Here's the non-gambling reason the Vikings had to attempt the PAT after miracle TD

The Minnesota Vikings stunned the world on Sunday night, with Case Keenum heaving a ball into the air to Stefon Diggs, who reeled in the catch and sprinted to the end zone. Pandemonium ensued as U.S. Bank Stadium erupted into celebration -- the Vikings were headed to the NFC Championship Game just 10 seconds after appearing to be headed on vacation. 

Amid all the chaos, Fox's Joe Buck kept pointing out the Vikings would be required to kick an extra point. Referee Gene Steratore tried desperately to get control of everyone. The Saints, who despondently left the field, had to come back out and watch Case Keenum take a knee on what Buck called "the most anti-climatic play in NFL history." 

Buck clearly didn't have any money on the Vikings -5.5

So, uh, why did they have to come out for the PAT exactly? The Vikings won the game. It was 29-24 and nothing that happened on the extra-point try -- even the Vikings handing the ball to the Saints and letting them run the other way for two points -- could bring the Saints back. There were two zeroes on the clock. 

And when this happens in overtime, there is no extra point try. According to Mike Perieria of Fox Sports, the regulation rule exists -- and is not changed for the playoffs -- because of point differential. It had nothing to do with the fact that there was a 5.5-point spread on the game.

The issue here is the NFL never thought far enough ahead to game-plan for this. It's hard to blame them: Sunday was the first fourth-quarter walk-off touchdown pass in NFL playoff history. In the regular season, the extra point would be a big factor, because point differential could ultimately impact the playoffs via a tiebreaker.  

In the playoffs, it doesn't matter. The Vikings aren't competing against anyone else but their next opponent. 

It's fair to wonder why the Saints needed to come back out for the try -- they even put their punter out there, because they could have fielded 10 guys and not been flagged for "too few men on the field."

So you would think in theory they could have just left their guys in the locker room and let the Vikings take a snap without having to roll back onto the field and soak in some more disappointment. 

Of course, at that point the Vikings might have pulled a Patriots move and just walked in for a two-point conversion -- Adam Vinatieri now says he demanded the ball because he wanted to score the two-point play -- which would have really stung for anyone who took the Saints +5.5.

Imagine having the Bills +3.5 in that situation and losing your 10-game parlay that way. As friend of the program Eric Edholm noted at Pro Football Weekly, it happened to a guy in Vegas.

Whatever the reason for it, the Saints did come out and the Vikings took a knee. But not because they were trying to ruin your bet on the Saints. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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