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List of Monday Night Football results (1970–1989)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Beginning in the 1970 NFL season, the National Football League began scheduling a weekly regular season game on Monday night before a national television audience. From 1970 to 2005, the ABC television network carried these games, with the ESPN cable television network taking over beginning in September 2006. Listed below are games played from 1970 to 1989.

Overtime Result Non-Monday regular season games covered by MNF team Super Bowl broadcast Pro Bowl broadcast

Stadiums and teams appearing under different names

Some stadiums and teams had multiple names throughout their appearances in the MNF package in this era.

First name listed is the stadium/team's name heading into 1990. All names were seen in the package at least once in this era.




1970 NFL season

In only the second MNF game on September 28, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson became the first quarterback to throw for 4 touchdown passes on Monday Night Football.

The October 19 game between the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders was originally scheduled as a head coaching matchup between Vince Lombardi of the Redskins and the Raiders' second-year mentor, John Madden. However, Lombardi died of colon cancer six weeks before the contest. In that game, Raiders running back Hewritt Dixon rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown.

Following their humiliating shutout in the November 16 game (which is also the 1st shutout in MNF history), the Cowboys would go on a seven-game winning streak, not losing until a deciding field goal in the final seconds of Super Bowl V against the Baltimore Colts. The St. Louis Cardinals, who completed a season sweep of the Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl would go 1–3–1 down the stretch to fall completely out of the playoffs and cost coach Charley Winner his job.

The Colts and Packers simultaneously became the first teams to make their second appearances on MNF when they played each other. The Browns, Lions, and Rams were the only other teams to make two MNF appearances in 1970. The only teams that did not appear on MNF in 1970 were the 49ers (who first appeared in 1971), the Saints and Patriots (who first appeared in 1972) and the Broncos and Bills (who first appeared in consecutive weeks in 1973).

The November 23 game became infamous when an intoxicated Howard Cosell slurred his way through the first half and vomited on Don Meredith's boots at halftime. Cosell left Franklin Field prior to the second half, leaving Meredith to finish the game with Keith Jackson.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 21 New York Jets 21–31 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Municipal Stadium First MNF game
Monday September 28 Kansas City Chiefs 44–24 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium
Monday October 5 Chicago Bears 14–28 Detroit Lions Tiger Stadium Bears–Lions rivalry
Monday October 12 Green Bay Packers 22–20 San Diego Chargers San Diego Stadium
Monday October 19 Washington Redskins 20–34 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
Monday October 26 Los Angeles Rams 3–13 Minnesota Vikings Metropolitan Stadium 1969 NFL Western Conf. playoff rematch
Monday November 2 Cincinnati Bengals 10–21 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium Bengals–Steelers rivalry
Monday November 9 Baltimore Colts 13–10 Green Bay Packers Milwaukee County Stadium
Monday November 16 St. Louis Cardinals 38–0 Dallas Cowboys Cotton Bowl
Monday November 23 New York Giants 20–23 Philadelphia Eagles Franklin Field Eagles–Giants rivalry
Monday November 30 Miami Dolphins 20–7 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Stadium
Monday December 7 Cleveland Browns 21–10 Houston Oilers Astrodome
Monday December 14 Detroit Lions 28–23 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

1971 NFL season

The October 11 game was the final NFL contest played in the Cotton Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys moved into Texas Stadium for its next home game on October 24 versus the New England Patriots.

Wide receiver Dave Smith of the Pittsburgh Steelers became a part of Monday Night Football lore with an infamous mistake in the October 18 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith was en route to scoring on a 50-yard pass play when he raised the ball over his head before reaching the end zone. Smith lost control of the ball, thinking he had already scored, with the mistake resulting in a touchback for the Chiefs.

The November 1 game between the visiting Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers ended in a 14–14 tie at County Stadium in Milwaukee. The first tie in the history of the Monday Night Football series.

The December 13 game saw the triumphant return of George Allen to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where he coached the Los Angeles Rams for five seasons (1966–70). Allen's new team, the Washington Redskins, clinched its first playoff berth since 1945 with a 38–24 victory over the Rams, also handing the NFC West championship to the San Francisco 49ers. Ironically, the 49ers ousted the Redskins from the playoffs with a 24–20 victory 13 days later. In addition, one of the contestants for an NFL punt, pass and kick contest shown during the game would be future Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

The October 25 game featured a moment of silence for Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes who died of a heart attack on the field at Tiger Stadium the previous day.

The 49ers made their MNF debut December 6 vs. Kansas City at home.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 20 Minnesota Vikings 16–13 Detroit Lions Tiger Stadium Lions–Vikings rivalry
Monday September 27 New York Jets 10–17 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Memorial Stadium
Monday October 4 Oakland Raiders 34–20 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Monday October 11 New York Giants 13–20 Dallas Cowboys Cotton Bowl Cowboys–Giants rivalry
Monday October 18 Pittsburgh Steelers 16–38 Kansas City Chiefs Municipal Stadium
Monday October 25 Baltimore Colts 3–10 Minnesota Vikings Metropolitan Stadium
Monday November 1 Detroit Lions 14–14 Green Bay Packers Milwaukee County Stadium Lions–Packers rivalry
Monday November 8 Los Angeles Rams 17–24 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium
Monday November 15 St. Louis Cardinals 17–20 San Diego Chargers San Diego Stadium
Monday November 22 Green Bay Packers 21–28 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Stadium
Monday November 29 Chicago Bears 3–34 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Monday December 6 Kansas City Chiefs 26–17 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
Monday December 13 Washington Redskins 38–24 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

1972 NFL season

The September 25 game marked the New Orleans Saints' debut on Monday Night Football. The Saints' opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs, returned to Tulane Stadium for the first time since their Super Bowl IV victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Chiefs coach Hank Stram later coached the Saints in 1976 and 1977, although the team moved to the Louisiana Superdome in 1975. Saints quarterback Archie Manning made his Monday Night debut as well; 23 years later, his son, Eli Manning, made his Monday Night debut for the New York Giants against the Saints in a game relocated from New Orleans to Giants Stadium after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina three weeks prior.

The Patriots were the other team to make its MNF debut in 1972, hosting the Colts November 6.

The October 9 game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers at the Astrodome is infamous for an awkward off-field incident. During the game, which the Raiders won in a 34–0 shutout, ABC cameras had panned out and showed several fans leaving. A cameraman caught one of the few to stay in the game, who showed his disgust with the Oilers' performance by raising his middle finger, prompting Don Meredith to quip, "We're number 1 in the nation." The game was the first in the series' three-year history to pit two former AFL clubs against each other.

The November 27 game saw the Miami Dolphins make their lone primetime appearance during their 17–0 season. The Dolphins had little trouble in dispatching the outclassed St. Louis Cardinals, one of nine games the Dolphins won that season against teams which won five or fewer games (the Cardinals finished 4-9-1 for the third time in four seasons, and did so again in 1973).

The December 11 game saw the New York Jets wide receiver Don Maynard set a new NFL record for pass receptions when he caught his 632nd reception, a record that stood until 1975 when Charley Taylor became the NFL all-time pass receptions record holder.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 18 Washington Redskins 24–21 Minnesota Vikings Metropolitan Stadium
Monday September 25 Kansas City Chiefs 20–17 New Orleans Saints Tulane Stadium
Monday October 2 New York Giants 27–12 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium Eagles–Giants rivalry
Monday October 9 Oakland Raiders 34–0 Houston Oilers The Astrodome
Monday October 16 Green Bay Packers 24–23 Detroit Lions Tiger Stadium Lions–Packers rivalry
Monday October 23 Minnesota Vikings 10–13 Chicago Bears Soldier Field Bears–Vikings rivalry
Monday October 30 Detroit Lions 24–28 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday November 6 Baltimore Colts 24–17 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium Colts–Patriots rivalry
Monday November 13 Cleveland Browns 21–17 San Diego Chargers San Diego Stadium
Monday November 20 Atlanta Falcons 13–24 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday November 27 St. Louis Cardinals 10–31 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Monday December 4 Los Angeles Rams 26–16 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Rams rivalry
Monday December 11 New York Jets 16–24 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum

1973 NFL season

The Broncos and Bills were the last of the 26 teams of the merged NFL to make their first appearances on the program, but not against each other, rather, alone in consecutive weeks.

During what would be Don Meredith's final season of his first Monday Night stint, he was the center of three incidents in a three-week stand. In the Oakland-Denver game on October 22, Meredith famously quipped, "We're in the Mile High City, and so am I" (referring to his marijuana use at the time), followed by his drinking through the Buffalo–Kansas City game the following week. Finally, on November 5 during the Steelers-Redskins matchup, he referred to President Richard Nixon by the nickname of "Tricky Dick".

The October 8 game ended in dramatic fashion as Redskins safety Ken Houston stopped Cowboy running back Walt Garrison at the Washington one-yard-line as time expired to preserve a 14–7 Redskins victory.

The Minnesota Vikings entered the November 19 game in Atlanta with a spotless 9–0 record, but left with their first loss. The Falcons jumped out to a 17–7 halftime lead, then held on as the Vikings came up one yard short on fourth down at the Atlanta 39 with 55 seconds to play. The victory was the Falcons sixth in a row. The victory was sweet revenge for Falcons head coach Norm Van Brocklin, who was the Vikings' first head coach from 1961 to 1966, and quarterback Bob Lee, a Vikings backup from 1969 to 1972 (as well as punter from 1969 to 1971), and again in 1976 and '77.

Only one home team lost out of the 13 games: Cleveland to Miami 17–9 on October 15 (the Raiders and Broncos played to a 23–23 tie in Denver a week later).

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 17 New York Jets 7–23 Green Bay Packers Milwaukee County Stadium
Monday September 24 New Orleans Saints 3–40 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday October 1 Atlanta Falcons 6–31 Detroit Lions Tiger Stadium
Monday October 8 Dallas Cowboys 7–14 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Cowboys–Redskins rivalry
1972 NFC Championship Game rematch
Monday October 15 Miami Dolphins 17–9 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium 1972 AFC Divisional playoff rematch
Monday October 22 Oakland Raiders 23–23 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium Broncos–Raiders rivalry
Monday October 29 Kansas City Chiefs 14–23 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium
Monday November 5 Washington Redskins 16–21 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium
Monday November 12 Chicago Bears 7–19 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium
Monday November 19 Minnesota Vikings 14–20 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Stadium
Monday November 26 Green Bay Packers 6–20 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
Monday December 3 Pittsburgh Steelers 26–30 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl 1972 AFC Championship Game rematch
Monday December 10 New York Giants 6–40 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

1974 NFL season

The season-opening contest in Buffalo on September 16 marked the start of a three-year stint for Alex Karras as a color commentator for the show. Karras had replaced Fred Williamson, who had originally replaced Don Meredith, but was dismissed after a poorly received effort during a few preseason contests. The Raiders' loss was their first on Monday Night, and would be their last until 1986.

The October 14 game between the Lions and 49ers marked the final Monday Night Football game ever at Tiger Stadium.

Facing huge competition from the October 28 CBS broadcast of the wedding of Rhoda Morgenstern on Rhoda and NBC's November 18 broadcast of The Godfather, ratings for Monday Night Football took a hit for those two contests. On that October 28, Pittsburgh defeated Atlanta for the 14th consecutive home team victory on Monday Night and the 15th consecutive without a loss. The streak was snapped the following week when Los Angeles won at San Francisco, the fourth of 10 consecutive Rams victories at Candlestick Park.

The November 25 game at Tulane Stadium marked the first time ABC broadcast a Monday Night game in the same facility which would host the Super Bowl at the end of the season. Ironically, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the New Orleans Saints in the MNF game, then came back January 12, 1975 and ousted the Minnesota Vikings on the same field to win their first championship in franchise history. In between, ABC telecast the final Sugar Bowl played at Tulane Stadium, with Nebraska edging Florida 13–10 on New Year's Eve.

After losing to the Steelers, the Saints did not return to MNF for five years.

From 1974 to 1977, the Monday night game aired on Saturday during the final week of the regular season. Previously, there had been no prime-time game in the season's final week.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 16 Oakland Raiders 20–21 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium
Monday September 23 Dallas Cowboys 10–13 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium Cowboys–Eagles rivalry
Monday September 30 Denver Broncos 3–30 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday October 7 New York Jets 17–21 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Jets rivalry
Monday October 14 San Francisco 49ers 13–17 Detroit Lions Tiger Stadium
Monday October 21 Green Bay Packers 9–10 Chicago Bears Soldier Field Bears–Packers rivalry
Monday October 28 Atlanta Falcons 17–24 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium
Monday November 4 Los Angeles Rams 15–13 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Rams rivalry
Monday November 11 Minnesota Vikings 28–24 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Memorial Stadium
Monday November 18 Kansas City Chiefs 42–34 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium Broncos–Chiefs rivalry
Monday November 25 Pittsburgh Steelers 28–7 New Orleans Saints Tulane Stadium
Monday December 2 Cincinnati Bengals 3–24 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl 1973 AFC Divisional playoff rematch
Monday December 9 Washington Redskins 23–17 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Saturday December 14 Dallas Cowboys 23–27 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
1975 Pro Bowl January 20 NFC 17–10 AFC Orange Bowl

1975 NFL season

The Oakland Raiders' defeat of the Miami Dolphins on September 22 ended the Dolphins 31-game home winning streak. During this game, ABC switched at halftime to ABC News anchor Harry Reasoner for an update on the assassination attempt on President Ford by Sara Jane Moore earlier that day.

The October 6 game marked the first regular season game ever played in the Pontiac Silverdome, the then-new home of the Detroit Lions. The Dallas Cowboys, who had missed the playoffs in 1974 for the first time in nine years, beat the Lions on their way to a 4–0 start to the season. The Cowboys would return to the playoffs in 1975, starting a new nine-year streak of playoff berths, and became the first NFL wild card team ever to play in the Super Bowl.

Following their surprising 34–31 victory at Dallas Nov. 10, Kansas City did not win another MNF game until 1991. The Chiefs-Cowboys game is best remembered for a diving one-handed touchdown reception by the Cowboys' Golden Richards at the back of the end zone.

The final Monday Night Football game of the season offered one of the least attractive contests in the six-year history of the program: The 1–11 San Diego Chargers hosted the 3–9 New York Jets, with the Chargers pulling an upset 24–16 victory.

This was the first season that the Rams did not appear in one of the final two games of the season. The Rams played at home in the final Monday night game four of the first five seasons of Monday Night Football. Nevertheless, the Rams did play in the final game covered by the MNF team on Saturday, December 20, where they defeated the eventual Super Bowl champion Steelers.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 22 Oakland Raiders 31–21 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl 1974 AFC Divisional playoff rematch
(The Sea of Hands)
Monday September 29 Green Bay Packers 13–23 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium
Monday October 6 Dallas Cowboys 36–10 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome
Monday October 13 St. Louis Cardinals 17–27 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday October 20 New York Giants 17–14 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium
Monday October 27 Minnesota Vikings 13–9 Chicago Bears Soldier Field Bears–Vikings rivalry
Monday November 3 Los Angeles Rams 42–3 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium
Monday November 10 Kansas City Chiefs 34–31 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday November 17 Buffalo Bills 24–33 Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium
Monday November 24 Pittsburgh Steelers 32–9 Houston Oilers Astrodome Oilers–Steelers rivalry
Monday December 1 New England Patriots 7–20 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Patriots rivalry
Monday December 8 Denver Broncos 10–17 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Broncos–Raiders rivalry
Monday December 15 New York Jets 16–24 San Diego Chargers San Diego Stadium
Saturday December 20 Pittsburgh Steelers 3–10 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum LAR Win: No 1 Seed Loss With MIN

LAR Loss: No 2 Seed

1976 Pro Bowl January 26 AFC 20–23 NFC Louisiana Superdome

1976 NFL season

This season saw the first Monday night overtime game since overtime was instituted for the regular season in 1974, as the Redskins kicked a field goal in the extra period to beat the Eagles 20–17.

The October 11 game marked the first time the Rams had ever been shut out at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in their team history. The 49ers sacked Rams quarterback James Harris 10 times, six alone by defensive end Tommy Hart.

The October 18 game featured Alex Karras singing a fight song written for the New York Jets by then-head coach Lou Holtz before the kickoff (which was repeated for the NFL Top 10 series in the episode on "Coaches Who Belonged in College").

1976 also marked the program using a new theme song for the introduction.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 13 Miami Dolphins 30–21 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium Bills–Dolphins rivalry
Monday September 20 Oakland Raiders 24–21 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium Chiefs–Raiders rivalry
Monday September 27 Washington Redskins 20–17 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium Eagles–Redskins rivalry
Monday October 4 Pittsburgh Steelers 6–17 Minnesota Vikings Metropolitan Stadium
Monday October 11 San Francisco 49ers 16–0 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 49ers–Rams rivalry
Monday October 18 New York Jets 7–41 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium Jets–Patriots rivalry
Monday October 25 St. Louis Cardinals 10–20 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday November 1 Houston Oilers 14–38 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium
Monday November 8 Los Angeles Rams 12–20 Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium
Monday November 15 Buffalo Bills 10–17 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday November 22 Baltimore Colts 17–16 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Monday November 29 Minnesota Vikings 16–20 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
Monday December 6 Cincinnati Bengals 20–35 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
Saturday December 11 Los Angeles Rams 20–17 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome
1977 Pro Bowl January 17 NFC 14–24 AFC Kingdome

1977 NFL season

The September 26 game was decided in overtime on Don Cockroft's 35-yard field goal with 10:15 left in the extra session.

This was Don Meredith's first season back in the booth, after three seasons at NBC. He would remain through the 1984 season.

The October 10 game was Joe Namath's last NFL start and last NFL game.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Host Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 19 San Francisco 49ers 0–27 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium
Monday September 26 New England Patriots 27–30 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Monday October 3 Oakland Raiders 37–28 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium Chiefs–Raiders rivalry
Monday October 10 Los Angeles Rams 23–24 Chicago Bears Soldier Field
Monday October 17 Cincinnati Bengals 14–20 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium Bengals–Steelers rivalry
Monday October 24 Minnesota Vikings 3–35 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 1976 NFC Championship Game rematch
Monday October 31 New York Giants 0–28 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Memorial Stadium
Monday November 7 Washington Redskins 3–10 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium
Monday November 14 St. Louis Cardinals 24–17 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday November 21 Green Bay Packers 9–10 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday November 28 Buffalo Bills 13–34 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
Monday December 5 Baltimore Colts 6–17 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Monday December 12 Dallas Cowboys 42–35 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Cowboys rivalry
Saturday December 17 Minnesota Vikings 30–21 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome Lions–Vikings rivalry

MIN Win: NFC Central Champions with CHI Loss

1978 Pro Bowl January 23 AFC 13–14 NFC Tampa Stadium

1978 NFL season

The September 4 game, the 1978 MNF season opener, was when Howard Cosell and the announcing crew was given a plate of nachos and Cosell began using the term 'nacho' for the duration of the game; this moment is notable for helping spread the popularity of the dish outside of its native Texas where it was invented.[1]

The September 18 game between the Colts and the Patriots featured a Monday Night Football-record 41 points scored between the two teams in the fourth quarter, 27 by the Colts. Colts running back Joe Washington had a memorable performance, scoring or helping score his teams' final three touchdowns. His catch of a touchdown pass tied the game at 20–20, and then he threw an option pass to Roger Carr to put the Colts ahead 27–20. After the Patriots tied it late, Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for the winning touchdown.

The November 20 game between the Dolphins and the Oilers featured a memorable performance by Oilers' rookie running back Earl Campbell. Campbell rushed for 199 yards and four touchdowns in a nip-and-tuck game that was capped off by his 81-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. It was the first MNF telecast from the Astrodome since the infamous 1972 game versus the Oakland Raiders where a fan gave the middle finger to a camera.

The November 27 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers kicked off at 6 pm. Pacific time, just hours after San Francisco mayor George Moscone and city supervisor Harvey Milk were murdered at City Hall by former supervisor Dan White. NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, a former publicity director at the University of San Francisco, did not consider postponing the game. During the game, a large protest march to the steps of City Hall took place. A rarely discussed moment happened before the game just prior the national anthem. The stadium observed a moment of silence to honor the fallen mayor. Between that and the national anthem a truck backed into the stadium flag pole sending it crashing to the ground. It was a large wooden pole near the southern end zone. It shocked the crowd who were already uneasy from a very tragic day in San Francisco.

In the regular season finale December 18, New England Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks was not present, suspended by owner Billy Sullivan after he accepted the same position at the University of Colorado. Coordinators Ron Erhardt and Hank Bullough served as co-coaches for the game, which the Miami Dolphins won 23–3. Fairbanks was allowed to coach the Patriots in the AFC divisional playoff vs. Houston, which New England lost 31–14.

From 1978 to 1986, ABC would televise some Thursday and Sunday night games.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 4 Baltimore Colts 0–38 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday September 11 Denver Broncos 9–12 Minnesota Vikings Metropolitan Stadium
Monday September 18 Baltimore Colts 34–27 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium Colts–Patriots rivalry
Sunday September 24 New England Patriots 21–14 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
Monday September 25 Minnesota Vikings 24–20 Chicago Bears Soldier Field Bears–Vikings rivalry
Monday October 2 Dallas Cowboys 5–9 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Cowboys–Redskins rivalry
Monday October 9 Cincinnati Bengals 0–21 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Monday October 16 Chicago Bears 7–16 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium
Monday October 23 Houston Oilers 24–17 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium Oilers–Steelers rivalry
Thursday October 26 Minnesota Vikings 21–10 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium 1977 NFC Championship Game rematch
Monday October 30 Los Angeles Rams 7–15 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
Monday November 6 Washington Redskins 17–21 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium
Sunday November 12 Pittsburgh Steelers 7–10 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Monday November 13 Oakland Raiders 34–21 Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium
Monday November 20 Miami Dolphins 30–35 Houston Oilers The Astrodome
Monday November 27 Pittsburgh Steelers 24–7 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park Night of the assassination of San Francisco Mayor

George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Sunday December 3 Denver Broncos 21–6 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Broncos–Raiders rivalry
1977 AFC Championship Game rematch
Monday December 4 Chicago Bears 7–40 San Diego Chargers San Diego Stadium
Monday December 11 Cincinnati Bengals 20–19 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
1979 Pro Bowl January 29 AFC 7–13 NFC Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

1979 NFL season

The September 4 opening game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots was stopped for more than five minutes in the second quarter to acknowledge former Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley, who was seated in a luxury box at Schaefer Stadium. Stingley had suffered a career-ending injury 13 months earlier that had left him a quadriplegic.

The October 1 game at Lambeau Field marked the first time ever that a Monday Night Football game had taken place in Green Bay. The three previous Packers home games in the series had taken place in Milwaukee (1970, 1971, and 1973). Two weeks later, the Jets hosted the first ever MNF game in New York City, and defeated the Vikings.

The Seattle Seahawks made their MNF debut October 29 versus the Atlanta Falcons. Four weeks later, they played their first MNF home game versus the New York Jets.

In the November 12 game between the Eagles and the Cowboys, barefoot Eagles kicker Tony Franklin booted a 59-yard field goal. It was the longest MNF field goal until Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski hit an altitude-assisted 63-yarder at Denver in 2011, tying the league record as it then stood, and is still the Monday night non-altitude assisted record.

In the December 3 Raiders/Saints game, Ken Stabler rallied the Raiders from a 35–14 deficit. He threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Cliff Branch for the winning score. Stabler later played for the Saints from 1982 through the first half of 1984. The loss ended up costing the Saints their first winning season, as they finished 8-8; New Orleans would not finish above .500 until 1987.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 3 Pittsburgh Steelers 16–13 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium
Thursday September 6 Los Angeles Rams 13–9 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium
Monday September 10 Atlanta Falcons 14–10 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium 1978 NFC Wild Card playoff rematch
Monday September 17 New York Giants 0–27 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Giants–Redskins rivalry
Monday September 24 Dallas Cowboys 7–26 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Monday October 1 New England Patriots 14–27 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field
Monday October 8 Miami Dolphins 3–13 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
Sunday October 14 Los Angeles Rams 6–30 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium 1978 NFC Championship Game rematch
Monday October 15 Minnesota Vikings 7–17 New York Jets Shea Stadium
Monday October 22 Denver Broncos 7–42 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium 1978 AFC Divisional playoff rematch
Thursday October 25 San Diego Chargers 22–45 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Chargers–Raiders rivalry
Monday October 29 Seattle Seahawks 31–28 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
Monday November 5 Houston Oilers 9–6 Miami Dolphins Miami Orange Bowl 1978 AFC Wild Card playoff rematch
Monday November 12 Philadelphia Eagles 31–21 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium Cowboys–Eagles rivalry
Monday November 19 Atlanta Falcons 14–20 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Monday November 26 New York Jets 7–30 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Thursday November 29 New England Patriots 24–39 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Patriots rivalry
Monday December 3 Oakland Raiders 42–35 New Orleans Saints Louisiana Superdome
Monday December 10 Pittsburgh Steelers 17–20 Houston Oilers The Astrodome Oilers–Steelers rivalry
1978 AFC Championship Game rematch
Monday December 17 Denver Broncos 7–17 San Diego Chargers San Diego Stadium Broncos–Chargers rivalry

DEN Win: Clinch AFC Wild Card with SEA OAK NE And CLE Loss

1980 Pro Bowl January 27 NFC 37–27 AFC Aloha Stadium


1980 NFL season

Dallas defeated Washington marking the first time that those teams opened up the Monday Night Football season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played their first game on ABC Thursday, September 11 at home versus the Los Angeles Rams, then played their first Monday night game at Chicago October 6.

The November 24 game was the one where New Orleans Saints fans, watching what would become a dreadful 1–15 campaign that season, began wearing paper bags over their heads and referring to the team as the "Aints". One night later, Sugar Ray Leonard defeated Roberto Duran in the famous 'No Mas' bout for the welterweight world boxing championship.

The December 8 game was forever remembered for Howard Cosell's announcement of the murder of John Lennon with three seconds left in the fourth quarter. ABC News' Nightline provided live coverage of Lennon's death shortly after the conclusion of the game.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 8 Dallas Cowboys 17–3 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Cowboys–Redskins rivalry
Thursday September 11 Los Angeles Rams 9–10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Stadium 1979 NFC Championship Game rematch
Monday September 15 Houston Oilers 16–7 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Monday September 22 New York Giants 3–35 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium Eagles–Giants rivalry
Monday September 29 Denver Broncos 14–23 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium Broncos–Patriots rivalry
Monday October 6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0–23 Chicago Bears Soldier Field
Monday October 13 Washington Redskins 17–20 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium
Monday October 20 Oakland Raiders 45–34 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium Raiders–Steelers rivalry
Sunday October 26 San Diego Chargers 31–42 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday October 27 Miami Dolphins 14–17 New York Jets Shea Stadium Dolphins–Jets rivalry
Monday November 3 Chicago Bears 21–27 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Monday November 10 New England Patriots 34–38 Houston Oilers The Astrodome
Monday November 17 Oakland Raiders 19–17 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Thursday November 20 San Diego Chargers 27–24 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Monday November 24 Los Angeles Rams 27–7 New Orleans Saints Louisiana Superdome
Monday December 1 Denver Broncos 3–9 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Broncos–Raiders rivalry
Thursday December 4 Pittsburgh Steelers 0–6 Houston Oilers The Astrodome Oilers–Steelers rivalry
1979 AFC Championship Game rematch
Monday December 8 New England Patriots 13–16 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Patriots rivalry
Monday December 15 Dallas Cowboys 14–38 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium 1979 NFC Divisional playoff rematch
Monday December 22 Pittsburgh Steelers 17–26 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium SD Win: Clinch No. 1 Seed With CLE Loss
1981 Pro Bowl February 1 AFC 7–13 NFC Aloha Stadium

1981 NFL season

The December 7 game between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers would mark the final Monday night game played in Oakland prior to the Raiders' move to Los Angeles. The next Monday night game played in Oakland would be held in 1996; one year after the Raiders' return to Oakland in 1995.

Home teams won every game ABC aired after the month of September, a total of 14 contests.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 7 San Diego Chargers 44–14 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Thursday September 10 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–30 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Monday September 14 Oakland Raiders 36–10 Minnesota Vikings Metropolitan Stadium
Thursday September 17 Philadelphia Eagles 20–14 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium
Monday September 21 Dallas Cowboys 35–21 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium
Monday September 28 Los Angeles Rams 24–7 Chicago Bears Soldier Field
Monday October 5 Atlanta Falcons 13–16 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium
Monday October 12 Miami Dolphins 21–31 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium Bills–Dolphins rivalry
Sunday October 18 Los Angeles Rams 17–29 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium 1980 NFC Wild Card playoff rematch
Monday October 19 Chicago Bears 17–48 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome Bears–Lions rivalry
Monday October 26 Houston Oilers 13–26 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium Oilers–Steelers rivalry
Monday November 2 Minnesota Vikings 17–19 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium
Monday November 9 Buffalo Bills 14–27 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday November 16 San Diego Chargers 23–44 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Monday November 23 Minnesota Vikings 30–31 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
Monday November 30 Philadelphia Eagles 10–13 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Thursday December 3 Cleveland Browns 13–17 Houston Oilers The Astrodome
Monday December 7 Pittsburgh Steelers 27–30 Oakland Raiders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Raiders–Steelers rivalry
Monday December 14 Atlanta Falcons 16–21 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium
Monday December 21 Oakland Raiders 10–23 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium Chargers–Raiders rivalry
1980 AFC Championship Game rematch
1982 Pro Bowl January 31 NFC 13–16 AFC Aloha Stadium

1982 NFL season

This was the season in which a nine-week players’ strike forced the NFL to postpone seven regular season games. The September 20 game between the Packers and the Giants would be the last game played until November 21. The Packers-Giants game was the first Monday night game hosted by the Giants.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted their first Monday night game November 29 versus the in-state rival Miami Dolphins, the first regular season meeting between the teams since the Buccaneers' inaugural year of 1976. In 1980, the Buccaneers hosted the Los Angeles Rams in a Thursday night game on ABC.

In the January 3 game between the Cowboys and the Vikings, Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett ran for 99 yards and a touchdown – still the longest running play from scrimmage in the NFL. Worth noting is that the Cowboys had only ten players on offense when the ball was snapped on that play, as fullback Ron Springs did not get onto the playing field in time after Minnesota kicked off to Dallas in the third quarter.

The Cowboys-Vikings game originally was scheduled to be played on Sunday, September 26 (Week 3), but was canceled due to the players’ strike, and then was among 14 canceled games rescheduled to a newly added Week 17 when the strike was settled. This resulted in the Cowboys playing three of their nine regular season games on MNF; the only other teams with two MNF games in the shortened season were the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins (incidentally, the November 8 game pitting the Chargers against the Dolphins in a rematch of "The Epic in Miami" was one of the games canceled as a result of the strike).

The San Francisco 49ers became the first reigning Super Bowl champion not to play a Monday night game, although they were featured in ABC games on other nights (one Thursday, one Sunday). Their scheduled Monday game (week 4 at Tampa Bay) fell victim to the strike.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 13 Pittsburgh Steelers 36–28 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium Cowboys–Steelers rivalry
Thursday September 16 Minnesota Vikings 22–23 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium
Monday September 20 Green Bay Packers 27–19 New York Giants Giants Stadium
Thursday September 23 Atlanta Falcons DNP* Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium
Monday September 27 Cincinnati Bengals DNP* Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium Bengals–Browns rivalry
Monday October 4 San Francisco 49ers DNP* Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Stadium
Monday October 11 Philadelphia Eagles DNP* Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium Eagles–Steelers rivalry
Monday October 18 Buffalo Bills DNP* New York Jets Shea Stadium Bills–Jets rivalry
1981 AFC Wild Card playoff rematch
Sunday October 24 Dallas Cowboys DNP* Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium
Monday October 25 New York Giants DNP* Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium Eagles–Giants rivalry
1981 NFC Wild Card playoff rematch
Monday November 1 Detroit Lions DNP* Minnesota Vikings Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Lions–Vikings rivalry
Monday November 8 San Diego Chargers DNP* Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl 1981 AFC Divisional playoff rematch
(Epic in Miami)
Monday November 15 Philadelphia Eagles DNP* Atlanta Falcons Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
Monday November 22 San Diego Chargers 24–28 Los Angeles Raiders Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Chargers–Raiders rivalry
Monday November 29 Miami Dolphins 17–23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Stadium Buccaneers–Dolphins rivalry
Thursday December 2 San Francisco 49ers 30–24 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium 49ers–Rams rivalry
Monday December 6 New York Jets 28–13 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome
Monday December 13 Dallas Cowboys 37–7 Houston Oilers The Astrodome Governor's Cup rivalry
Sunday December 19 Atlanta Falcons 17–7 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
Monday December 20 Cincinnati Bengals 34–50 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium 1981 AFC Championship Game rematch
Freezer Bowl
Monday December 27 Buffalo Bills 10–27 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Bills–Dolphins rivalry
Monday January 3 Dallas Cowboys 27–31 Minnesota Vikings Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
1983 Pro Bowl February 6 NFC 19–20 NFC Aloha Stadium

1983 NFL season

The September 5 game between the Cowboys and the Redskins was when Howard Cosell referred to Redskins wide receiver Alvin Garrett as a "little monkey." Cosell would also call his final MNF game on December 12 between the Packers and the Buccaneers, and his final NFL game on ABC on Friday night, December 16, between the Jets and Dolphins at Miami. Cosell did not make the trip to the west coast for the last game of the season between the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers.

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino made his NFL debut in the September 19 game between the Raiders and the Dolphins.

The October 10 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals is remembered for the Steelers' Keith Gary grabbing the facemask of Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson on a first-quarter sack and twisting his head 180 degrees. Anderson was knocked out of the game and backup Turk Schonert threw three interceptions, two of which the Steelers returned for touchdowns in a 24–14 Steelers win.

The October 24 game between the Cardinals and the Giants is the only overtime tie in MNF history, as the Cardinals' Neil O'Donoghue blew three field goal attempts in the extra period, one of them from extra-point distance. It was also the first overtime game on a Monday night since Howard Cosell announced the death of John Lennon in 1980.

Both of the Redskins' regular season losses during the 1983 season came on Monday night (Week 1 at home to Dallas; Week 7 to the Packers in Green Bay) by a margin of 1 point in each game.

Following their December 12 overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not play another game on ABC until 1998.

From 1983 to 1986 in addition to some Thursday and Sunday night games, ABC would also televise a Friday night game in week 16.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 5 Dallas Cowboys 31–30 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Cowboys–Redskins rivalry
1982 NFC Championship Game rematch
Thursday September 8 San Francisco 49ers 48–17 Minnesota Vikings Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Monday September 12 San Diego Chargers 17–14 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium Chargers–Chiefs rivalry
Thursday September 15 Cincinnati Bengals 7–17 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium Bengals–Browns rivalry
Monday September 19 Miami Dolphins 14–27 Los Angeles Raiders Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Monday September 26 Green Bay Packers 3–27 New York Giants Giants Stadium
Monday October 3 New York Jets 34–10 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium Bills–Jets rivalry
Monday October 10 Pittsburgh Steelers 24–14 Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium Bengals–Steelers rivalry
Monday October 17 Washington Redskins 47–48 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field
Sunday October 23 Los Angeles Raiders 40–38 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday October 24 New York Giants 20–20 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Memorial Stadium
Monday October 31 Washington Redskins 27–24 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium
Monday November 7 New York Giants 9–15 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome
Monday November 14 Los Angeles Rams 36–13 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
Monday November 21 New York Jets 31–28 New Orleans Saints Louisiana Superdome
Monday November 28 Cincinnati Bengals 14–38 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Thursday December 1 Los Angeles Raiders 42–10 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium Chargers–Raiders rivalry
Monday December 5 Minnesota Vikings 2–13 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome Lions–Vikings rivalry
Monday December 12 Green Bay Packers 12–9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Stadium
Friday December 16 New York Jets 14–34 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Jets rivalry
1982 AFC Championship Game rematch
Monday December 19 Dallas Cowboys 17–42 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Cowboys rivalry
1984 Pro Bowl January 29 NFC 45–3 AFC Aloha Stadium

1984 NFL season

The September 6 Thursday special game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets was the first primetime game hosted by the Jets in New Jersey, after relocating from Shea Stadium to Giants Stadium. The Jets previously played a September 1977 game in New Jersey after a scheduling conflict with the New York Mets at Shea.

An early season snowstorm in the October 15 game at Denver caused the Packers to fumble on their first two plays. Both fumbles were returned for Broncos touchdowns. However, the 5-1 Broncos' offense could only muster an additional field goal as the 1-5 Packers scored two touchdowns in the second half and very nearly pulled an upset.

The October 21 Sunday special game between the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys started at 9:45 EDT (8:45 CDT) due to ABC covering the second 1984 Ronald ReaganWalter Mondale debate. This was the latest time a regular season NFL game started until 2006 – beginning that year, MNF on ESPN would air two games in week 1, the second kicking off after 10:00 pm EDT. The 1984 Saints-Cowboys game remains the latest NFL kickoff on a broadcast network.

1984 marked the third straight year in which the Cowboys played in both the MNF season opener and season finale. The Cowboys would open the MNF season again in 1985 and 1986 to complete a run of seven Monday night openers in nine seasons. However, they would not close the season on MNF again until 1995, a Christmas night game at Arizona.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 3 Dallas Cowboys 20–13 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium 1983 NFC Wild Card playoff rematch
Thursday September 6 Pittsburgh Steelers 23–17 New York Jets Giants Stadium
Monday September 10 Washington Redskins 31–37 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 1983 NFC Championship Game rematch
Sunday September 16 Denver Broncos 24–14 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Monday September 17 Miami Dolphins 21–17 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium Bills–Dolphins rivalry
Monday September 24 San Diego Chargers 30–33 Los Angeles Raiders Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Chargers–Raiders rivalry
Monday October 1 Cincinnati Bengals 17–38 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium Bengals–Steelers rivalry
Monday October 8 San Francisco 49ers 31–10 New York Giants Giants Stadium 49ers–Giants rivalry
Monday October 15 Green Bay Packers 14–17 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium
Sunday October 21 New Orleans Saints 27–30 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium
Monday October 22 Los Angeles Rams 24–10 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
Monday October 29 Seattle Seahawks 24–0 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium
Monday November 5 Atlanta Falcons 14–27 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday November 12 Los Angeles Raiders 14–17 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome 1983 AFC Championship Game rematch
Monday November 19 Pittsburgh Steelers 24–27 New Orleans Saints Louisiana Superdome
Monday November 26 New York Jets 17–28 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Jets rivalry
Thursday November 29 Washington Redskins 31–17 Minnesota Vikings Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Monday December 3 Chicago Bears 7–20 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium
Monday December 10 Los Angeles Raiders 24–3 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome
Friday December 14 Los Angeles Rams 16–19 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Rams rivalry
Monday December 17 Dallas Cowboys 21–28 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl MIA Win: Clinch No. 1 Seed With DEN Loss
Super Bowl XIX January 20 Miami Dolphins 16–38 San Francisco 49ers Stanford Stadium AFC No. 1 vs NFC No. 1 matchup
1985 Pro Bowl January 27 AFC 22–14 NFC Aloha Stadium

1985 NFL season

The September 19 Thursday night game is memorable for Bears quarterback Jim McMahon's third quarter performance. Bears coach Mike Ditka elected not to start McMahon because of various ailments keeping him out of practice all week. ABC cameras kept showing McMahon begging Ditka to put him in the game. Finally, with the Vikings leading 17–9, McMahon entered the game and threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Willie Gault on his first snap. The Bears immediately got the ball back at the Vikings' 25-yard line on the next series on a Wilber Marshall fumble recovery, and McMahon hit Dennis McKinnon on the very first play for a touchdown. Then, on the very next series, McMahon completed 3 of 5 passes and another touchdown to McKinnon. For the third quarter, McMahon had taken seven snaps and completed five passes for three touchdowns.

The October 21 game is memorable for rookie Bears defensive lineman William Perry scoring a rushing touchdown after entering the game as an extra backfield blocker.

The October 28 game marked the final Monday night appearance at home for the Los Angeles Raiders until their return to Oakland in 1995, as well as the final Monday night game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until 2018.

In the November 11 game, a thrown snowball caused the 49ers to miss an extra point, a determining factor in the team's one-point loss.

The November 18 game between the Giants and the Redskins is infamous for Lawrence Taylor's sack that left Joe Theismann with a broken leg, ending Theismann's career.

The December 2 game between the Bears and the Dolphins, when the Dolphins put an end to the Bears' bid to match their undefeated season in 1972, was and still is the highest rated game in Monday Night Football history.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 9 Washington Redskins 14–44 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium Cowboys–Redskins rivalry
Thursday September 12 Los Angeles Raiders 20–36 Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium Chiefs–Raiders rivalry
Monday September 16 Pittsburgh Steelers 7–17 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium Browns–Steelers rivalry
Thursday September 19 Chicago Bears 33–24 Minnesota Vikings Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Bears–Vikings rivalry
Monday September 23 Los Angeles Rams 35–24 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Monday September 30 Cincinnati Bengals 37–24 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium Bengals–Steelers rivalry
Sunday October 6 Dallas Cowboys 30–29 New York Giants Giants Stadium Cowboys–Giants rivalry
Monday October 7 St. Louis Cardinals 10–27 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday October 14 Miami Dolphins 7–23 New York Jets Giants Stadium Dolphins–Jets rivalry
Monday October 21 Green Bay Packers 7–23 Chicago Bears Soldier Field Bears–Packers rivalry
Monday October 28 San Diego Chargers 21–34 Los Angeles Raiders Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Chargers–Raiders rivalry
Monday November 4 Dallas Cowboys 10–21 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Memorial Stadium
Monday November 11 San Francisco 49ers 16–17 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium
Monday November 18 New York Giants 21–23 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Giants–Redskins rivalry
Monday November 25 Seattle Seahawks 6–19 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
Monday December 2 Chicago Bears 24–38 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl
Sunday December 8 Pittsburgh Steelers 44–54 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium
Monday December 9 Los Angeles Rams 27–20 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Rams rivalry
Monday December 16 New England Patriots 27–30 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Patriots rivalry
Friday December 20 Denver Broncos 27–24 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Monday December 23 Los Angeles Raiders 16–6 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium LA Win: Clinch No.1 Seed With MIA Loss
1986 Pro Bowl February 2 NFC 28–24 AFC Aloha Stadium

1986 NFL season

During this season, MacGyver began a six-year run as the program's lead-in – the longest lasting such program in history.

The September 8 game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys marked the NFL debut of Herschel Walker.

The September 29 game was the last MNF game in St. Louis until 2000, when the Rams played their season opener at the Trans World Dome.

The October 27 game took place at the same time as Game 7 of the 1986 World Series at Shea Stadium in nearby Flushing, New York (the World Series finale was scheduled for the previous night, but was rained out).

The Sunday, December 7 game between the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys is remembered for Cowboys head coach Tom Landry being escorted off the field before the start of the 4th quarter due to Anaheim police learning of a threat on Landry's life. Landry would return after being fitted with a bulletproof vest.[2]

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 8 New York Giants 28–31 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium Cowboys–Giants rivalry
Thursday September 11 New England Patriots 20–6 New York Jets Giants Stadium Jets–Patriots rivalry
1985 AFC Wild Card playoff rematch
Monday September 15 Denver Broncos 21–10 Pittsburgh Steelers Three Rivers Stadium
Thursday September 18 Cincinnati Bengals 30–13 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium Bengals–Browns rivalry
Monday September 22 Chicago Bears 25–12 Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field Bears–Packers rivalry
Monday September 29 Dallas Cowboys 31–7 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Memorial Stadium
Monday October 6 San Diego Chargers 7–33 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Monday October 13 Pittsburgh Steelers 22–24 Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium Bengals–Steelers rivalry
Monday October 20 Denver Broncos 10–22 New York Jets Giants Stadium
Monday October 27 Washington Redskins 20–27 New York Giants Giants Stadium Giants–Redskins rivalry
Monday November 3 Los Angeles Rams 20–17 Chicago Bears Soldier Field 1985 NFC Championship Game rematch
Monday November 10 Miami Dolphins 16–26 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium 1985 AFC Divisional playoff rematch
Monday November 17 San Francisco 49ers 6–14 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Thursday November 20 Los Angeles Raiders 37–31 San Diego Chargers Jack Murphy Stadium Chargers–Raiders rivalry
Monday November 24 New York Jets 3–45 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Jets rivalry
Monday December 1 New York Giants 21–17 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Giants rivalry
1985 NFC Wild Card playoff rematch
Sunday December 7 Dallas Cowboys 10–29 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium 1985 NFC Divisional playoff rematch
Monday December 8 Los Angeles Raiders 0–37 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Monday December 15 Chicago Bears 16–13 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome Bears–Lions rivalry
Friday December 19 Los Angeles Rams 14–24 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Rams rivalryWinner: Clinch No. 3 Seed

Loser: Wild Card No. 5 Seed

Monday December 22 New England Patriots 34–27 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl Dolphins–Patriots rivalry
1985 AFC Championship Game rematch
1987 Pro Bowl February 1 AFC 10–6 NFC Aloha Stadium

1987 NFL season

There was a player strike called after the completion of Week 2's games. As a result, all games for Week 3 were canceled but unlike the 1982 players' strike, owners decided to resume play with replacement players. Replacement players were used in games played from Week 4 until Week 6 (including the 49ersGiants, RaidersBroncos, and RedskinsCowboys MNF games). Once a new collective bargaining agreement ended the strike, regular players came back and played starting with Week 7.

The October 26 game between the Broncos and the Vikings was rescheduled because Game 7 of the 1987 World Series (which was also broadcast by ABC), which featured the Minnesota Twins, had to play at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on Sunday night, when the Vikings were originally slated to host the Broncos. Therefore, the game was moved to Monday night, and was played simultaneously with the BrownsRams game. Coincidentally, the Browns had been slated to host the Broncos in the canceled Monday night game (in a rematch of The Drive). The Broncos-Vikings game, originally to be shown on NBC, was broadcast only in Colorado and Minnesota as part of ABC's ''Monday Night Football.'' The rest of the country saw the previously scheduled game: Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland, which turned out to be Eric Dickerson's last with the Rams.

The November 30 Raiders/Seahawks game marked the memorable Monday Night Football debut of Bo Jackson, with his 91-yard touchdown run. Prior to that, he ran over Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth for another score.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 14 New York Giants 19–34 Chicago Bears Soldier Field Last two Super Bowl Champions
Monday September 21 New England Patriots 24–43 New York Jets Giants Stadium Jets–Patriots rivalry
Monday September 28 Denver Broncos DNP* Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium 1986 AFC Championship Game rematch
Monday October 5 San Francisco 49ers 41–21 New York Giants Giants Stadium 49ers–Giants rivalry
1986 NFC Divisional playoff rematch
Monday October 12 Los Angeles Raiders 14–30 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium Broncos–Raiders rivalry
Monday October 19 Washington Redskins 13–7 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium Cowboys–Redskins rivalry
Monday October 26 Los Angeles Rams 17–30 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Denver Broncos 27–34 Minnesota Vikings Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Monday November 2 New York Giants 24–33 Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium Cowboys–Giants rivalry
Monday November 9 Seattle Seahawks 14–30 New York Jets Giants Stadium
Monday November 16 Chicago Bears 29–31 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium
Monday November 23 Los Angeles Rams 30–26 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday November 30 Los Angeles Raiders 37–14 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Monday December 7 New York Jets 28–37 Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie Stadium Dolphins–Jets rivalry
Monday December 14 Chicago Bears 0–41 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
Monday December 21 Dallas Cowboys 29–21 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium
Monday December 28 New England Patriots 24–10 Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie Stadium Dolphins–Patriots rivalry

NE And MIA Win: Clinch AFC East With IND Loss

Super Bowl XXII January 31 Washington Redskins 42–10 Denver Broncos Jack Murphy Stadium NFC No. 3 vs AFC No. 1 matchup

* Did not play due to 1987 NFL strike.

1988 NFL season

The September 12 game between the Cowboys and the Cardinals was the first game the Cardinals played in Arizona after relocating from St. Louis. The Cardinals did not return to MNF until the 1995 finale on Christmas Day, also against the Cowboys.

The October 3 game between the Cowboys and the Saints would be the final MNF game coached by Tom Landry, as well as for the Cowboys team as a whole until 1991.

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 5 Washington Redskins 20–27 New York Giants Giants Stadium Giants–Redskins rivalry
Last two Super Bowl Champions
Monday September 12 Dallas Cowboys 17–14 Phoenix Cardinals Sun Devil Stadium
Monday September 19 Indianapolis Colts 17–23 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium 1987 AFC Divisional playoff rematch
Monday September 26 Los Angeles Raiders 30–27 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium Broncos–Raiders rivalry
Monday October 3 Dallas Cowboys 17–20 New Orleans Saints Louisiana Superdome
Monday October 10 New York Giants 13–24 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium Eagles–Giants rivalry
Monday October 17 Buffalo Bills 37–14 New York Jets Giants Stadium Bills–Jets rivalry
Monday October 24 San Francisco 49ers 9–10 Chicago Bears Soldier Field
Monday October 31 Denver Broncos 23–55 Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome First MNF Game In Indianapolis Since Relocation to Baltimore
Monday November 7 Cleveland Browns 17–24 Houston Oilers The Astrodome
Monday November 14 Buffalo Bills 31–6 Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie Stadium Bills–Dolphins rivalry
Monday November 21 Washington Redskins 21–37 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
Monday November 28 Los Angeles Raiders 27–35 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Monday December 5 Chicago Bears 3–23 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium
Monday December 12 Cleveland Browns 31–38 Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie Stadium
Monday December 19 Chicago Bears 27–28 Minnesota Vikings Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Bears–Vikings rivalry

1989 NFL season

The October 9 game between the Raiders and the Jets was the first game for Art Shell as the Raiders head coach, becoming the first African-American NFL head coach in the modern era (Shell had been named interim head coach following the firing of Mike Shanahan).

The November 6 game between the Saints and the 49ers was originally scheduled for New Orleans but was switched with their October 8 game when the San Francisco Giants played in the NLCS.

The December 11 game between the 49ers and the Rams had John Taylor become the first player in NFL history to score two touchdowns of over 90 yards in a single game.

The December 25 game between the Bengals and the Vikings was the first NFL game played on Christmas Day since the 1971 divisional playoffs. (The Vikings also hosted one of the two Christmas Day 1971 playoff games, losing to the eventual Super Bowl VI champion Cowboys.)

1989 marked the first year in which the Miami Dolphins did not appear on Monday Night Football. The Miami Dolphins appeared on ABC's Monday Night Football every year except for this year and the 2005 season.

1989 also marked Monday Night Football's 20th season, and Hank Williams, Jr. made his debut to the program with his hit "All My Rowdy Friends".

Day Date Visiting Team Final Score Home Team Stadium Significance
Monday September 11 New York Giants 27–24 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Giants–Redskins rivalry
Monday September 18 Denver Broncos 28–14 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium
Monday September 25 Cleveland Browns 14–21 Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium Bengals–Browns rivalry
Monday October 2 Philadelphia Eagles 13–27 Chicago Bears Soldier Field 1988 NFC Divisional playoff rematch
(Fog Bowl)
Monday October 9 Los Angeles Raiders 14–7 New York Jets Giants Stadium
Monday October 16 Los Angeles Rams 20–23 Buffalo Bills Rich Stadium
Monday October 23 Chicago Bears 7–27 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium
Monday October 30 Minnesota Vikings 14–24 New York Giants Giants Stadium
Monday November 6 New Orleans Saints 13–31 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park
Monday November 13 Cincinnati Bengals 24–26 Houston Oilers The Astrodome
Monday November 20 Denver Broncos 14–10 Washington Redskins Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Monday November 27 New York Giants 24–34 San Francisco 49ers Candlestick Park 49ers–Giants rivalry
Monday December 4 Buffalo Bills 16–17 Seattle Seahawks Kingdome
Monday December 11 San Francisco 49ers 30–27 Los Angeles Rams Anaheim Stadium 49ers–Rams rivalry
Monday December 18 Philadelphia Eagles 20–30 New Orleans Saints Louisiana Superdome
Monday December 25 Cincinnati Bengals 21–29 Minnesota Vikings Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome MIN Win: Clinch NFC Central With Loss GB

MIN Loss: Eliminated With GB Win Clinch NFC Central Champions

See also


  1. ^ "How Howard Cosell helped bring nachos to the world". November 13, 2013.
  2. ^ "Archives". Los Angeles Times.
This page was last edited on 5 June 2022, at 04:11
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