- Jamie Squire/Getty Images
- 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.
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.
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.
When they kneel for thedeciding point lol pic.twitter.com/UXD9sMevmJ
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) January 15, 2018
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.