Do you believe in miracles? A man once asked that about a hockey team stuffed with Minnesotans, then answered, "Yes!''

Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings gave us the Miracle of Minneapolis, a play without precedent in 56 years of franchise history.

Forty-two years ago, on the frozen turf of Bloomington, Drew Pearson nudged Nate Wright, caught a winning touchdown pass in a playoff game, and infected a franchise.

Thirty years ago, Darrin Nelson dropped a pass near the Washington goal line. Nineteen years ago, Gary Anderson saved his first missed field goal of the season for the moment in the Metrodome when he was needed most.

Eight years ago, Brett Favre threw a desperate pass over the middle in New Orleans. Two years ago, Blair Walsh shanked a 27-yard field goal at TCF Bank Stadium.

Vikings playoff collapses had spanned American geography, Minnesota stadia history and every corner of the depth chart, producing a fan base confounded that so many good players could produce so few championships. "We usually lose it in the worst way,'' Vikings receiver and native Minnesotan Adam Thielen said. "But I think our luck has turned around.''

Sunday, in the first playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings blew a 17-point lead. They trailed 24-23 with 25 seconds remaining and the ball at their 25-yard line.

Five plays later,10 seconds remained when quarterback Case Keenum threw a high, hopeful pass toward the right sideline.

Stefon Diggs leaped, caught the ball and landed inbounds. Saints safety Marcus Williams needed only to tackle Diggs on the spot and the game would end. While Diggs was wondering whether he should step out of bounds to set up a long field goal attempt with a few seconds remaining, Williams dived at his legs, missing both.

Diggs spun, righted himself and sprinted into the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown and a 29-24 victory, a berth in the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia next Sunday and the introduction of luck, that fickle absentee, as an newfound ally.

Where was the flag that would end the madness? Where was the official rushing in to rule that Diggs had stepped out of bounds? How long could 60,000 people hold their breath?

"We've got a history of going up and down,'' Diggs said. "Everybody counts us out, and it looked like they were right. This is a turning point.''

Never before had a team won an NFL playoff game with a touchdown as time expired. For a franchise featuring ringless Hall of Famers, karma came in the form of an undrafted quarterback playing for his third team and starting only because of injury throwing a lottery ticket in the general direction of a fifth-round draft pick.

The play call: "Seven Heaven.''

"It didn't look like a curse out there today,'' Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. "It looked like a Hail Mary.''

That term was born when the Cowboys' Pearson allegedly pushed off of Wright to catch a game-winning touchdown pass in the divisional playoffs at Met Stadium in 1975. Diggs' catch was the first playoff "Hail Minny.''

They had practiced the play. They had no idea how to execute the celebration.

Keenum sprinted around as if paying homage to Jim Valvano, who in the moments after his North Carolina State basketball team won the national title could not find anyone to hug.

Diggs sprinted into a tunnel, returned, and was engulfed by larger men. "I thought I was going to pass out,'' he said.

The feeling was contagious. Everson Griffen held his head and said, "Shocked. Unbelievable. Wow.'' Danielle Hunter said he had never seen a game like it.

Most current players had experienced only one torturous playoff loss, which occurred in 2015 when Walsh missed that field goal. "We weren't born Vikings,'' safety Harrison Smith said. "We were adopted.''

In sports, though, the kids are tattooed with the history of their forebears. Worry has been the Vikings' confetti.

Maybe what happened on Sunday changes that. For once, the miracle did not happen to them.

Jim Souhan's podcast can be heard at On Twitter: @SouhanStrib.