Fans brave freezing temps, welcome Saints home after heartbreaking loss
NEW ORLEANS - Sunday night did not go the way Saints fans were hoping, with a last-second miracle play snatching Super Bowl hopes away from Drew Brees and company.
The Saints rebounded from a tough, scoreless first half to take a 24-23 lead with less than a minute left in the final quarter. It seemed like the team had all but punched its ticket to the NFC Championship.
But the now infamous touchdown catch and run by Stefon Diggs robbed the Saints of a victory as time expired.
Despite the tough loss, Saints fans were out in force late Sunday night as the team's plane landed back in New Orleans, cheering them on one last time as their season came to a close.
Fans have also gone out of their way to lift up Marcus Williams, the rookie safety who missed a tackle and allowed the Viking's walk-off touchdown. A viral post on Facebook expressed gratitude to Williams, who helped improve the once historically awful Saints defense into one of the more respectable units in the league.
Several members of the team shared their own words of encouragement with fans on social media after the loss, including Quarterback Drew Brees, who said the team is still "destined for great things."
Brees celebrates his 39th birthday Monday.