For NFL players, Monday Night Football is a chance to showcase their talent to a national audience. Being a memorable part of this storied tradition motivates many athletes to elevate their game, which has resulted in greatest performances in league history.

This is a subjective exercise, but the competition to be included in a Top 10 was so tough that Tom Brady's 517-yard, four-touchdown clinic in Miami last season didn't make the cut. Should it be here? If so, who do you drop? Let the debate begin:

Greatest Monday Night Football Performances Slideshow


Bo Jackson, 1987

Jackson rushed for 221 yards in the Raiders' win at Seattle on Nov. 30, 1987. Jackson scored three touchdowns. One was a 91-yard run. Another was memorable for his freight-training of Brian Bosworth at the goal line.


Brett Favre, 2003

Just one day before the Packers faced the Raiders, Brett Favre's father, Irvin, died of a stroke at the age of 58. In what would become the one of the greatest performances of his illustrious career, the Packers quarterback threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns, finishing with a near-perfect passer rating of 154.9 in a 41-7 victory in Oakland on Dec. 22, 2003.


Earl Campbell, 1978

Saying that Campbell went off for the Oilers in their Nov. 20, 1978, game against the Dolphins is an understatement. Big Earl rushed 28 times for a then-MNF record 199 yards and still-record four touchdowns. The Oilers beat the Dolphins, which helped give them home field in a playoff rematch that they also won.


John Taylor, 1989

The 1989 49ers had two of the best offensive players of all time, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, but it was John Taylor who stole the show against the Rams on Dec. 11, 1989. Taylor caught 11 passes for a then MNF-record 286 yards and two touchdowns, propelling the Niners to a 30-27 victory.


Michael Vick, 2010

Michael Vick cast away all doubts that his two years in prison would debilitate his football career when he led the Eagles to a 59-28 rout of the Redskins on Nov. 15, 2010. Vick completed 20 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns, ran for 80 yards and two more touchdowns, and in the process proved that every dog has its day.


Eric Hipple, 1981

If you were impressed by Michael Vick's performance in 2010, just wait until you see what Lions quarterback Eric Hipple did in his first start in 1981. It might have been the greatest debut performance for any player in the history of any sport ever. Hipple torched the Bears defense for 336 yards on 14 of 25 passing and four touchdowns, and rushed four times for 13 yards and two touchdowns.


Devin Hester, 2006

In perhaps the greatest special teams performance of all time, Devin Hester returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, one 94 yards and the other 96 yards, in the Bears' 42-27 trouncing of the Rams. Hester finished the game with four kick returns for 225 yards one punt return for 21 yards.


Drew Brees, 2009

Brees was practically flawless in a 38-17 home win against New England on Nov. 30, 2009. He was 18 of 23 for a complete rate of 78.3 percent with 371 yards, five touchdown, no interceptions and a maximum passer rating of 158.3. It was the first time any quarterback had thrown for five touchdowns in a game against a Bill Belichick defense.


Jerry Rice, 1995

Rice submitted the greatest performance by a wideout in the history of Monday Night Football on Dec. 18, 1995. In the 49ers matchup against the Vikings, Rice caught 14 passes for 289 yards (both MNF-records to this day) and two touchdowns, sealing the Niners’ 37-30 victory.


Tony Dorsett, 1983

Dorsett embarrassed the Vikings defense by breaking off the longest run from scrimmage in NFL history. Dorsett’s 99-yarder will remain the longest run in NFL history unless the league decides to adopt go with a CFL field.

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