Mike Tice enjoys his first taste of victory with the Vikings on this day in 2002.

Mike Tice enjoys his first taste of victory with the Vikings on this day in 2002.


The Minnesota Vikings defeated the New York Jets in their inaugural game under head coach Mike Tice on this date in 2002.

Former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings Mike Tice / Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings had high expectations going into the 2001 season after making an appearance in the 2000 NFC Championship.

But things simply didn’t work out as planned, and the Vikings had a dismal 5-11 record at the end of the 2001 season.

Prior to the last game of the 2001 season, Minnesota actually fired longtime head coach Dennis Green.
The offensive line coach for the team at the time, Mike Tice, was chosen by the Vikings to serve as their temporary head coach.


The Vikings appointed Tice as their full-time head coach soon after, despite their inability to defeat the Ravens in their regular-season finale in 2001.

Minnesota was unsuccessful in all four of their games against this opponent in the 2002 season.
However, on October 13, following their Week 5 bye, the Vikings played host to a Detroit Lions team that was having trouble at the old Metrodome.

As bad as it could have started for Minnesota, the game started off badly.
On the first offensive play of the game, the Lions marched 80 yards down the field for a touchdown.
Two plays later, Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper hit Detroit linebacker Chris Claiborne with a pick-six.

In their first full season under Tice’s leadership, the Vikings were rapidly behind 14-0 and seemed destined for a 0–5 start.

However, after a while, Minnesota managed to level up and regain their position in the competition.
Running back Michael Bennett of the Vikings tied the score at 24 points apiece with a touchdown.
Minnesota’s next offensive drive saw running back Moe Williams punt the ball in the end zone from two yards out, giving them a seven-point lead.

There was still a chance for the Lions to tie the game and force overtime.
After Detroit drove the ball well into Vikings territory, Lions quarterback Joey Harrington found the back right of the end zone on a second-and-goal play from Minnesota’s eight-yard line.

Unfortunately, Vikings safety Corey Chavous intercepted the pass before it could reach Detroit wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim, sealing Minnesota’s victory.

Knowing the significance of the victory, the Vikings players showered Tice with an enormous jug of orange Gatorade as a way to celebrate. Na

On that day, Tice won his first of 32 regular-season games as Minnesota’s head coach. The Vikings went on to post a 6-10 record at the end of the 2002 season.


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