Chris Snan, Staff Columnist~
This football season is hanging in the balance for two teams. The winner moves on in hopes of winning the Super Bowl and gloriously returning home as world champs, while the loser joins the other 28 teams who didn’t make it, as they watch another team accomplish their season goal.
On Sunday, Jan. 14, the country watched as the Minnesota Vikings took the stage against the New Orleans Saints, in what was a highly-anticipated matchup. The fifth year, somewhat shaky, quarterback Case Keenum marches on the field with his team, as the veteran QB Drew Brees and his squad glare back at them. Both teams send a prayer and then they’re rolling.
The first half belonged to the dominant Vikings as they put up 17 points while holding the Saints to zero. Brees and his offense are ranked second in total yards and points scored among all 32 teams, while Xavier Rhodes (starting cornerback) and his Vikings lead the league in defense. Minnesota clearly showed up to play, only giving up 90 total yards to this juggernaut offense. Something’s gotta change for the Saints, or this game will get ugly.
As expected, the second half was a completely different story as the Saints rallied the comeback and, all of a sudden, we had a ball game. Drew Brees went on a tear, throwing for two touchdowns and giving his team a hope of actually winning the game. With the score 17-14 midway into the fourth quarter, each drive is crucial for both teams, and every second counts.
Back and forth these two teams went, trading blows and rapidly putting up points in the hope that they could outlast their opponents. With only minutes to go, we have a neck and neck game in Minnesota, with the Saints up 24-23. Just when it seems like the Saints are going to hold them off and get a step closer to appearing on the biggest stage of them all, Keenum launches the ball to his trusty receiver, Stefon Diggs, who makes a play. Not only did he catch the ball, but Diggs was able to beat the last man standing between the Vikings and their dreams of having a home Super Bowl for the first time in history, by scoring the last-second touchdown everybody wanted to see.
In the snap of a finger, the Saints are down 29-24 with no time left, and the Vikings have done it. But now they face Philadelphia, the number one team in the NFC. The task will not be easy, but they proved they can hang with the best in this stellar performance, so don’t rule them out just yet.