Rookie Made a Season-Ending Gaffe. His Response Inspires

Saints' Marcus Williams says he won't let bad play define him as a man after a big loss to Vikings
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2018 12:43 AM CST
Saints Rookie: I Won't Let That Gaffe Define Me as a Man
In a play earlier in the game, New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams (43) breaks up a pass intended for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) in Minneapolis on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

It's a play Minnesota Vikings fans won't soon forget—nor Marcus Williams of the New Orleans Saints. The Vikings won the NFL's divisional playoff game 29-24 over the Saints on Sunday in the last 10 seconds, with Stefon Diggs scoring a jaw-dropping 61-yard touchdown that sent the Vikings to the NFC championship. Williams, the Saints' 21-year-old rookie safety, had likely been told not to commit pass interference and risk a flag, a source tells NBC Sports, and so Williams dived to try to keep Diggs inside the line and keep the clock running. But it looks like Williams went too early and missed his mark, taking out one of his own teammates and giving Diggs a free lane to the end zone—effectively ending the Saints' season.

The Times-Picayune noted a "red-eyed" Williams faced reporters afterward, his teammates by his side to say their loss could've happened in one of many ways. NBC notes the whole fiasco may have been the fault of the Saints' defensive coordinator for a bad play setup, and the New Orleans Advocate points out Williams had a game-altering interception earlier on. But what's impressing most is Williams' resiliency and determination. He noted at the presser he'd "do all that I can to never let that happen again," and tweeted on Monday that, "No the season didn't end as planned but one thing for sure I won't let one play define the type of MAN or PLAYER that I am or will be!" (This 20-year-old Navy player suffered a similar loss—and was similarly inspirational.)

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