MINNEAPOLIS – It seemed the crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium couldn’t get louder … and then it did.
After entering halftime trailing the Broncos by 20, the Vikings scored four touchdowns in the second half.
When Stefon Diggs scored the third to cut the deficit to three, a roar reverberated throughout the building – a sound of hope renewed. After the 54-yard score, the video boards showed Diggs on the sideline, pumping his arms to rev up teammates and the fans alike.
His face bore all of the moment’s emotion, and the volume rose to a deafening level.
“It’s blood in the water,” Diggs said. “My mindset is when there’s blood in the water, you have to attack.”
Rookie receiver Bisi Johnson said that Diggs “brings a different kind of energy” to the Vikings.
“You can just feel it,” Johnson said. “Everybody feeds off of it – the fans feed off of it, we feed off of it. That’s why he’s so good at what he does.”
Fellow rookie Irv Smith, Jr., who scored his first career touchdown to put the Vikings on the board, called Diggs a great leader of the locker room.
“He gets me fired up every time,” Smith said. “Just seeing him out there, he goes to work every day in practice, and it shows in the game. I have a lot of respect for him, and he’s probably one of my favorite players.”
Diggs didn’t have a single catch through the first two quarters and was caught by the broadcast feed appearing noticeably agitated.
He was the first to acknowledge postgame that he often wears his passion on his sleeve.
“As much as I do my best to be a leader on this team and fight as much as I can, it is easy to get frustrated and try to push your guys and yourself to do everything that you can,” Diggs said. “I like to fight. I like when [you face] adversity because you see what kind of guys you’ve got.
“They showed today that they are going to fight each and every play when bad things are happening or we are down,” he continued. “When it rains, it [pours], and it definitely stormed today – but we brought our umbrella.”
Behind a stellar performance from Cousins, Diggs helped shift momentum in Minnesota’s favor and finished the day with five catches for 121 yards and the score, notching his fifth game this season with 100-plus yards through the air.
Asked about his first catch, a 44-yard play on the Vikings drive to open the third quarter, Diggs deflected credit to his quarterback.
“Kirk threw a great ball, and I was really just trying to do my job to get in position and make a play,” he said. “The little things go far. The little sparks like that, I feel like that’s part of my job and my role on this team.”
Diggs certainly did his job Sunday afternoon, even when he wasn’t the first target of a particular play.
On the touchdown, in fact, Cousins recalled going through his reads and eventually making it to Diggs, who outran Broncos corner Chris Harris on a backside post.
“He was pretty open. You go through your progression, one, two, three, four. Was he four? Yeah, he was four, but he's still part of the progression, and you look at the tape, you'll see that I had time to set up,” said Cousins, who rolled to his left before firing downfield. “I had time to get to number four. I had a coach in Washington that would say, ‘You hit that route once a decade,’ and we've hit it twice this year. So, it’s a little bit of an anomaly, but you go through your progression and take what they give you.”
Vikings running back Ameer Abdullah spoke about the spark that Diggs helped create when the team needed it most.
“That’s who he is,” said Abdullah, a fellow fifth-year vet. “He brings a certain level of intensity I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a player, and it brings a lot out of us.”
It feels good sitting at 8-3 headed into the bye week, but Diggs said it feels even better knowing the type of resiliency the Vikings have within them.
“It definitely feels better than losing, I promise you that,” he said. “I am more excited with the team that we have. It is easy to get down on yourself when you are behind at halftime. There were guys in the locker room, such as Kirk, Riley [Reiff] and Kyle [Rudolph] who were saying that we could do it. I remember being down by  points at Green Bay, and we fought to get back in that game, but we wanted a different outcome for this one.
“I feel like we had a chance, and we’ve come up short in multiple occasions since I’ve been here,” Diggs later added. “In moments like that, I’ve seen this team fight and do everything they can to get back in the game. Blood was in the water, and we did what we had to do.”