THE NFL ON CBS Memorable Games, Moments and Records
This season CBS Sports marks its 50th year of broadcasting THE NFL ON CBS. Throughout its rich history of broadcasting the NFL, millions of football fans and viewers have witnessed many great games, unforgettable moments and records on the CBS Television Network.
December 31, 1967 – 1967 NFL Championship Game: Green Bay 21 – Dallas 17. Popularly known as the “Ice Bowl,” it is widely considered one of the greatest games in NFL history, due in part to the hostile freezing conditions (wind chill of -36° F) in which it was played, the importance of the game, the rivalry between the teams, and the dramatic conclusion. CBS’s Ray Scott, Jack Buck and Frank Gifford called the game.
December 28, 1975 – “The Hail Mary.” Dallas 17 – Minnesota 14. The term “Hail Mary” pass first came to national awareness in this NFC Divisional Playoff game. With 24 seconds left in the game, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, nicknamed “Captain Comeback,” threw a desperate 50-yard winning touchdown pass to “Mr. Clutch” Drew Pearson to defeat the Minnesota Vikings. Until this time, a last-second desperation pass had been called several names, most notably the “Big Ben.” CBS’s Gary Bender and Johnny Unitas called the game.
November 19, 1978 – “The Miracle at the Meadowlands.” Philadelphia 19 – N.Y. Giants 17. Leading 17-12 with 31 seconds left in the game (and the Eagles having no timeouts left), Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik tried to hand off to running back Larry Csonka instead of simply kneeling with the ball to run out the clock. The exchange was fumbled and the Eagles’ Herman Edwards picked up the loose ball and ran it in for the game-winning touchdown. The Eagles won 19-17 and the next day Giants’ offensive coordinator Bob Gibson was fired, with head coach John McVay losing his job at the conclusion of the season. CBS’s Don Criqui and Sonny Jergensen called the game.
January 10, 1982 – “The Catch.” NFC Championship Game: San Francisco 28 – Dallas 27. With 58 seconds left and the 49ers down by six, quarterback Joe Montana throws a very high pass into the end zone. Dwight Clark leaps and completes a fingertip catch for a touchdown. The 49ers advance and go on to win Super Bowl XVI. CBS’s Vin Scully and Hank Stram called the action.
December 31, 1988 – “The Fog Bowl.” NFC Divisional Playoff game: Chicago 20 – Philadelphia 12. A heavy, dense fog rolled over Soldier Field in Chicago during the second quarter, cutting visibility to about 15-20 yards for the rest of the game. The fog was so thick that television and radio announcers had trouble seeing what was happening on the field. Verne Lundquist and Terry Bradshaw called the game for CBS Sports.
November 5, 1989 – “The Instant Replay Game.” Green Bay 14 – Chicago 13. On the final play of the game, Green Bay quarterback Don “Magic” Majkowski rifles a desperation pass into the end zone which was caught by receiver Sterling Sharpe, resulting in a touchdown that combined with the extra point would give the Packers a 14-13 victory. A penalty flag was thrown charging Majkowski had thrown an illegal pass after he stepped over the line of scrimmage. After review, the play was ultimately ruled a touchdown for Green Bay. The Bears organization protested, and to this day, it is marked in their media guide as “The Instant Replay Game.” Dick Stockton and Dan Fouts called the game for THE NFL ON CBS.
November 23, 1989 – “Bounty Bowl I.” Philadelphia 27 – Dallas 0. In the only Thanksgiving Day shutout Dallas has suffered to-date, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Cowboys, 27-0. The game was ill-tempered, with several scuffles between opposing players, and Cowboys (and former Eagles) kicker Luis Zendejas was knocked out of the game with a concussion because of a hard hit during a kickoff. After the game, Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson accused Eagles coach Buddy Ryan of placing bounties on Zendejas and Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman. CBS’s Pat Summerall and John Madden called the game.
December 10, 1989 – “Bounty Bowl II.” Philadelphia 20 – Dallas 10. The equally ill-tempered rematch of Dallas and Philadelphia was played in a Veterans Stadium that was not cleaned of snow that had fallen for several days in Philadelphia. The notoriously rowdy Eagles crowd threw snowballs, iceballs, batteries, and other objects at anyone in sight. One game official was knocked to the ground by a barrage of snowballs and Eagles star Jerome Brown became a target when he stood on the players’ bench pleading with fans to stop throwing debris onto the field. Dallas head coach Jimmy Johnson had to be escorted from the field by Philadelphia police through a hail of debris, and CBS broadcasters Verne Lundquist and Terry Bradshaw had to dodge snowballs aimed at the broadcast booth.
November 26, 1998 – “Coin Toss Game.” Thanksgiving Day: Detroit 19 – Pittsburgh 16 (OT). Jerome Bettis was sent out as the Steelers representative for the overtime coin toss. Bettis called “tails” while the coin was in the air but referee Phil Luckett declared that Bettis called “heads” and awarded possession to Detroit, who would go on to win the game before Pittsburgh had the chance to have possession. After reviewing the incident, the NFL changed the rule and declared that the call of “heads” or “tails” would be made before the coin was tossed rather than during the coin toss and that at least two officials would be present during the coin toss. Some have jokingly referred to the new procedure as the “Jerome Bettis Rule.” Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms, with Armen Keteyian reporting, called the game.
January 19, 2002 – “Tuck Rule Game.” AFC Divisional Playoff game: New England 16 – Oakland 13 (OT). With less than two minutes to play in regulation, the Patriots trailed the Raiders, 13-10, in a game played mostly in a driving snowstorm. Oakland defensive back Charles Woodson blitzed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, sacking him and causing what appeared to be a fumble. The ball was recovered by the Raiders’ Greg Biekert at the Oakland 42-yard-line. When referee Walt Coleman reviewed the play, he ruled it an incomplete pass because of the “Tuck Rule” (NFL Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2, Note 2), which states that “even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body” it is still a forward pass. The Patriots retained possession and later tied the game with 27 seconds left in regulation on a dramatic 45-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal that barely cleared the crossbar — arguably regarded as one of the greatest kicks of all time, given the snowy, blustery conditions. The Patriots won the game in overtime on Vinatieri’s 23-yard field. The rule had been addressed as correct after the season, and has not been altered. Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms, with Armen Keteyian reporting, called the game.
January 15, 2006 – “The Tackle.” AFC Divisional Playoff game: Pittsburgh 21 – Indianapolis 18. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger makes a game-saving tackle in the waning minutes that ultimately preserves his team’s victory but not before Colts K Mike Vanderjagt misses a field goal that would have sent the game into overtime. CBS’s Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf, along with Armen Keteyian reporting, called the game.
Side note: Shortly thereafter, on January 19, 2006, Vanderjagt appears on a lighthearted segment of the LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, during which he successfully kicks a 46-yard field goal outside Letterman‘s Manhattan studio.
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December 12, 1965 – Gale Sayers scores six touchdowns for the Chicago Bears against the San Francisco 49ers. Bob Fouts and Gordon Soltau called the action for THE NFL ON CBS.
November 27, 1966 – Washington scores a record 72 points against the New York Giants. Regional coverage on CBS affiliates was handled by Jack Whitaker, Frank Gifford, Jim Gibbon and Pat Summerall.
September 28, 1969 – Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp becomes the fifth player in NFL history to throw for seven touchdowns in a game, as the Vikings dismantle the Baltimore Colts, 52-14, in Minnesota. CBS’s Chuck Thompson and Jerry Kramer provided the game’s call.
November 8, 1970 – New Orleans K Tom Dempsey kicks an NFL record 63-yard field goal against Detroit. CBS’s Don Criqui and John Sauer called the action.
October 24, 1971 – Detroit Lions receiver Chuck Hughes dies of a heart attack during the game. The Lions trailed the Bears, 28-23, late in the fourth quarter. With the Lions running a two-minute drill, wide receiver Chuck Hughes came into the game, and went deep over the middle on a play that ended with an incomplete pass intended for another receiver. Hughes then collapsed as he headed back to the huddle. Bears middle linebacker Dick Butkus got to him first and alerted the Lions bench. Team doctor Richard Thompson came onto the field and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Hughes. The game was finished in silence.
October 21, 1973 – Fred Dryer records two safeties (both sacks) in one game (an NFL record) for the Los Angeles Rams against the Green Bay Packers.
November 27, 1980 – Chicago’s Dave Williams took the opening overtime kickoff for a score, leading the Bears past the Detroit Lions, 23-17. This marked the first time a player ever returned an overtime kickoff for a touchdown. Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier called the action for THE NFL ON CBS.
January 8, 1984 – NFC Championship Game: Washington 24 – San Francisco 21. The 49ers score 21 points in the fourth quarter but Washington K Mark Moseley kicks a field goal with 40 seconds left to give the Redskins the win. CBS’s Pat Summerall and John Madden called the action.
October 7, 1984 – As Chicago returns to the huddle, QB Jim McMahon looks every player in the eye and calls “Toss 28 Weak” – a pitchout to RB Walter Payton where he rushes for a six-yard gain to eclipse Jim Brown’s 19-year-old record of 12,312 career rushing yards. Tim Ryan and Johnny Morris called the action for THE NFL ON CBS.
January 10, 1988 – Walter Payton plays in his final NFL game, which results in a 21-17 playoff loss to the Washington Redskins in Chicago. He had 85 rushing yards in the game. CBS’s Pat Summerall and John Madden called the game.
October 14, 1990 – San Francisco’s Jerry Rice catches five touchdown passes from Joe Montana to beat Atlanta, 45-35. CBS’s Verne Lundquist and Dan Fouts called the game.
January 20, 1991 – NFC Championship Game: N.Y. Giants 15 – San Francisco 13. Matt Bahr kicks a 42-yard field goal as time expires to give the Giants the win. CBS’s Pat Summerall and John Madden called the game.
October 18, 1992 – San Francisco 49ers WR Jerry Rice records his 100th overall touchdown on an 80-yard pass from Steve Young against Atlanta. Dick Stockton and Randy Cross provided the call for THE NFL ON CBS.
October 25, 1998 – Denver K Jason Elam kicks a record-tying 63-yard field goal for the Denver Broncos against Jacksonville. CBS’s Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms, along with Armen Keteyian reporting, called the game.
January 14, 2001 – AFC Championship Game: Baltimore 16 – Oakland 3. Baltimore’s Shannon Sharpe catches a 96-yard touchdown pass from Trent Dilfer to put the Ravens up 7-0. That would be enough to beat the Raiders, as the Ravens went on to win, 16-3 and then on to Super Bowl victory. Sharpe’s 96-yard catch is still the longest play from scrimmage in playoff history. CBS’s Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms, along with Armen Keteyian reporting, called the game.
September 8, 2002 – Chad Morton of the New York Jets had a 96-yard kickoff return to win the game in overtime over Buffalo. It was his second kickoff return of the day, and it marked only the second time a player won an overtime game with a kickoff return. CBS’s Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms, along with Armen Keteyian reporting, called the game.
December 29, 2002 – Indianapolis’s Marvin Harrison catches his 143rd catch, the current record for receptions in a season. Gus Johnson and Brent Jones provided the call for THE NFL ON CBS.
December 26, 2004 – Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning throws for his 48th and 49th touchdown passes of the season, to tie and break Dan Marino’s record of 48 touchdown passes in a season. Kevin Harlan and Randy Cross called the action for THE NFL ON CBS.
October 16, 2005 – San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson became the first player since David Patten in 2001 and only the seventh player in NFL history to run, catch and pass for a touchdown in the same game. CBS’s Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker provided the play-by-play and analysis.
January 21, 2007 – AFC Championship Game: Indianapolis 38 – New England 34. Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts get the “big game” monkey off their backs by overcoming a 21-3 deficit against rival New England Patriots to win the AFC title game, 38-34. Manning throws for 349 yards, and Joseph Addai scores the go-ahead touchdown with one minute left in the fourth quarter. Manning and the Colts go on to win the Super Bowl, which was broadcast on CBS as Jim Nantz and Phil Simms called the action.
September 9, 2007 – New England’s Ellis Hobbs returns a kickoff for 108 yards against the New York Jets – the longest kick-off return in NFL history. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms called the action for THE NFL ON CBS.
October 7, 2007 – Houston K Kris Brown kicks five field goals including an NFL record three over 50 yards (54, 53, 57) in one game, a 22-19 win, against Miami. CBS’s Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon called the game.
October 21, 2007 – Tennessee K Rob Bironas kicks an NFL record-breaking eight field goals in his team’s 38-36 win against the Houston Texans. Dick Enberg and Randy Cross provided the call for THE NFL ON CBS.
November 4, 2007 – Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson rushes for an NFL record-breaking 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers. In the same game, San Diego’s Antonio Cromartie returns a missed field goal 109-yards for a touchdown, which is the longest play in NFL history. CBS’s Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf called the action.
January 12, 2008 – AFC Divisional Playoff game: New England 31 – Jacksonville 20. Patriots QB Tom Brady completes 26-of-28 passes (92.9%) against Jacksonville, giving him the post-season record for the highest completion percentage in a post-season game. Brady’s performance leads a 31-20 victory for his team, making them the second team ever to go 17-0 in an NFL season (including post-season; Miami). Jim Nantz and Phil Simms called the action for THE NFL ON CBS.
January 20, 2008 – AFC Championship Game: New England 21 – San Diego 12. New England beats San Diego to become the first team ever to go 18-0 in an NFL season (including post season). They go on to lose to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. CBS’s Jim Nantz and Phil Simms called the game.
September 21, 2008 – Miami’s Ronnie Brown had a touchdown pass on a halfback option out of the infamous “wildcat” offense. He also had four rushing touchdowns from the “wildcat” formation, giving him five touchdowns on the day, as Miami romped over New England, 38-13. CBS’s Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots called the game for THE NFL ON CBS.
November 16, 2008 – Pittsburgh beats San Diego, 11-10, in the first 11-10 final score in the history of the NFL. CBS’s Jim Nantz and Phil Simms made the call.
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