly. Like he said, the fans have been great all year, so they deserve for us to get this win and bring it back home for them.
Vikings Center Pat Elflein
Q: It's a lot different your rookie season, it's not Ohio State here is it?
A: No, this is big boy ball. When you play in the playoffs everything is ramped up. The intensity is just insane. It was a great atmosphere.
Q: Did they present anything that was surprising to you?
A: No, they pretty much gave us what we expected and what they have showed all year. Those guys played their hearts out in a tough battle all game.
Q: Did the bye week help you get ready for this game?
A: The bye week helped not just me, but everybody. Everyone is banged up this time of year so being able to get healthy and recover was huge for us.
Q: I know you're normally watching the other linemen, but did you see Stefon Diggs' catch?
A: Yeah, that was incredible. I did happen to see that in the last play of the game.
Q: Did you see the replay?
A: I saw the replay. I was just worried about blocking my guy in front of me. When I saw Case [Keenum] got the ball off I was like "Alright, I did my job." Then I just heard the crowd go nuts and I saw him run to the end zone without getting tackled and I said, "I think we just won the game."
Q: What did you think of the noise today?
A: When you hear that crowd it's a good feeling, and you know you did your job.
Q: How do you prepare to take on the Philadelphia Eagles?
A: You stick to your routine and prepare like you do every week. It's a big game but you can't overthink it.
Q: How fun was this win today?
A: It's incredible. We've worked so hard and we get to keep playing.
Q: What were you thinking when you saw Stefon Diggs make that catch?
A: I didn't really see it, I just heard the crowd go nuts. I looked down the field and saw him running into the end zone with no one near him.
Q: How did you handle the emotions of this game?
A: I try to take it one play at a time, we still had a chance with a little bit of time left so we had to try to not get ahead of ourselves and guys made some plays.* *
Q: What was it like in the huddle for those last few plays?
A: Everyone believed. You could tell everyone was believing, especially Case [Keenum]. He keeps the faith and we believed in him. We knew we had playmakers and we gave them a shot and someone made a play.
Q: Was this the craziest game you've ever been a part of?
A: No doubt the craziest game I've ever been a part of. From start to finish it was nuts.
Q: What does this game say about this team?
A: We are fighters and we fight to the end with no time on the clock. That's the way we've been all year. We show up on game day and do our thing.
Vikings Offensive Tackle Reilly Reiff
Q: What was your reaction to the end of that game?
A: I looked around and thought, "Is this really happening?" I turned around to make sure there were no flags. It was crazy.
Q: Have you ever seen anything like that?
A: No, that was crazy.
Q: What does this say about the resiliency of your team?
A: We are going to go out there and fight. We are going to give it a 60-minute battle. Whatever it takes. We are going to put it all on the line and we are going to fight until the last second.
Q: How much does this game mean to you being so close to playing a Super Bowl at home?
A: We are going to let this one sink in a little bit and then we are going to get back to work tomorrow. We have to get ready for Philadelphia.
Q: Who was the first person you grabbed?
A: I do not even know. It is just a blur. I could not believe it happened.
Q: What do you think about Philadelphia?
A: It is going to be a fight. They play tough at home so we have to be ready for them.
Q: What did you think when Diggs caught the ball?
A: I checked to see if anyone was going to come close to tackling him and then I turned around to see if there were no flags.
Q: How did you approach that last 25 seconds?
A: We just have to go out there and execute. No one quit. We knew we had a chance. We had a little bit of luck on our side that is for sure.
Q: Was that a play you guys practice for those situations?
A: Yes. As offensive linemen, if he gets tackled in bounds, we have to go down there and spike it real quick.
Vikings Cornerback Xavier Rhodes
Q: Can you described what it was like to be on the field after that play?
A: It was amazing. It was a one of a kind moment. You have to believe in miracles. I am speechless.
Q: Can you talk about the defenses performance in the second half?
A: We were just on them. We had tight coverage and made them check down and make hard decisions. We have to do better in the second half so we can make the game easier.
Q: What did you see on Michael Thomas' hit on Andrew Sendejo?
A: He knew he was there. He kept going and hit him. It is what it is. Football is football. Andrew is going to be ok. He is a tough guy.
Q: How concerned were you that Sendejo's injury was going to sway the game?
A: It changed the momentum. As a defense, we need to come together after stuff like that. Me personally, I just have to let it go. I could not let go. But now, I am just happy it worked out.
Q: How do you describe that game?
A: It was just a crazy game man. I cannot explain it. It just happened. You're just thankful.
Q: Has it sunk in that you are going to Philadelphia yet?
A: We are happy about that. We just have one more to go and then we will be back here.
Q: What are your thoughts going against Nick Foles next week as a backup quarterback?
A: Look at us. Case [Keenum] was not a starter coming in. He made it happen. Their playing against our backup. It is going to be a battle of the backups. Whoever comes out on top is going to the Super Bowl.
Q: What are your initial impressions of the Eagles?
A: They run hard. They have a good receiving core, running back core and they have a great defense. We have to go down there and play hard.
Q: Is this a battle of who is going to be the best defense?
A: This is the battle of who is going to make it to the Super Bowl. That is the only battle there is.
Q: What is the range of emotion from them kicking the go-ahead field goal to the Stefon Diggs touchdown?
A: We were heartbroken when they made the field goal. Then Diggs came and made a miracle catch. It just turned everything.
Q: Did the offense pick you up today?
A: Definitely. Either side of the ball has to pick each other up. It is a team game and we showed it today.* *
Q: What was your view of the final play?
A: I thought it was going out of bounds. Once I saw that he missed the tackle, I knew what was happening. I am happy for him. I am happy for the team. We did not give up. That just shows you that we are going to fight all 60 minutes.
Q: How do you keep your composure at the end of games like this?
A: Just never give up. Believe in your team. Believe in the players. You have something like this happen.
Q: What makes you guys so successful on third downs?
A: Being aggressive. Being us. That is it. Not overdoing things. Get in their face and make their quarterback throw it fast. Getting sacks and knocking the ball down. We have been doing that all season. We feel good for where we are at as a team.