The best games in ‘Monday Night Football’ history

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“Monday Evening Soccer” is starting its 53rd season. From comebacks to record-setting sequences to quarterback showdowns, the NFL has seen quite a few video games turn into primetime classics. Listed here are the very best NFL Monday tilts thus far.


Be Certain to Watch Monday Evening Soccer on ESPN, ABC or ESPN+


 

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1982: Cowboys at Vikings, Week 17

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This recreation was solely the NFC foes’ ninth; it was nonetheless known as Week 17 following the season-reshaping gamers’ strike. The Cowboys and Vikings traded scores in a 31-27 recreation finest identified for Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard sprint. The record-setting run was not speculated to go to Dorsett, and his full-field dash solely minimize a two-score Minnesota result in one. After the Cowboys later recaptured the benefit, Tommy Kramer discovered operating again Rickey Younger on a 14-yard game-winner. Throughout 1 / 4 through which the Vikings protection notched a pick-six, the unit — by way of two batdowns from defensive finish Randy Holloway — held off the Cowboys to clinch a house recreation within the one-time-only 16-team playoffs.

 

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2004: Patriots at Dolphins, Week 15

2004: Patriots at Dolphins, Week 15

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Though the Patriots have been amid a 28-4 stretch that produced back-to-back Tremendous Bowl wins, their lowest level through the 2003-04 run got here in Miami. The Pats held an 11-point lead with underneath 4 minutes remaining, however the Dolphins. A 3-11 workforce taking part in underneath interim HC Jim Bates shocked the early-aughts superpower by scoring two late TDs in a 29-28 upset. Following Sammy Morris’ diving TD (pictured), Dolphins stress pressured a Tom Brady INT that arrange A.J. Feeley on the Pats’ 21-yard line. Feeley hit wideout Derrius Thompson for a 21-yard TD. One other Brady INT quickly finalized this upset. 

 

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1979: Raiders at Saints, Week 14

1979: Raiders at Saints, Week 14

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At reverse ends of the Monday evening expertise spectrum, the Raiders and Saints’ fourth-quarter showings right here mirrored that disparity. Oakland’s forged of national-TV mainstays erased a 21-point third-quarter lead in a 42-35 win — a final hurrah for the Ken Stabler-era Raiders. Longtime Stabler sidekick Cliff Department did the heavy lifting. A slick 66-yard catch-and-run from the world-class speedster tied the sport at 35, and a Chuck Muncie fumble gave Oakland prime subject place. Department’s 8-yard game-winner (Stabler’s fourth TD cross) solely moved the Raiders to 7-7 in a non-playoff yr. The Raiders traded Stabler to the Oilers in 1980.

 

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2003: Cowboys at Giants, Week 2

2003: Cowboys at Giants, Week 2

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Patrick Mahomes vexed the Payments with a stupefyingly fast drive in final yr’s divisional spherical. Whereas “13 seconds” stays a surprising quantity, this recreation concerned an analogous situation. Quincy Carter solely had 11 seconds to maneuver the Cowboys into subject aim vary. Granted, an illegal-procedure penalty noticed Dallas at its 40-yard line. However nonetheless. Carter (zero TD passes to Kerry Collins’ three) discovered Antonio Bryant on the sideline to arrange a 52-yard Billy Cundiff game-tying subject aim. This got here simply after Matt Bryant gave the Giants a three-point lead. Cundiff’s time beyond regulation make gave the Cowboys a 35-32 win (Invoice Parcells’ first with the workforce). It helped the workforce to the playoffs months later.

 

5 of 25

1995: Chargers at Chiefs, Week 6

1995: Chargers at Chiefs, Week 6

Joseph Patronite/Getty Photos

The Chiefs’ Joe Montana-to-Steve Bono baton cross didn’t produce a long-term starter, however the youthful ex-49er had Kansas Metropolis unbeaten getting into this recreation. Bono and Stan Humphries, who led the 1994 Chargers to Tremendous Bowl XXIX, every topped 300 yards on this time beyond regulation tilt. The Chargers held a seven-point lead with seconds left in regulation, however Bono discovering ex-Charger tight finish Derrick Walker in double protection prolonged the sport with 15 seconds left. In OT, rookie return man Tamarick Vanover supplied a singular extra-session finisher — an 86-yard punt-return rating — to shut Kansas Metropolis’s 29-23 win. The Chargers didn’t threaten the Chiefs, who went 13-3, the remainder of the best way.

 

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2019: Seahawks at 49ers, Week 10

2019: Seahawks at 49ers, Week 10

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities

No less than one Russell Wilson-era off-kilter Seahawks evening recreation wanted to be included right here. This one, through which the 49ers entered 8-0, included two D-linemen fumble-sixes (Jadeveon Clowney, DeForest Buckner), a D.Ok. Metcalf goal-line fumble, and a number of other well timed Wilson escapes. It in the end got here right down to a fill-in kicker. 49ers rookie Chase McLaughlin made three subject objectives, the final of which pressured time beyond regulation, however shanked a 47-yard game-winner deep into OT. After throwing an time beyond regulation INT, Wilson drove Seattle into place the place its kicker — Jason Myers — nailed a game-winner on the OT buzzer in a 27-24 win. The 49ers’ win within the groups’ Week 17 rematch got here right down to the wire, too.

 

7 of 25

2000: Vikings at Packers, Week 10

2000: Vikings at Packers, Week 10

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The primary of the 2 Dennis Miller “Monday Evening Soccer” seasons saved delivering action-packed video games, although Al Michaels took over within the clutch right here. The “He did what?” recreation pitted a Vikings workforce sure for the NFC’s No. 2 seed in opposition to the slumping Packers, and whereas Cris Carter’s closing recreation at Lambeau Area wouldn’t be on right here had one in every of his Packer counterparts not dropped an all-time walk-off, Antonio Freeman’s 43-yard TD/magic act that sealed a 26-20 time beyond regulation win stays a signature NFL sequence. A Vikings blitz prompted Favre’s lob to Freeman, who stayed with the ball as Cris Dishman assumed it fell incomplete. Freeman and Michaels then linked up on a memorable soundbite.  

 

8 of 25

2008: Eagles at Cowboys, Week 2

2008: Eagles at Cowboys, Week 2

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This recreation is best identified for DeSean Jackson’s untimely landing celebration. However the Eagles saved the ball on Jackson’s fumble; officers blew the play lifeless. However the NFC East rivals waged one in every of their finest video games. Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo dueled to the tip on a seven-lead-change evening, which ended with a 41-37 Cowboys win. This recreation produced 54 first-half factors. Terrell Owens scored two touchdowns vs. his former workforce, and Marion Barber delivered the knockout blow. The younger operating again scored Dallas’ two second-half TDs, one on a 17-yard wheel route and the opposite the 1-yard game-winner. Fifteen weeks later, as chronicled in “Silver Linings Playbook,” the Eagles avenged this loss en path to the NFC title recreation.

 

9 of 25

1988: Raiders at Broncos, Week 4

1988: Raiders at Broncos, Week 4

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Earlier than he guided the Broncos to 2 Tremendous Bowl wins, Mike Shanahan began his head-coaching profession with the 1988 Raiders. Shanahan’s Raiders’ high-water mark got here in Denver. The Raiders erased a 24-point halftime deficit in a 30-27 time beyond regulation thriller. A Raiders barrage tied the sport at 24 within the fourth quarter. Bo Jackson was nonetheless in his post-Royals interval (fall coaching), so 1987 third-rounder Steve Smith did the heavy lifting (six carries, 122 yards, two TDs). Though the Broncos retook the lead, John Elway’s fourth interception gave the Raiders OT subject aim actual property. Al Davis fired Shanahan early through the ’89 season.

 

10 of 25

2000: Rams at Buccaneers, Week 16

2000: Rams at Buccaneers, Week 16

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The 1999 NFC championship rematch produced a wildly completely different recreation circulation, with the Rams’ “Biggest Present on Turf” offense totally revved up in opposition to one in every of that period’s finest defensive nuclei. On his technique to MVP honors, Marshall Faulk scored 4 touchdowns in Tampa; the Bucs constantly countered. Their operating again completed the job in a 38-35 Tampa Bay victory. Warrick Dunn and quarterback Shaun King mixed on a drive-turning lateral play, sling-shotting the Bucs towards a final-minute game-winner — Dunn’s third TD. Dunn’s 198 scrimmage yards helped the Bucs again to the playoffs, although neither NFC energy superior previous the wild-card spherical that yr.

 

11 of 25

1987: Bears at Broncos, Week 10

1987: Bears at Broncos, Week 10

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Because the Bears saved attempting to recapture their 1985 magic, their quarterback was usually unavailable. That was not the case on this chilly Denver evening. Jim McMahon and John Elway dueled in a hidden-gem shootout; every star QB threw three TD passes and topped 300 yards. On his technique to 1987 MVP acclaim, Elway introduced the Broncos again from two two-score deficits. The all-time nice hit every of his “Three Amigos” receiving corps for second-quarter scores — one on a ricochet to Vance Johnson — however the Bears nonetheless led by two scores getting into the fourth stanza. A William “The Fridge” Perry goal-line fumble saved the Broncos in it, and Steve Sewell’s leaping 4-yard TD run gave them a late lead in a 31-29 victory. 

 

12 of 25

1983: Dallas at Washington, Week 1

1983: Dallas at Washington, Week 1

Scott Cunningham/Getty Photos

This 1982 NFC championship rematch featured a Washington workforce that might go on to interrupt the NFL’s single-season scoring document, and regardless of lacking Artwork Monk resulting from harm, Joe Theismann’s workforce carried a 20-point halftime lead. Losers of the earlier three NFC title video games, the Cowboys erased zoomed again with 4 second-half touchdowns. Danny White’s prime goal, Tony Hill, scored on 51- and 75-yard TD strikes to assist Dallas to a 31-30 win at RFK Stadium. Theismann’s MVP march was starting, and he posted 325 passing yards. However the Cowboys’ protection stiffened all through the second half. Washington misplaced only one extra regular-season recreation in 1983.

 

13 of 25

2007: Patriots at Ravens, Week 13

2007: Patriots at Ravens, Week 13

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Brian Billick’s closing Ravens season primarily featured Kyle Boller at quarterback, with Steve McNair injured. The Billick-Boller tandem got here closest to stopping the Patriots’ 16-0 common season. Baltimore’s perennially menacing protection made Tom Brady’s evening tough (18-for-38), and for 2 temporary moments late within the fourth quarter, it appeared like The Pats’ “0” was gone. A timeout from Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, nevertheless, negated one fourth-down cease; a Jamie Winborn maintain prevented the opposite. Brady paid the Ravens with a final-minute strike to Jabar Gaffney, securing a 27-24 escape. The Ravens completed that season 5-11.

 

14 of 25

2020: Ravens at Browns, Week 14

2020: Ravens at Browns, Week 14

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports activities

After squandering their 2019 hype, the Browns belatedly lived as much as it. Regardless of the Ravens rostering the reigning MVP and being much more accustomed to high-profile TV home windows, the Browns matched the ex-Browns blow-for-blow. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt mixed for 4 touchdowns, and Baker Mayfield’s 5-yard TD run erased a 14-point Baltimore lead. Lamar Jackson then left the sport resulting from cramps, solely to re-emerge from the locker room to hit Marquise Brown on a 44-yard score on his first play back. Hunt’s counterstrike TD left the Ravens 1:04 to work with. Justin Tucker downed a 55-yard subject aim to complete the 47-42 highway win. Every workforce voyaged to the AFC divisional spherical that yr.

 

15 of 25

1978: Dolphins at Oilers, Week 12

1978: Dolphins at Oilers, Week 12

Invoice Smith/Getty Photos

Maybe the defining evening of Earl Campbell’s Corridor of Fame profession got here throughout his rookie season. The Heisman winner’s 199-yard, four-touchdown evening lifted the Oilers to a 35-30 win over the Dolphins — an Astrodome conquest that helped ebook a long-awaited playoff spot. An A.J. Duhe security on Dan Pastorini gave the Dolphins a 23-21 fourth-quarter lead, however Don Shula’s workforce couldn’t corral Campbell to guard it. The bulldozing again’s 12-yard TD run gave Houston the lead again; his 81-yarder sealed the hosts’ win. The Oilers made their first playoff berth since 1969, beat the Dolphins once more, and prolonged their season to the AFC title recreation.

 

16 of 25

2019: Texans at Saints, Week 1

2019: Texans at Saints, Week 1

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Three final-minute scores gave this season-opening matchup of 2019 playoff groups an action-movie arc; it showcased the brilliance of a Corridor of Fame quarterback and strong-legged kicker. Two pinpoint Deshaun Watson deep strikes — the second to ex-Saint Kenny Stills — gave the Texans a one-point lead with 37 seconds left. Drew Brees, starting his age-40 season, managed the clock masterfully, finishing three passes and saving New Orleans’ closing timeout for the 2-second mark. Nonetheless, this required a Mt. Rushmore MNF game-winner from Wil Lutz. The Professional Bowl kicker’s 58-yard subject aim gave the Saints a 30-28 win. 

 

17 of 25

1978: Colts at Patriots, Week 2

1978: Colts at Patriots, Week 2

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One among his period’s most versatile gamers, Joe Washington showcased that skillset in his second recreation as a Colt. The Chargers drafted Washington fourth general in 1976 however traded him to the Colts for his or her beginning again (Lydell Mitchell) and a fifth-round choose in 1978. On a wet Foxborough evening, Washington accounted for 3 fourth-quarter touchdowns in a recreation that noticed Baltimore and New England mix for 41 final-stanza factors. Washington caught a TD cross, threw one other, and dazzled ABC audiences with a 96-yard kick-return rating that broke a tie with simply greater than a minute left within the guests’ 34-27 win.

 

18 of 25

2006: Bears at Cardinals, Week 6

2006: Bears at Cardinals, Week 6

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Rookie Matt Leinart threw two first-quarter TD passes and helped the Cardinals to a 20-point halftime lead. Regardless of scant contributions from their offense — a recurring theme through the Rex Grossman interval — the Bears roared again to steal a 24-23 win. Cornerstone Chicago defenders laid the groundwork for the primary occasion. Mike Brown’s scoop-and-score preceded Charles Tillman doing the identical — by way of a Brian Urlacher strip, not a “Peanut Punch.” Devin Hester completed the trouble. Amid the NFL’s premier return-man season, Hester capped Chicago’s comeback with an 83-yard punt-return TD. Neil Rackers’ ensuing missed subject aim arrange Dennis Inexperienced’s memorable tirade.

 

19 of 25

1989: 49ers at Rams, Week 14

1989: 49ers at Rams, Week 14

Michael Zagaris/Getty Photos

This area has made the argument for the 1989 49ers’ place as the best workforce ever. They don’t have an argument for that place with out John Taylor’s Monday mastery. On this NFC championship preview, Taylor led the defending champions again from a 17-point gap. Though the Rams nonetheless led by three scores after Taylor’s 92-yard second-quarter TD, his 95-yard catch-and-run within the closing stanza keyed a 30-27 comeback win. Roger Craig’s 1-yard run completed off the Rams, however this was Taylor’s evening. Taylor’s 286-yard explosion clinched the 49ers’ NFC West title, setting them heading in the right direction for a dominant postseason spree.

 

20 of 25

1983: Washington at Inexperienced Bay, Week 7

1983: Washington at Green Bay, Week 7

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Washington went 14-2 in 1983; the eventual NFC champions have been 1-2 on Monday evening. This 48-47 Inexperienced Bay win held Monday shootout GOAT standing for a technology, and it stands as a peak level for the post-Lombardi/pre-Favre Packers. Lynn Dickey went toe-to-toe with ’83 MVP Joe Theismann, throwing for 387 yards and three TDs. Theismann went 398/2, however his kicker misplaced the defending champs this battle. After Joe Washington’s 5-yard TD catch gave the guests a two-point lead, Dickey drove the Pack close to the aim line to arrange Jan Stenerud’s 20-yard subject aim. Theismann’s formidable drive marched into game-winning subject aim vary, however reigning MVP Mark Moseley’s 39-yard miss prevented a Washington 50-spot.

 

21 of 25

1986: Patriots at Dolphins, Week 16

1986: Patriots at Dolphins, Week 16

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The Dolphins’ Orange Bowl finale, and 1986’s closing regular-season recreation, introduced excessive stakes. A Patriots win meant they clinched the AFC East title; a Dolphins triumph would ship the Bengals to the playoffs. ABC had a crew filming Boomer Esiason, Cris Collinsworth and Co. watching this recreation. Dan Marino, whose workforce had nothing to play for, did his finest. However Steve Grogan helped the Pats win within the Orange Bowl for the primary time since 1966. Relieving an injured Tony Eason, Grogan matched Marino. Because the groups traded second-half TDs, Grogan booked his workforce a return playoff journey by hitting Stanley Morgan on a 30-yard fade route within the closing minute. After the 34-27 win, the Pats beat the Jets the AFC’s wild-card recreation.

 

22 of 25

2003: Colts at Buccaneers, Week 5

2003: Colts at Buccaneers, Week 5

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Peyton Manning’s 2003 stage soar earned him the primary of a document 5 MVPs; the Colts’ surprising win in Tampa definitely helped the then-sixth-year QB’s trigger. Trailing by 21 with lower than 4 minutes left, the Colts erased the deficit and gained 38-35 in time beyond regulation. Manning (386 yards) put collectively three landing drives, aided by an onside kick from Mike Vanderjagt, to bounce again after Ronde Barber’s pick-six had the Colts down 35-14. A uncommon Bucs infraction on a Vanderjagt time beyond regulation subject aim miss — a leaping penalty — gave the Manning teammate/nemesis a second shot. His OT make saved the Colts unbeaten and signaled the Bucs weren’t coming near defending their title.

 

23 of 25

2000: Jets at Dolphins, Week 8

2000: Jets at Dolphins, Week 8

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Months after Invoice Belichick bailed on succeeding Invoice Parcells, resulting in Al Groh taking on, the Jets notched the best comeback in workforce historical past. Down 23 getting into the fourth quarter, the Jets eradicated the Dolphins’ lead by scoring 23 factors over the following 10 minutes. Nevertheless, the sudden 30-all tie didn’t break the Dolphins, an eventual playoff workforce. Dan Marino’s successor Jay Fielder discovered Leslie Shepherd deep to provide Miami one other lead, however tackle-eligible Jumbo Elliott’s juggling seize retied the sport and gave a reasonably definitive sign that this might finish badly for the guests. John Corridor’s 40-yard time beyond regulation subject aim gave Groh’s workforce a 40-37 conquest.

 

24 of 25

1994: Chiefs at Broncos, Week 6

1994: Chiefs at Broncos, Week 6

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These rivals ended their 1994 seasons 9-7 and 7-9. However almost 30 years later, this stays a legendary quarterback duel. Taking part in his closing season, Joe Montana (393 yards) feasted on a Broncos protection that struggled all through ’94; that unit performed an element in one of many QB legend’s iconic endings. It appeared like John Elway would lose this battle early, however after Marcus Allen fumbled on a possible clock-killing drive, Denver’s Twelfth-year gunslinger gave his workforce a four-point lead on a QB draw. Montana’s counter — a 75-yard drive that ended with a Willie Davis TD with 6 seconds left — gave Kansas Metropolis a 31-28 triumph that doubled as each Montana and Marty Schottenheimer’s first wins in Denver.

 

25 of 25

2018: Chiefs at Rams, Week 11

2018: Chiefs at Rams, Week 11

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One other Chiefs westward trek produced extra fireworks, and these groups having every gone on to win Tremendous Bowls not too lengthy after this Los Angeles epic enhances its legacy. Defensive manufacturing, imagine it or not, determined the Rams’ 54-51 win/survival of Patrick Mahomes’ onslaught (478 yards, six landing passes). Mahomes threw three INTs; Jared Goff (413 yards, 4 TDs) threw none. Rams edge rusher Samson Ebukam additionally secured a spot on this recreation’s lore, returning an INT and a fumble for scores. Following a Goff-to-Gerald Everett strike that put each groups within the 50s, ex-Chief Marcus Peters exacted some revenge on the workforce that traded him by choosing off Mahomes. The Chiefs’ protection crumbling in the AFC title game prevented a rematch from occurring in Tremendous Bowl LIII.


Be Certain to Watch Monday Evening Soccer on ESPN, ABC or ESPN+


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