EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Their minds still racing with childlike exuberance over the stunning last-snap victory that sent them to the NFC championship game, many of the Minnesota Vikings remained awake several hours past midnight. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes replayed the video clip of the winning touchdown “about a thousand times” at home, searing the image of Stefon Diggs leaping to catch the pass from Case Keenum and sprinting for the end zone into his memory forever so the
MINNEAPOLIS — There wasn’t much left for Case Keenum to do but to fling the ball deep and hope for a miracle. Miracle answered. Keenum completed a last-ditch heave near the sideline Sunday on the game’s final play, and Stefon Diggs slithered away for a 61-yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 29-24 victory over New Orleans and send the Vikings to the NFC championship game, with one more win needed to become a first-time Super Bowl host. Drew Brees had driven the Saints in
MINNEAPOLIS — Drew Brees will lead the New Orleans offense onto the field at Minnesota and commence the 13th postseason game of his stellar career, already armed with seven such victories and one Super Bowl ring for the Saints. “I prepare for every game as if it’s that magnitude,” Brees said. “When you’re in games of that magnitude, it’s as if you’ve been there and done it many times before, even if it was just in your mind.” For Case
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer says he hasn’t made a decision regarding the status of quarterback Sam Bradford, who has practiced the last two weeks in an attempt to be activated from the injured reserve list. Case Keenum will be the Vikings starting quarterback in Sunday’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. After practice on Friday, Zimmer refuted a report that Bradford might be activated. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe
Drew Brees passed for 376 yards and two scores, and the New Orleans Saints held off the Carolina Panthers’ late comeback bid to seal a 31-26 victory in their NFC wild-card game on Sunday. The Panthers had a first down on the Saints 26-yard line with 58 seconds left, but heavy pressure by All-Pro defensive end Cameron Jordan a couple plays later induced an intentional grounding penalty on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, making it third-and-25 on the Saints 34 and a required 10-second
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have begun another postseason adventure, backed by an often-burned fan base carrying several scars from flameouts of playoffs past. There’s already a dose of modesty embedded in state culture that contributes to regulated expectations, and the memories of Darrin Nelson’s drop, Gary Anderson’s miss and Brett Favre’s misfire naturally make the purple-clad people more hesitant to get their hopes up this time. Well,
ATLANTA — The Vikings frustrated Matt Ryan, blanketed Julio Jones and kept the Atlanta Falcons out of the end zone. Minnesota’s eighth straight victory was all about defense. Case Keenum threw a pair of touchdown passes, including the go-ahead score on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the guys on the other side of the line were largely responsible for the Vikings extending their winning streak to eight in a row Sunday with a grind-it-out, 14-9 victory over the Falcons.