What if the ‘Minneapolis Miracle’ never happened for the Vikings?

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Stefon Diggs
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Stefon Diggs /

How would the Minnesota Vikings look today without their miracle moment in 2017?

Stefon Diggs tossing his helmet off as thousands of Minnesota Vikings fans scream with excitement at the end of the team’s win in the divisional round of the 2017 playoffs is something that will be remembered forever in American sports history.

Yes, of course, we are talking about the infamous “Minneapolis Miracle” play that saw Diggs score a last-second touchdown to give the Vikings an improbable victory over the New Orleans Saints in the 2017 postseason.

It’s a moment that many Minnesota fans can tell you exactly where they were when it happened. But it’s also a moment that has arguably led to how the franchise is currently set up.

How different would the Minnesota Vikings look if the ‘Minneapolis Miracle’ never happened?

So what if Diggs wasn’t able to haul in Case Keenum’s pass on the right sideline of the field, avoid two Saints defenders, and jog into the end zone for the game-winning score on that memorable January evening? What would have gone differently for the Vikings if this sequence didn’t happen?

For starters, would Diggs still be on Minnesota’s roster? Did the constant replay of his miracle moment on TV shows everywhere get to his head? Did it cause him to realize he was worthy of a bigger role than what the Vikings were giving him?

What about Kirk Cousins? Would pursuing the free-agent quarterback still be something Minnesota did if they didn’t advance to the 2017 NFC Championship? Would turning to the 2018 NFL Draft for a new passer such as Lamar Jackson be what the Vikings would have done instead?

It’s safe to assume Pat Shurmur probably would have still left for a head coaching position elsewhere, but who would have ended up taking over his old role as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator if the “Miracle” never happened?

Since the Vikings wouldn’t have advanced to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship, it’s possible that Minnesota doesn’t replace Shurmur with John DeFilippo. This might have resulted in the Vikings making Kevin Stefanski their offensive coordinator before the 2018 season and not midway through the campaign.

What about Mike Zimmer? If not for the “Minneapolis Miracle”, would Zimmer enter the 2018 season on the hot seat due to being unable to deliver Minnesota a single playoff win in his first four years with the team?

Obviously, we will never know the answers to any of these questions. Still, it’s just interesting to step back and think about how much the absence of one play could have potentially changed how the Vikings have operated in the last three seasons.