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Saints Lose a Heartbreaker to Vikings 24-29 as the Season Ends

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The Saints gave themselves a chance, but an improbable touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs ended their season

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NFL season was an unpredictable one for the New Orleans Saints. After three straight 7-9 seasons (from 2014 to 2016) the Saints (11-5) found themselves atop the NFC South again this year, edging the Carolina Panthers on the back of their sweep of the two regular season games between the teams.

After defeating the Panthers for a third time this season in the Wild Card round, the Saints were faced with the daunting task of beating the NFC’s number two seed Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota for a chance to advance to the NFC Championship game next Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The first half of the game started out like an absolute nightmare, as the Saints proved to be no match for the Vikings, either offensively or defensively. After two quarters, New Orleans found itself down 17-0 with Drew Brees throwing two interceptions, one occurring on a tipped pass when the Saints were knocking on the door to reduce their deficit.

In the second half, the Saints defense provided the spark the team needed, stopping the Vikings on their first drive and allowing the offense to take the ball and get the team on the board. Trailing 17-7, the Saints would outscore the Vikings 14-3 to take a 21-20 lead late in the fourth quarter. With the teams exchanging field goals in the waning minutes of the game, the Saints held a precarious 24-23 lead. The defense unfortunately couldn’t hold on, as Case Keenum found Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard desperation touchdown pass that Marcus Williams played terribly, going for a hit instead of wrapping up.

The Saints season ends short of their goal of going to the Super Bowl or winning it, but it was a year that saw a lot of rookies ensure that the team’s future is bright. The season was a blast, and despite the heartbreaking finish, the Saints will be back and we are forever Who Dats!

Here’s a quarter by quarter recap of the game:

1st HALF

1st Quarter

  • Vikings win the toss and defer to the 2nd half. Saints have the ball first
  • Saints promptly go three-and-out
  • Vikings get a good return near midfield
  • Vikings get into the red zone
  • Vikings score an easy touchdown with Jerick McKinnon
  • NO: 0 - MIN: 7
  • Saints start from their 25-yard line after a touchback
  • Saints get one first down but stall again and punt
  • Vikings get into Saints territory on a Ken Crawley pass interference
  • Crawley walks the Vikings near the goal line on another DPI
  • Minnesota stalls on 3rd and goal and makes a field goal
  • NO: 0 - MIN: 10
  • Alvin Kamara returns the kickoff to the 20-yard line
  • Saints go three-and-out again
  • Saints defense forces a three-and-out and the first punt for the Vikings
  • Drew Brees throws a deep interception on his first pass of the series
  • Vikings take over at their 42-yard line
  • Minnesota gets into Saints territory as the quarter ends

2nd Quarter

  • Vikings get into the Saints red zone
  • Pass interference call, this time on Marcus Williams gives Vikings 1st and goal
  • Latavius Murray runs into the endzone for a touchdown
  • NO: 0 - MIN: 17
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line
  • Saints get into the Vikings’ red zone
  • Brees’ pass is tipped and intercepted by Anthony Barr
  • Vikings take over near midfield but go three-and-out
  • Saints take over at their 10-yard line
  • Saints get near midfield on a screen to Alvin Kamara
  • Brees gets sacked on 3rd and 10
  • Wil Lutz misses a 58-yard field goal
  • Vikings take the ball at their 48-yard line
  • Roughing the passer penalty gets the Vikings into field goal range
  • Kai Forbath misses a 49-yard field goal
  • Saints kneel down as the half ends

2nd HALF

3rd Quarter

  • Saints kickoff and Minnesota starts at its 25-yard line
  • Vikings get into Saints territory
  • Case Keenum is sacked by Sheldon Rankins, forcing a punt
  • After a touchback, Saints start at their 20-yard line
  • Saints get deep into Vikings territory on a long pass to Michael Thomas
  • Brees throws a touchdown to Michael Thomas
  • NO: 7 - MIN: 17
  • After the touchback, Minnesota starts at their 25-yard line
  • Case Keenum throws an interception to Marcus Williams
  • Saints take the ball at the Vikings’ 30-yard line
  • Saints get into the red zone on a pass to Josh Hill as the quarter ends

4th Quarter

  • Saints get near the goal line on a pass to Alvin Kamara for a 1st and goal
  • Brees throws a pass to Michael Thomas for his 2nd touchdown of the game
  • NO: 14 - MIN: 17
  • Vikings take over at their 25-yard line after the touchback
  • Vikings get into Saints territory after a long pass play to Jarius Wright
  • Kai Forbath makes a 49-yard field goal
  • NO: 14 - MIN: 20
  • Kamara returns the kickoff to the 27-yard line
  • Willie Snead misses Kamara on a wide receiver pass play on 3rd and 1
  • Saints punt and pin the Vikings at their 10-yard line
  • Saints stop the Vikings on 3rd and 14
  • George Johnson blocks the Vikings punt
  • Saints take over a Minnesota’s 40-yard line
  • Brees throws a touchdown to Alvin Kamara
  • NO: 21 - MIN: 20
  • Vikings take over at their 25-yard line
  • Vikings get deep into Saints territory on a long pass to Adam Thielen
  • Vikings stall on 3rd and 5 and Kai Forbath makes a 53-yard field goal
  • NO: 21 - MIN: 23
  • Saints take over a their 25-yard line with 1:29 left
  • Saints get into Vikings territory on two passes
  • On 4th and 10 Willie Snead makes a huge 3rd down catch
  • Saints stall and Wil Lutz kicks a 43-yard field goal
  • NO: 24 - MIN: 23
  • Vikings take the ball over at their 25-yard line with 25 seconds left
  • Vikings throw a 61-yard touchdown on the last pass of the game
  • NO: 24 - MIN: 29
  • Saints season ends on a sour note. But it was a great season!
  • Who Dat Y’all!

Poll

What will you remember from the Saints 2017 season?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Improbable wins, it was all lagniappe
    (42 votes)
  • 28%
    Heartbreaking finish, but it was a good year
    (435 votes)
  • 11%
    Good team and the future looks brighter
    (173 votes)
  • 32%
    Defense just screwed Brees of another chance at a ring
    (504 votes)
  • 25%
    I need so many burgers of sorrow right now
    (393 votes)
1547 votes total Vote Now