News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Stefon Diggs: Game-Winning Score Provides 'Storybook Ending'

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MINNEAPOLIS — No Stefon, that was not a dream.

Just the most unforgettable play in Vikings history. 

Stefon Diggs placed himself in Vikings lore Sunday evening by tiptoeing down the sideline on a 61-yard touchdown catch that gave Minnesota an improbable and unbelievable 29-24 victory over the Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium in the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

"I couldn't believe it," Diggs said. "There are plays like this that you dream for your whole life."

Added Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer: "There were so many things going on, 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 and jumped on me."

The Vikings faced third-and-10 on their own 39-yard line when the play came into quarterback Case Keenum's helmet.

It was called 7 Heaven.

The Vikings actually had run the play moments before but went back to it, looking to get into field goal range as they trailed 24-23 with 10 seconds remaining.

In the huddle before the play, Diggs said Keenum looked into the eyes of his teammates and said 'He was going to give somebody a chance.'

"I was hoping it was me," Diggs said.

Keenum lofted a pass high toward the right sideline, which Diggs caught and came down with at the New Orleans 34-yard line.

But after Saints safety Marcus Williams glanced off of Diggs, the Vikings wide receiver kept his balance near the sideline. 

"I felt the guy brush past me," Diggs said. "I took a [mental] picture before I turned around to catch the ball and there was only one guy there. 

"He slipped, so I was going to try and stay up and keep it going," Diggs added.

There was then nothing but open green turf as Diggs sprinted into the end zone and propelled the Vikings into the NFC Championship.

Diggs dropped the ball and held up his arms in celebration, but Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright smartly recovered the pigskin.

"I let it go, but Jarius saved it for me," Diggs said. "It's a special moment."

The former fifth-round pick was then mobbed by his teammates as a sea of Purple converged on the east end zone of U.S. Bank Stadium. 

"Funny story…they all laid on me, and I almost passed out," Diggs said. "There were some heavy guys, and I don't weigh that much. I was trying to catch my breath." 

Wright said the Vikings had run that play multiple times in practice, but the ball was never thrown to Diggs, as quarterbacks usually hit receivers who weren't as far down the field.

"That's the first time [he's caught it on that play]," Wright said. "That's why it was amazing … that moment was meant for us."

Diggs, who finished with six receptions for 137 yards and the miraculous score, said the moment washed over him following the game.

"I didn't 'boohoo,' just got a little teary-eyed," the 24-year-old said. 

The incredible play means the Vikings will now head to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Sunday in the NFC Championship, with the winner advancing to Super Bowl LII. Kickoff is at 5:40 p.m. (CT).

Diggs said he doesn't plan on reveling in the moment too long, as preparation now begins for a chance to play for football's biggest prize.

"I'm going to let this sink in for a couple more hours," Diggs said. "But we have a lot of work to do … we have a long way to go."

But there is no doubt that Stefon Diggs will never forget his first playoff touchdown reception, a 61-yard catch-and-run that sent U.S. Bank Stadium into delirium.

"It was kind of like a storybook ending," Diggs said. "And it never ends that way.

"But this is reality," Diggs added. "This is real life."

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