In case you were under a rock on Sunday night, you may have missed one of the most memorable plays in recent football history at the conclusion of the NFC playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.
With the Vikings trailing 24-23 and just 10 seconds remaining in the game, Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum found wide receiver Stefon Diggs for an improbable 61-yard touchdown connection to stun the Saints and win the game as time expired.
And while the Vikings deserve plenty of credit for the successful comeback, New Orleans defensive back Marcus Williams was catching most of the criticism for his effort to stop the play from happening in the first place.
Check out how he seemingly ducked away from contact as Diggs went up into the air, presumably to avoid a potential pass interference penalty, and then make no effort to grab Diggs for a tackle on his way down to the ground:
STEFON DIGGS GAME WINNING TOUCHDOWN SAINTS VS VIKINGS pic.twitter.com/hiHNmBU4Pu
— oof city (@episness) January 15, 2018
Let’s take another look at that, please:
Just wow… pic.twitter.com/I88zw4NjoI
— Stats Are For Losers (@Lizzs_Lockeroom) January 15, 2018
In the moments following the game, former Mississippi State star Darius Slay made a pretty bold statement about Williams’ intentions.
“43 got payed [sic] to miss that,” the Detroit Lions defensive back tweeted on Sunday evening. “Ain’t no way.”
Slay’s former Lions teammate Quinshad Davis agreed with the premise that Williams was paid to miss the tackle and ultimately lose the game.
While it’s entirely possible that Slay and Davis were just joking around on social media about the intentions of the New Orleans Saints player, fixing games is the ultimate ethical no-no for a professional athlete. To have players invoking doubts on the integrity of the outcome of a playoff game, whether it be in a joking manner or not, is not a good look for the NFL.
Slay was a second-round selection of the Lions in the 2013 NFL Draft. The former Bulldogs standout was named a first-team All-Pro cornerback for his work during the 2017 season.