With the sports world on hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ESPN is gearing up to show a multitude of classic Monday Night Football games in the coming weeks.
The network will air five games over the next five Mondays at 8 p.m. ET each week, giving football fans a way to pass the time while stuck self-isolating due to the coronavirus.
So, naturally, we had to rank them.
No. 5: Packers vs. Vikings | Oct. 5, 2009
Final Score: Minnesota 30, Green Bay 23
Location: Mall of America Field | Minneapolis, Minnesota
ESPN Air Date: April 13
It was a historic Monday Night for Brett Favre, and an unusual one for Green Bay Packers fans everywhere.
The legendary Packers quarterback led the Minnesota Vikings to a 30-23 win against his former team, which officially made him the first quarterback in NFL history to secure a win against all 32 teams in the league.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Favre said after the game, via the Associated Press. “I felt right, but I guess I never thought I’d be in that situation.”
Favre finished the night with 271 yards and three touchdowns in the win. While his replacement in Green Bay recorded a career night too — Aaron Rodgers threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns, including a 33-yard heave to Jordy Nelson with 3:49 left in the game — he was sacked eight times and couldn’t quite complete the comeback.
Favre and the Vikings won 10 of their first 11 games that season, his only with the franchise, en route to the NFC Championship, where they eventually fell to the New Orleans Saints in overtime.
No. 4: Colts vs. Patriots | Nov. 7, 2005
Final Score: Indianapolis 40, New England 21
Location: Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Massachusetts
ESPN Air Date: April 20
Peyton Manning struggled early on in his career against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, mounting an early 0-7 record at Gillette Stadium.
Finally, though, the future Hall of Famer got his win.
Manning led the Indianapolis Colts to a dominant 40-21 win against Tom Brady and the Patriots in this Monday Night Football blowout behind 321 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
The New England defense had no answer for Marvin Harrison or Reggie Wayne, either, as the two Colts wide receivers posted 120-yard games and had three touchdowns on 18 receptions between the two of them. Running back Edgerrin James racked up 104-yards on 34 carries in the rout, too, preserving Indianapolis’ undefeated record through eight games that season.
No. 3: Falcons vs. Saints | Sept. 25, 2006
Final Score: New Orleans 23, Atlanta 6
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdone | New Orleans, Lousiana
ESPN Air Date: April 6
The game would have been a remarkable one for New Orleans Saints fans regardless of the outcome.
It was the first home game at the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city the year before.
The way the Saints dominated the Atlanta Falcons, however, made it that much better.
New Orleans cruised to a 23-3 win against Atlanta in this Monday Night Football contest behind an impressive defensive showing. The Saints held Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to just 57 yards on six carries and limited him to just 137 yards through the air on 12 passes.
The Saints grabbed the lead on the very first drive, too, after forcing a Falcons three-and-out. Steve Gleason expertly blocked the Atlanta punt and sent the ball back into the end zone, where they picked it up and grabbed an instant 7-0 lead.
No. 2: Cowboys vs. Bills | Oct. 8, 2007
Final Score: Dallas 25, Buffalo 24
Location: Ralph Wilson Stadium | Buffalo, New York
ESPN Air Date: April 27
By all accounts, the Dallas Cowboys should have lost this Monday Night Football contest in 2007.
The Buffalo Bills had built up an impressive 24-13 lead over the Cowboys after three quarters at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and capitalized on five interceptions from Dallas quarterback Tony Romo — who opened the night by throwing a pick-6 on his very first pass attempt of the game.
Yet it was the final few minutes of the game that turned it into a Monday Night Football classic.
Dallas mounted a massive 12-play, 85-yard drive and capped it with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton to bring them within two points with just 20 seconds left on the clock. Romo attempted to find Terrell Owens for a two-point conversion, however the Bills swatted the ball away to maintain the lead.
The Cowboys then recovered an incredible onside kick to get the ball back, setting up a 53-yard field goal from Nick Folk to seal the 25-24 win.
No. 1: Chiefs vs. Rams | Nov. 19, 2018
Final Score: Los Angeles 54, Kansas City 51
Location: LA Coliseum | Los Angeles, California
ESPN Air Date: March 30
It was the highest-scoring game in Monday Night Football history.
Naturally, it went down as an instant classic.
The Los Angeles Rams beat the Kansas City Chiefs 54-51 at the LA Coliseum, which marked the first Monday Night Football game in the city since 1985 after the game was relocated there from Mexico City.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff racked up 413 yards four touchdowns, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Everett with just 1:49 left to play, which set up the eventual three-point win.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes posted a career-high 478 yards and six touchdowns that night, but threw a pair of interceptions in the final 90 seconds.
In total, the game boasted 14 touchdowns, 56 first downs and 105 total points — 59 of which came in the second half.
“It was a whirlwind,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after the game, via the Associated Press. “I feel like I might need a couple of beverages to relax tonight, but it was great. This is what you love so much about the game.”
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