By now you've likely seen Thursday night's finish in the battle for AFC supremacy splashed all over every major sports network and social media platform at least a dozen times.

Under 10 seconds to play. Down by seven on the road. Dramatic touchdown. Two-point conversion for the win.

Sound familiar? For Vikings fans old enough to remember the two-plus season aftermath of 41-doughnut, it should.

That's right - sixteen years ago this weekend a stumbling Vikings team that hadn't won on the road in 17 tries stunned the Superdome with a touchdown and made two-point conversion with five seconds to play.

Vikings 32, Saints 31.

It was the NFL's first game-winning, two-point conversion make in the last two minutes of a game.

Let's crack the Star Tribune vault and go back to December 15, 2002 in New Orleans.

From beat reporter Kevin Seifert A Superdome crowd of 67,851 stood stunned as the Vikings exploded onto the field, the obvious emotional release of snapping a 17-game road losing streak by "playing to win, and not playing not to lose," as center Matt Birk put it.

"Honestly," [coach Mike] Tice said afterwards, "we were a 3-10 team. What did you have to lose? let's go for the win. Why not?"

On third down, [Daunte] Culpepper threw toward [Randy] Moss for the fourth time in five plays ... "A sandlot play," Tice said ... Culpepper found Moss between defenders Dale Carter and Sammy Knight for the touchdown and Tice immediately held up two fingers ... Culpepper, showing poise and savvy rarely displayed in his four-year career, barked dummy route calls ... Culpepper dropped Birk's snap and bobbled the ball twice on the ground before picking it up and diving into the end zone.

Columnist Patrick ReusseThe view that Mike Tice had become an NFL head coach before his time had gained momentum in the previous two weeks ... his cartoonish behavior following the loss to Atlanta, when he attempted to claim the officials had given him permission to run a trick play from an illegal formation [and] followed by the amateur antics last week after the Green Bay loss calling his complaining about officials "loser's lament." Now, Tice the Overmatched was going for is third giant swing-and-miss in three weeks. Suddenly ... the crowd snapped to attention. An excited murmur went through the [Superdome's] huge expanse. The change in tone of that murmur was perceptible, as the Saints' partisans went from one thought ("What's dat fool coach doin'?") to the next ("If dey make it, da Saints lost to da dog-breathed Vikings").

Tice made the right decision because he had the right play - one for which no diagram to flash at the officials was required.

From reporter Kent YoungbloodAround the Vikings locker room players were saying the same thing in different ways. Tight end Byron Chamberlain: "I remember telling the offensive linemen this was for the championship of the world. Matt Birk: "We talked about 'don't be denied.' It was kind of like, enough's enough." Guard Corbin Lacina, perhaps, put it best: Losing? Not an option. "It was, 'To hell with this.'"

It wasn't the championship of the free world, and to be honest the Vikings came a play or two away from being denied. But in the end, they weren't ... "I had to go to my money guy," Culpepper said. "In the clutch, you have to go to the money guy."

Final word from Vikings defensive end Lance Johnstone: "That wasn't a monkey on our backs, that was a gorilla."

Fun fact: The Vikings won their next two games - at home vs. Miami and at Detroit - to finish 6-10 and started 2003 with six consecutive wins, including three on the road. 

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