Minnesota Vikings postseason history is littered with heartbreak. Sunday made that suffering all worth it as Stefon Diggs' 61-yard touchdown reception as time expired gave the Vikings a 29-24 win over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round.
The NFL shared a replay of the score, which will likely be remembered forever among Vikings fans:
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade were among those watching the action unfold:
Diggs took some time out during his postgame celebration to post this on Twitter:
Wil Lutz had put New Orleans ahead with a 43-yard field goal. That left the Vikings with 25 seconds on the clock to go 75 yards for a touchdown—or at least get the ball close enough to be in range for kicker Kai Forbath.
NFL writer Jason Cole tried to put the finish in perspective:
One team's elation is another team's anguish. Saints rookie safety Marcus Williams exceeded expectations in 2017, but his effort on Diggs' touchdown grab will be all fans remember from his season.
Had Williams tackled Diggs in bounds, the game likely would've been over. The Vikings were out of timeouts, and Diggs caught the ball with five seconds left on the clock. That almost certainly wouldn't have been enough time to get the special teams unit on the field for a go-ahead field goal.
Instead, Williams whiffed on his attempted tackle of Diggs, leaving the third-year wideout a wide-open path to the end zone.
Many criticized Williams' effort on social media:
Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith
This mistake by Marcus WILLIAMS — missing that play on Stefon Diggs — May be the absolute WORST MISTAKE I’ve ever seen in NFL Post-Season History. If it’s not THE worst it’s certainly up there. All the man had to do is make a tackle and the game is over. Horrible, Horrible Error.
Free-agent safety Duke Ihenacho offered some context on what Williams was likely thinking on the play:
Based on his first season, Williams has a long, productive NFL career ahead. But it will be some time before Sunday's game fades from the memory of Saints fans.
That will be of little concern to Vikings fans, who are preparing for Minnesota's first appearance in the NFC Championship Game since 2009.
In that game, the Saints beat the Vikings 31-28 in overtime. Brett Favre threw an interception with 14 seconds remaining in regulation as the Vikings were on the Saints' 38-yard line. That will make Sunday's win all the more satisfying for Vikings fans.