It took the Vikings 8 minutes to run a meaningless play after their playoff game was decided — but gamblers rejoiced

  • The Minnesota Vikings pulled off a miracle win over the New Orleans Saints with a last-second touchdown.
  • Saints players immediately left the field, and it took more than eight minutes to run the extra-point as required by NFL rules.
  • In theory, the rule is supposed to keep the meaningless extra point from deciding the outcomes of bets.
  • In this case, many gamblers rejoiced when the Vikings opted to take a knee instead of attempt the kick.


The Minnesota Vikings pulled off a miracle win in their divisional round playoff matchup against the New Orleans Saints when Case Keenum hit Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard, game-winning touchdown as time expired.

The touchdown erased a 24-23 deficit and gave the Vikings a 29-24 win. After Diggs scored, the stadium erupted, the Vikings went nuts, and the Saints raced for the locker room.

There was just one problem: NFL rules require teams to attempt the extra point even if it has no impact on the outcome.

The Vikings eventually lined up for the extra point, but there were no Saints in sight.

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While the Vikings waited for the Saints to return, Keenum led the crowd in a Vikings skol chant.


But while Keenum, his teammates, and the fans were relaxed, there was one group who nervously awaited the outcome — gamblers.

The Vikings were favored by 4.5 points most of the week and the touchdown itself settled those bets. But in the last day or two, the line jumped up to 5.5 points at a lot of sportsbooks, meaning that the extra point would decide who won money and who lost.

See photos from the miracle game-winning play: 

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Minnesota Vikings beat New Orleans Saints on miracle play
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Minnesota Vikings beat New Orleans Saints on miracle play
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings jumps to make a catch over Marcus Williams #43 of the New Orleans Saints as Jarius Wright #17 of the Minnesota Vikings and Ken Crawley #20 of the New Orleans Saints look on during the second half of the NFC Divisional Playoff game on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Diggs scored a touchdown on the play (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings leaps to catch the ball in the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Diggs scored a 61-yard touchdown to win the game 29-24. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings leaps to catch the ball in the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Diggs scored a 61-yard touchdown to win the game 29-24. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings scores a touchdown as time expires against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of the NFC Divisional Playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball to score a touchdown as time expired in the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Saints 29-24. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after scoring a touchdown to defeat the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) catches his balance after beating coverage to score the game winning touchdown as time expired during a NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Vikings defeated the Saints 29-24 to advance to the NFC Championship Game.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) celebrates his game winning touchdown during a NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Vikings defeated the Saints 29-24 to advance to the NFC Championship Game.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets emotional after scoring the game winning touchdown as time expired after a NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints on January 14, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Vikings defeated the Saints 29-24 to advance to the NFC Championship Game.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after defeating the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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In theory, this is exactly why the NFL forces teams to attempt the extra point. It is designed to keep the decision to kick or not kick from impacting bets. But there is another problem. Most teams now just take a knee on the play when the outcome is already decided.

Sure enough, 8 minutes, 1 second after the Vikings scored the touchdown, they took a knee leaving the final score 29-24.


Sure enough, a video captured by Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post shows gamblers in a sportsbook cheering when the Vikings decided to take a knee.

Eventually, the NFL is going to need a remedy for this problem. Maybe they should just eliminate the extra point — as they do in overtime — or maybe just make it a free point without running the play and call it a night. But to make the Saints run all the way back on to the field from the opposite end of the stadium after their souls were just crushed feels cruel.

Then again, punter Thomas Morstead (6) probably doesn't get many opportunities to play defense, so maybe he enjoyed it.

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SEE ALSO: The Vikings pulled off a miracle win over the Saints with a last-second 61-yard touchdown pass

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