Monday Night Football is celebrating its 45th anniversary as the Jets take on the Colts. A look back at the games that helped shape MNF's success.
SEPT. 21, 1970: BROWNS 31, JETS 21
The first official Monday Night Football bout ended in a loss for the Jets but the franchise, led by Joe Namath at the time, helped set a tradition for decades to come.
NOV. 20, 1978: OILERS 35, DOLPHINS 30
Earl Campbell rushed for 199 yards and four touchdowns as he outdueled Bob Griese at the Astrodome. Campbell scored twice in the final seven minutes, including an 81-yard sprint with 1:11 to go.
JAN. 3, 1983: VIKINGS 31, COWBOYS 27
Tony Dorsett put the Vikings defense to shame by breaking the line for the longest run from scrimmage in NFL history.
DEC. 8, 1980: DOLPHINS 16, PATRIOTS 13
Many people first heard of John Lennon's assassination through Monday Night Football. During a timeout, MNF announcers Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford discussed whether making the announcement was the right thing to do and after some convincing, Cosell informed the nation once they came back on the air.
OCT. 21, 1985: BEARS 23, PACKERS 7
William "The Fridge" Perry became a household name after Bears head coach Mike Ditka put in the 335-pound defensive rookie lineman on offense as a fullback on a blocking play for Walter Payton and then on a carry of his own for a touchdown.
DEC. 2, 1985: DOLPHINS 38, BEARS 24
The undefeated Bears were chasing history with a dozen straight wins until they ran into Dan Marino and the Dolphins, who handed the Bears their first (and only) loss of the season.
DEC. 11, 1989: 49ERS 30, RAMS 27
Joe Montana and John Taylor combined for a pair of 90-plus yard touchdowns to rally the 49ers to a fourth quarter comeback. Montana finished the night 30-for-42 for 458 yards. Taylor caught 11 passes for 286 yards.
SEPT. 5, 1994: 49ERS 44, RAIDERS 14
Jerry Rice passed Jim Brown's record of 126 career touchdowns. It only took Rice nine seasons to take over the top spot and by the time he was done in 2004, he finished with 208 touchdowns.
OCT. 17, 1994: CHIEFS 31, BRONCOS 28
In a game between all-time great gunslinging quarterbacks, Joe Montana and John Elway battled back-and-forth all night. Montana would win out, hitting Willie Davis for a 5-yard touchdown with eight seconds to go.
OCT. 23, 2000: JETS 40, DOLPHINS 37 (OT)
The Dolphins led 30-7 early in the fourth quarter, but then Vinny Testaverde, who would finish the night 36-for-59 for 378 yards and 5 TDs, took over. He eventually hit tackle eligible Jumbo Elliott with a 3-yard TD with 42 seconds left and then directed the team to a game-winning field goal in overtime.
OCT. 14, 2002: 49ERS 28, SEAHAWKS 21
By the standards he set during his prime, Terrell Owens' two touchdown receptions and 80 yards receiving were ho-hum on this night. His celebration was anything but. After Owen's Sharpie celebration, the league implemented a rule banning players from carrying "foreign objects" on the field.
OCT. 6, 2003: COLTS 38, BUCCANNEERS 35 (OT)
Against the defending Super Bowl champions, Peyton Manning led the Colts to an overtime victory after they trailed 35?14 in the final five minutes of regulation.
DEC. 22, 2003: PACKERS 41, RAIDERS 7
Just one day after his father died, Brett Favre passed for four touchdowns in the first half and 399 total yards in an emotionally charged 41-7 victory over the Raiders.
NOV. 25, 2006: SAINTS 23, FALCONS 3
A year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the Saints returned to the Superdome and offered some comfort to a region that had seen so much destruction. In front of a sell-out crowd of more than 70,000, the Saints routed the Falcons.
NOV. 15, 2010: EAGLES 59, REDSKINS 28
With the dog days behind him, Michael Vick split time as the Eagles starting quarterback with Kevin Kolb in 2010. However, on this Monday night when he received an opportunity, he went off for over 400-plus yards, four passing and two rushing TDs, and finished with a QB rating of 150.7.
SEPT. 24, 2012: SEAHAWKS 14, PACKERS 12
The replacement ref saga hit a boiling point on a disputed game-winning touchdown. Seattle's Russell Wilson threw a 24-yard touchdown to Golden Tate on the final play of the game--only replays showed that Green Bay's M.D. Jennings likely intercepted the pass, which would have given the Packers the win. Their was a lengthy review, but the call was upheld. The game is also notable for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers getting sacked eight times in the first half as the Seahawks got out to a 7-0 lead.