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John DeShazier's Turning Point in playoff loss to Vikings

Posted Jan 15, 2018

Final play of the game did in Saints

If he had to do it over again, Marcus Williams said he simply would play the ball.

The rookie safety, who showed his ball-hawking ability with four regular-season interceptions and one in the playoffs – with 1:18 left in the third quarter of Sunday’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game against Minnesota in U.S. Bank Stadium – simply would have attempted to add to his interception haul, or produce a pass breakup.

But with the Vikings trailing 24-23 with 10 seconds left, facing third-and-10 from their own 39-yard line with no timeouts remaining, and quarterback Case Keenum having lofted a pass toward the right sideline for receiver Stefon Diggs, Williams arrived on the scene a tad early.

And partly because of that, and likely because of the intent to keep Diggs inside and not allow him to get out of bounds, Williams looped around to the left of Diggs – too wide, it turned out.

Because once Diggs made the grab, Williams already was past him without having made contact. And, worse, Williams’ momentum carried him into cornerback Ken Crawley, who was moving toward the play.

The wipeout left Diggs free, and he turned and ran untouched into the end zone as time expired, the final play in a 29-24 Vikings victory that ended New Orleans’ season, and nullified its rally from a 17-0 halftime deficit.

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