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Can Vikings build off emotional win?

Coming off the "Minneapolis Miracle" two years ago, the Minnesota Vikings fell flat the next week in Philadelphia. Will this year be different?
Credit: AP
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries for a touchdown in front of New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

EAGAN, Minn. — There were plenty of emotions following the Minnesota Vikings' 26-20 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon to kick off their postseason.

Screaming. Hugging. And even a "You like that?"

But the Vikings know just how quickly it can all come crashing down.

Two years ago, in the closing seconds of the NFC Divisional round against the Saints, the Minnesota Vikings called up a play — Buffalo Right, Seven Heaven.

Receiver Stefon Diggs caught a pass along the right sideline, sprinted up the field for the 61-yard score, and the Vikings beat the Saints to punch their ticket to the NFC Championship.

That moment, now known as the "Minneapolis Miracle," capped one of the most dramatic finishes to a playoff game in NFL history. The team was flying high as the Vikings were one win away from becoming the first team to play in a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

However, that one win would never come.

The Philadelphia Eagles rolled over the Vikings 38-7 on their way to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy two weeks later at U.S. Bank Stadium.

"A lot of the guys that were here, were here (in 2017)," said Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. "I feel like they're a veteran team. They understand (what's ahead).

"We actually had a couple guys say, 'Hey, calm down,' in the locker room. We've gotta go get ready to play again."

Will another thrilling playoff win over the Saints preface another let down?

"You can't take these moments for granted," said Vikings fullback C.J. Ham. "These playoff games are extremely important and you've got to make the most of them."

Ham added that the best way for the Vikings to make the most of these playoffs is to keep it business as usual.

"Just have the same approach," said Ham, a Duluth, Minnesota native. "We know it's win or go home. (We need to) go out here, prepare just like any other game, and hopefully come out here with a 'W'."

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It worked against the Saints, but now the Vikings will have to do it against the NFC's top seed.

The 49ers were the last undefeated team — starting the season 8-0 — and one of two NFC teams remaining in the playoffs that possess a top 10 scoring offense and scoring defense. The other NFC team? The Minnesota Vikings.

"It's playoff time," said Zimmer. "It's big boy football."

You can watch the game on KARE 11 at 3:35 p.m., followed by a special post-game edition of the Vikings Extra.