Case Keenum is no longer the Vikings quarterback, but he will never forget at least one page from the Minnesota playbook. Keenum, now the presumed starter for the Broncos, sat down with Denver media folks and was asked to break down the Minnesota Miracle—the absolutely bonkers, game-winning, last-second touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs. It is a fascinating look inside the mind of a quarterback, the huddle, and what is actually happening in real time. First, let's take a look at that actual play because, honestly, who doesn't want to see this again?
[Video would be here, if the NFL did not actively hate its own fans, so click here to watch and come back.]
OK. Goddamn. I still get chills and I'm not even a Vikings fan.
Listening to Keenum talk about the play—which is called Buffalo Right Key Left 7 Heaven—you get concrete evidence of the abstractions you already know: football is fucking hard, and complicated.
Just explaining the play—"Buffalo is our formation, here. So it's a three by one, so it's a "B" word "buffalo," so that's a bunch. And there's an F in it, so that means F is at the point...so Key left is the protection."—makes my head spin. Obviously it's every football player's job to memorize the playbook front to back, but to be able to not only recall all the necessary information, but for all 11 guys to also execute it in that kind of situation is impressive as hell! I have no ticking clock, or giant men trying to pulverize me as I write this blog post and there is probably still a stupid typo in here somewhere.
Keenum then goes into his mindset during the play. The Vikings essentially ran the same play right before this one, and so he knew his receivers were gassed, but he also knew they had to go for it. Ten seconds on the clock, need at least a field goal to win it, and they're at their own 39. "I'm gonna give just one of y'all a chance."
According to Keenum, Diggs ad-libbed his route a little bit and he saw him break open for a second and let it rip. Then he lost sight of Diggs for a second until he saw his white gloves stick up and catch it, at which point the stadium explodes, and then it somehow found another level once Marcus Williams whiffed on the tackle.
After that, Keenum recalls just a lot of yelling and unintelligible shouting with whoever was around him, until Chris Meyers grabbed him for a post-game interview. "I'm like, what am I gonna say? There's no, like, human thoughts in my head right now."
It's about eight minutes long, which is basically the ninth circle of Hell of online videos, but if you're a fan of football and want a better appreciation of just how insane the insane things you see every Sunday are, give it a watch.