Nate Poole broke every Vikings fan's heart in 2003 with that stupid fourth down catch on the final play of the final game of the season, which knocked Minnesota out of the playoff hunt.

But we stumbled onto something we simply did not know in the course of looking for something completely different today: The Vikings started 6-0 that year; along the way, they lost to the Chargers in 2003 (one of the four 4-12 teams they lost to in what was undoubtedly the most frustrating non-Super Bowl or NFC title game appearance season in franchise history).

Going into that Chargers game, the Vikings were still 6-2. And they might have snapped a modest two-game skid if the Chargers had stuck with that hack, Drew Brees, at QB instead of turning to that stalwart, Doug Flutie.


Yes, this happened in 2003. Brees was so bad with the Chargers that he was benched at halftime against the Bears the week before the Vikings game. Flutie took over and then got the start against the Vikings.

Flutie, who was 41 years old at the time, absolutely torched them, throwing for two TDs and running for two more in a 42-28 victory.

The Vikings' descent continued and reached its nadir against Poole and the Cardinals in that 18-17 loss.

If only they had played weeks before against Brees instead of Flutie.

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