It might very well be destiny for the Minnesota Vikings to return to Minneapolis for this year's Super Bowl, and Sunday's game could be proof of that. After Will Lutz hit the go-ahead 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds left, the Vikings got the ball back, and somehow in that short amount of time, pulled off one of the biggest miracles in NFL playoff history. Case Keenum connected with Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard touchdown as time expired, sending the Vikings over the New Orleans Saints, 29-24. Diggs somehow found a way to stay in bounds, as three Saints' defenders failed to tackle Diggs, which would've ended the game. Diggs finished with six catches for 137 yards, while that was Keenum's lone touchdown pass to go along with 318 yards passing. Lutz's late field goal helped complete the Saints' comeback from a 17-point deficit, Drew Brees found Michael Thomas for two touchdowns within 3:09 in the second half to begin the rally, the second of which was set up by Keenum's one interception. The win sends the Vikings to Philadelphia to battle the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game next week, which will be a battle of teams with backup quarterbacks and great defenses. This also puts the Vikings one win away from playing in Super Bowl 52 in front of their home crowd.
Jaguars Knock Off Steelers Again to Advance
The Jacksonville Jaguars seem to have the Pittsburgh Steelers' number, and they proved it during the regular season as well as Sunday afternoon in the postseason. Leonard Fournette ran for 109 yards and scored three touchdowns, while Blake Bortles threw for 214 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars' 45-42 win over the Steelers, which was their second win of the year at Heinz Field. Jacksonville wasted little time, taking a 21-0 lead in the first half on two touchdowns from Fournette, and another scoring run from T.J. Yeldon. The Steelers did their best to fight back, as Ben Roethlisberger threw for 469 yards and a franchise playoff record with five touchdown passes in the tough loss. They did have Antonio Brown back, who caught seven passes for 132 yards and two acrobatic touchdowns and Le'Veon Bell totaled 155 yards on the night. The Steelers got within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but otherwise, trailed by double digits just about the entire game. They did score a touchdown with a second left to make things closer, in a questionable call to not give themselves more time for a potential onside kick. The Steelers could've kicked a field goal with much more time left and go for the onside kick, which, in the end, they never really did. The Jaguars, in their first postseason appearance since 2007, will visit the New England Patriots next Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.
Heat, Flames Stay Hot With Seventh Straight Win
There are two teams in sports that are following the pun of staying hot with their recent win streaks, and they kept the parallel play going on Sunday. First, the Miami HEAT blew past the Milwaukee Bucks, 97-79, for their seventh straight win. Goran Dragic scored 25 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, as the Heat held the Bucks to their worst shooting percentage in five seasons. Milwaukee finished at 32 percent shooting, which is their lowest in a regular season game since March 22nd, 2013. Giannis Antetokoumpo and Malcolm Brogdon combined to shoot 13-of-24, while the rest of their team finished just 12-for-55 from the floor. Josh Richardson scored 16 and Hassan Whiteside added 15 points and 10 rebounds in Miami's 25th win of the season. Meanwhile, the Calgary FLAMES did the same in the NHL with their seventh straight win, 4-1, over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Dougie Hamilton scored twice and Mike Smith made 38 saves for Calgary, who sits a point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for second place in the Pacific Division. Matt Stajan and Matthew Tkachuk also scored for the Flames, who were without leading scorer, Sean Monahan, due to the flu. The Hurricanes have now dropped four of their past five games overall as they got 26 saves from Scott Darling in the loss. Lee Stempniak was the only Cane to find the back of the net on their home ice. The Flames are also nine points behind the impressive Las Vegas Golden Knights for the top spot in the division.