When it comes to professional football, “Monday Night Football” has been a staple of the NFL for more than 50 years. So it makes sense that MNF has produced a lot of great games and moments in each and every season. Here are the 10 most memorable games, along with some honorable mentions.
Baltimore Colts 34, New England Patriots 27
September 18, 1978 — Foxboro, Massachusetts.
The Patriots entered the game as 17.5-point favorites and led the Colts 13-7 going into the fourth quarter. Then Baltimore running back Joe Washington had the best of it, throwing a touchdown pass and catching another before returning a kickoff 90 yards for another touchdown with less than a minute to win the game.
Miami Dolphins 16, New England Patriots 13
December 8, 1980 — miami
While this game was won by a Uwe von Schamann field goal in overtime, it is sadly better remembered because Howard Cossell had to break the news to millions of Americans that John Lennon had been assassinated that very night.
San Francisco 49ers 28, Seattle Seahawks 21
October 14, 2002 — Seattle
San Francisco wide receiver Terrell Owens scored two touchdowns, including one in which he pulled a Sharpie out of his sock and autographed the ball before handing it to one of his assistants in the stands.
10. Cleveland Browns 31, New York Jets 21
September 21, 1970 — cleveland ohio
The first broadcast of “Monday Night Football” was with the league’s premier player, Joe Namath. However, the main attractions tonight were Broadway Joe’s three interceptions and 161 penalty yards, the Jets’ team record.
9. Washington Redskins 13, Dallas Cowboys 7
October 19, 1987 — irving, texas
A players’ strike in 1987 prompted NFL owners to continue the season with replacement players, to public outcry. Washington coach Joe Gibbs made the best of the situation and won all three of his games with replacement players before the strike ended. The final victory was on the road against the Cowboys on “Monday Night Football” after Danny White and Tony Dorsett rejoined the team. The victory inspired the movie “The Replacements.”
8. Minnesota Vikings 31, Dallas Cowboys 27
January 3, 1983 — Minneapolis
The 1982 players’ strike led to a Week 3 matchup between the Cowboys and Vikings being rescheduled for the final “Monday Night Football” game of the season. Down 24-13 and lined up on his 1-yard line, Dallas running back Tony Dorsett took the transfer and rushed 99 yards for a touchdown, the longest play from scrimmage in NFL history. Although the Cowboys lost, Dorsett’s streak lives on.
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7. Los Angeles Raiders 37, Seattle Seahawks 14
November 30, 1987 — Seattle
Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy at Auburn in 1985, but chose to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals. The Raiders signed him in 1987 to a contract that allowed him to join the team after he finished the MLB season. Jackson debuted in Week 7, but his breakout performance came in Week 11. Playing football before a national audience for the first time since college, Jackson rushed for 221 yards and scored three touchdowns, including one for 91 yards and one in the that ran over the Seahawks. linebacker Brian Bosworth, who had been talking trash before the game.
6. Seattle Seahawks 14, Green Bay Packers 12
September 24, 2012 — Seattle
NFL referees went on strike in June 2012 and it remained unresolved as of the 2012 season. The league hired second-tier referees, who were unprepared for the challenge of calling an NFL game. It all came to a head in the final play of the Week 3 “Monday Night Football” matchup. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a “Hail Mary” pass into the end zone, and wide receiver Golden Tate shoved Packers cornerback Sam Shields and caught him simultaneously with safety MD Jennings before to secure it after the two players fell to the ground. The referees missed the pass interference call and gave Seattle the touchdown, causing controversy. Ultimately, the “Fail Mary” led the NFL to come to the table and end the strike with its referees two days later.
5. Green Bay Packers 26, Minnesota Vikings 20
November 6, 2000 — Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Tied 20-20 in overtime, Packers quarterback Brett Favre threw a pass to Antonio Freeman that was deflected by Chris Dishman, and appeared to be incomplete when Freeman went down with him. But the ball never hit the ground and Dishman never touched Freeman, who got up and ran into the end zone for the win.
4. Los Angeles Rams 54, Kansas City Chiefs 51
November 19, 2018 — the Angels
Both the Chiefs and Rams entered the game 9-1 with high-powered offenses. In the highest-scoring event in “Monday Night Football” history, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes hit Chris Conley with a 10-yard touchdown pass to take a 51-47 lead with fewer than three minutes to go. LA responded with Jared Goff’s 40-yard shot to Gerald Everett for the win less than a minute later.
3. Washington Redskins 23, New York Giants 21
November 18, 1985 — Washington
There are numerous devastating injuries on “Monday Night Football,” including Steve Young being knocked unconscious and Napoleon McCallum hurting his knee, but the one that sticks in every fan’s memory is Lawrence Taylor firing Joe Theismann and breaking his leg. . The injury ended Theismann’s career.
2. New Orleans Saints 23, Atlanta Falcons 3
September 25, 2006 — New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans and turned the Saints into nomads who split their home games between LSU’s Tiger Stadium and San Antonio’s Alamodome. They returned to the Crescent City with a renovated Superdome, a sold-out crowd and an audience of 10.8 million viewers, the largest in ESPN history. “Monday Night Football” has been many things throughout its 50-year history, but this was the first time it was a point of healing for a city.
1. Miami Dolphins 38, Chicago Bears 24
December 2, 1985 — miami
The ’85 Bears were 12-0, and the team with the best chance of preventing them from ending the ’72 Dolphins’ distinction as the only team with a perfect record was … the ’85 Dolphins. Members of the 1972 team stood by as the Dolphins took a 31-10 halftime lead, the most points the Bears had conceded in the first half since 1972. Miami sealed the deal in the third quarter. when Chicago defensive tackle Dan Hampton tipped. a Dan Marino pass and landed 30 yards downfield into the hands of Mark Clayton, who carried it into the end zone for a 38-17 lead.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.