Ed-itorial: Saints fall to Vikes as Football Gods giveth and taketh away

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings scores a touchdown as time expires against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of the NFC Divisional Playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Eight years after some bad postseason luck against the Saints, the Minnesota Vikings got some football karma in return.

Case Keenum’s 61 yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs on the final play of the game reversed a pattern of bad Vikings luck in the playoffs.

Minnesota has had more than its share.

A missed field goal by Gary Anderson, his first of the season, was the difference in a three point Viking loss at home to Atlanta in the NFC championship game in the 1998 season.

2 years ago in the playoffs, the Vikings’ Blair Walsh duck hooked a 27 yard field goal attempt that would have given Minnesota a win over Seattle.

And, 8 years ago in the Superdome, the Vikings thought they were headed for the game winning field goal try. But, on third down at the 33 yard line near the end of regulation, the Vikings were whistled for 12 men in the huddle. On the next play, Brett Favre was intercepted by Tracy Porter. The Saints then won in overtime. Two weeks later, the Saints beat the Colts in the Super Bowl.

On December 28th, 1975 at home against the Cowboys, the Vikings lost on a 50 yard Hail Mary pass from quarterback Roger Staubach to wide receiver Drew Pearson.

Jog forward 42 years, and Saints head coach Sean Payton said this is of 29-24 loss to Minnesota.

“It will take a while to get over this one,” said Payton.

This one stings more than the January 2012 playoff loss at San Francisco. Then, the Saints should have been playing the Giants the next Sunday at the Superdome in the NFC championship.

The better team did not win this game.

In the second half, the Saints dominated, rallying from a 17-0 deficit to take a 24-23 lead on 43 yard field goal by Wil Lutz with 25 seconds remaining.

Drew Brees was magnificent in the second half, throwing for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Saints defense end Cam Jordan was unblockable, and the Saints got a blocked punt that turned into a Brees touchdown pass to Alvin Kamara.

The Saints have an outstanding young nucleus, including safety Marcus Williams, who whiffed on the tackle on the final play.

They will likely have more chances in games like this, as early as next season.

But, they let a golden opportunity get away. And, it is a shame.

Meantime, in the AFC, the Patriots will play in their 7th straight conference championship game. If anyone should have an appreciation for just how significant that is, it should be the New Orleans Saints.