On Sunday, in one of the most the most dramatic finishes in NFL history, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 29-24 on a last-ditch 61-yard touchdown strike from Vikings quarterback Case Keenum to wide receiver Stefon Diggs with ten seconds to play.
But that was only the beginning.
The amazing play would have been dramatic enough, but everything that followed was a wonderful series of events in which one man’s humility along with his excitement made for some unforgettable moments.
First, the play:
Then, Keenum leading the Vikings fans in the victorious chant of “Skol,” before the Vikings kicked the extra point:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 15, 2018
Finally, to top it off, when he was interviewed after the game, and asked how he felt, Keenum responded, “It’s probably the third best day of my life; the day I gave my life to Jesus Christ, the day I married my wife, and probably this one.”
“It’s probably the third best day of my life; the day I gave my life to Jesus Christ, the day I married my wife, and probably this one.” Vikings QB Case Keenum on FOX #NFLPlayoffs #vikings #NOvsMIN #JOXRT @JOXRoundtable pic.twitter.com/rlu9BFhIBt
— Jim Dunaway (@jimdunaway) January 15, 2018
Keenum’s story is a great one; prior to leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship game, which they haven’t won in 41 years, he played in college at Houston, where he set the NCAA record for total passing yards, touchdowns, and completions.
Then he hit the skids in the pros. Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Houston Texans, Keenum spent the entire 2012 regular season on the practice squad. In 2013, Keenum was placed on the Texans’ 53-man roster as a third string quarterback behind starter Matt Schaub and second-string quarterback T. J. Yates. He went 0–8 as a starter for the Texans in 2013. In August 2014, Keenum was waived by the Texans and claimed off waivers the next day by the St. Louis Rams, then waived by the Rams on October 28, 2014.
On December 15, 2014, Keenum was signed off the Rams practice squad back to the Houston Texans. In March 2015, Keenum was acquired by the Rams again from the Texans. He suffered a concussion in the 11th game of the season but did not come out of the game; he then led the Rams to three consecutive victories. In 2016, after leading the team to three straight wins, he was eventually replaced by Jared Goff.
But then, after signing a one-year contract with the Vikings for 2017, Keenum replaced Sam Bradford at quarterback after Bradford was injured, and became the starting quarterback in Week 2. He led the Vikings to a 13-3 regular season record, then executed his heroics on Sunday.