Stefon Diggs raced 61 yards on the final play of the game to lift the Minnesota Vikings to a 29-24 win over the New Orleans Saints in Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Saints rookie safety Marcus Williams, who had an earlier interception, lowered his head and tried to deliver a big hit on Diggs, who leapt to catch the pass from Case Keenum. Williams missed and instead hit cornerback Ken Crawley, leaving Diggs free to score untouched.
"This game was over, but I don't stop playing until the clock reaches zero," Diggs, who finished with six catches for 137 yards, told Fox Sports.
Minnesota (14-3) secured a spot in next Sunday's NFC championship game against the Eagles (14-3) in Philadelphia.
Minnesota's defense was dominant in the first half, holding the Saints (12-6) without a third-down conversion on four chances. The Saints finished two of nine as the Vikings built a 17-0 half-time lead as the Saints were shut out in the first half of a game for the first time since September 28, 2014.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who set an NFL record by completing 72 per cent of his passes, went 25 of 40 for 294 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked twice times by an aggressive Vikings defense, including a blitz from safety Harrison Smith.
KEENUM PLAYING AT A CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL
The Vikings quarterback finished 25 of 40 for 318 yards with a touchdown and interception. He was also nine of 12 on third down to help keep drives alive and the Saints offense on the sideline. Keenum was superb during the regular season, throwing for 3,547 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was not even supposed to be the starter, but took over for Sam Bradford in week two and the Vikings never skipped a beat.
Keenum was in the MVP conversation late in the season and showed why on Sunday.
INJURIES HURT THE VIKINGS' DEFENSE
The Saints' offense found some success in the second half and a trio of injuries to key Vikings players were a factor. Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen was lost in the first half with a knee injury, but the bigger injuries occurred in the second half.
Starting safety Andrew Sendejo, who had Minnesota's first interception, was knocked out of the game with a concussion after Thomas delivered a vicious blow that was initially penalized before the flag was picked up.
Starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes was then injured, though he later returned, and the Saints scored two plays later on the three-yard pass from Brees to Thomas.
VIKINGS WILL PLAY SUPER BOWL
The Eagles have a good defense. The Vikings have a great defense and, against Philadelphia's struggling offense, Minnesota's defense will lead the team to their first Super Bowl since 1976. The Vikings have appeared in four Super Bowls, but lost them all. A win over the Eagles will have the Vikings back in the title game, and in their own stadium.
The Vikings are back in the NFC championship game for the first time since 2009, when they lost to the Saints. After avenging that postseason loss to the Saints, the Vikings now have a chance to beat the Eagles in the postseason for the first time ever. The Eagles have won all three postseason meetings against the Vikings, though the teams have not met in the playoffs since 2008.
|I feel great - Kerr keeps faith with Warriors on the brink|
|Trout hits 15th HR, Bundy strikes out 14|
|Rockets star Paul dealing with hamstring injury|
|Rockets push Warriors to brink of elimination|
|WATCH: Paul shimmies in Curry´s face|
|Rockets honour Santa Fe victims, first responders at game five|
|Marshall, Baldwin react strongly to Trump´s comments on NFL anthem stance|
|Pedroia to return for Red Sox on Friday|
|Warriors´ Iguodala ruled out for game five against Rockets|
|James Harden, LeBron James headline 2017-18 All-NBA first team|
|They´re using the anthem as fake patriotism - Warriors coach Kerr critical of NFL|
|President Donald Trump praises NFL´s anthem stance|
|Milwaukee police apologise to Bucks´ Brown over tasering|
|49ers Enterprises takes stake in Leeds United|
|´No secrets´ in playoffs, says Celtics rookie Tatum|
|Cubs, Yankees find very different ways to lose|
|LeBron feeling worn down following Cavs loss|
|Ovechkin leads Capitals into Stanley Cup Finals|
|Celtics rebound with key game-five win over Cavs|
|Warriors duo Thompson, Iguodala questionable for game five|
|Cardinals´ Ozuna absent from line-up because he overslept|
|Jets will not punish players for incurring anthem-related fines|
|Steelers´ Antonio Brown advises Le´Veon Bell to ´show up´|
|Clippers extend coach Rivers´ contract|
|Brady will attend Patriots mini-camp despite OTA absence - Kraft|
|NFL stars must stand for national anthem if on field|
|Arizona, New Orleans land Super Bowls as NFL draft heads to Nashville|
|WATCH: Anthony Joshua serves up Stephen Curry assist|
|Rockets backed up fighting talk, says Harden|
|Curry not taking the blame for defeated Warriors|
|Brewers extend Diamondbacks´ losing streak to six|
|Rockets break Warriors´ 16-game home postseason win streak|
|Chargers tight end Henry suffers torn ACL|
|WATCH: Harden dunks all over Green|
|Giants sign wide receiver Shepard|
|Stevens says Tatum should´ve been unanimous All-Rookie First Team selection|
|Rodgers on Bryant: If he ends up here, we´ll welcome him|
|Jets´ Hackenberg dealt to Raiders for 2019 conditional pick|
|Mets sign Bautista, start him same day|
|Warriors´ Iguodala ruled out for game four|
|Warriors´ Iguodala upgraded to questionable for game four|
|Simmons, Mitchell unanimous picks for NBA All-Rookie first team|
|Ronaldo again pips LeBron and Messi as sport´s most famous star|
|A fast start to life - The Golden Knights and the expansion teams who excelled early|
|It doesn´t get better - Stevens relishing best-of-three shootout for Celtics|
|LeBron and Lue hail evergreen Kyle Korver|
|Yankees´ home runs fuel win over Rangers|
|LeBron scores 44 points as Cavs level series against Celtics|
|LeBron James sets record for postseason field goals|
|Nationals´ Juan Soto hits homer in second career at-bat|
|Eli Apple embarrassed by 2017 antics, ready to move forward|
|Bills release Richie Incognito from reserve/retired list|
|Gentry and Pelicans want Cousins back in New Orleans|
|MLB extends Blue Jays closer Osuna´s administrative leave|
|LeBron ´appreciative´ of hometown effort to put up statue of him|
|LeBron or Kawhi could lead Lakers to the Finals - World Peace|
|Harden, D´Antoni rue ´soft´ Rockets performance in Warriors drubbing|
|Wash your mouth out! - Curry´s expletive outburst earns scolding from mother|
|Ohtani says he´s not good enough for Home Run Derby yet|
|Braves rally for six runs in the ninth to defeat Marlins|
|Warriors breeze past Rockets in game three|
|Golden Knights GM on Stanley Cup Finals berth: I don´t know how we did it|
|I did a ´s*** job´ defending LeBron James – Morris|
|Cavs´ Lue not satisfied with just one win|
|Sweden win shoot-out to retain world title|
|I think I made a fantastic decision - Garoppolo key to Sherman joining 49ers|
|Green: Warriors play best when we feel threatened|
|Don´t try it at home! - LeBron wows with game three passing|
|Celtics ´needed to get our butts whooped´ by Cavs, says Rozier|
|NBA great Bill Russell released from hospital|