Here are the results of NFL games played on Christmas.
1971 – Dallas Cowboys 20, MINNESOTA VIKINGS 12 #
The Cowboys' defense forced five turnovers to give Dallas control of the game. Dallas expanded a 6-3 halftime lead by scoring twice in the third quarter on an 13-yard TD run by Duane Thomas and a 9-yard Roger Staubach to Bob Hayes touchdown pass play.
1971 – Miami Dolphins 27, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 24 (2 OT) #
The Dolphins prevailed in a seesaw battle during the 1971 AFC Divisional Playoff Game. Miami's Garo Yepremian ended the NFL's longest game ever with a 37-yard field goal in double overtime to give the Dolphins the win. The Chiefs' Ed Podolak turned in one of the single greatest post-season performances when he accumulated a combined 350 all-purpose yards. More on the NFL's longest game>>>
1989 – MINNESOTA VIKINGS 29, Cincinnati Bengals 21
Rich Karlis kicked five field goals, all in the first half, to lead Minnesota to a win on Monday Night Football during Week 16. With the win the Vikings clinched the NFC Central Division crown and knocked the Bengals out of the playoffs. Minnesota's defense picked up six sacks in the game, including three by Chris Doleman.
1993 – Houston Oilers 10, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 7
Played on Saturday of the season's next to last final regular season weekend, the game matched the league's two highest scoring teams. Ironically, the game was marked by defense. The Oilers won their tenth straight game and snapped the the 49ers' franchise-record 13-game home regular season winning streak.
1994 – MIAMI DOLPHINS 27, Detroit Lions 20
The Dolphins downed the Lions in Miami to win the AFC Eastern Division title. The win also gave Don Shula his record 319th regular season victory. Miami dominated the first half as running back Bernie Parmalee rushed for three touchdowns. Detroit rallied in the fourth quarter but their comeback fell short.
1995 – Dallas Cowboys 37, ARIZONA CARDINALS 13
The final game of the regular season, this Monday night matchup was one-sided as the Cowboys earned home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Troy Aikman passed for 350 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns to Kevin Williams, who had a career-high 9 catches for 203 yards.
1999 – Denver Broncos 17, DETROIT LIONS 7
The Broncos controlled the game as running back Olandis Gary rushed for 185 yards, including 174 in the second half. The rushing total was the most by a Denver rookie at the time. Meanwhile the Broncos defense shutdown the hometown Lions by limiting them to a mere 32 yards rushing, and recorded five quarterback sacks.
2000 – TENNESSEE TITANS 31, Dallas Cowboys 0
The Titans dominated the Cowboys to win the AFC Central Divion, and secure home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The tempo was set early as Steve McNair orchestrated a 74-yard drive on the opening series capped by a 17-yard TD pass to Derrick Mason. Tennessee put the game away by converting four turnovers into 24 points in the third quarter.
2004 – KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 31, Oakland Raiders 30
Chiefs placekicker Lawrence Tynes redeemed himself by kicking a 38-yard game-winning field goal with 22 seconds remaining in the game. Tynes had missed two previous field goal attempts earlier in the game but nailed the winner through the uprights after Dante Hall returned a kickoff 49 yards to give Kansas City excellent field position.
2004 – Denver Broncos 37, TENNESSEE TITANS 16
Denver quarterback Jake Plummer threw for 303 yards and a pair of touchdowns while running back Reuben Droughns scored three TDs as the Broncos beat the Tennessee Titans 37-16 to stay in the hunt for a wildcard spot.
2005 – Chicago Bears 24, GREEN BAY PACKERS 17
The Bears defense intercepted four passes as the team claimed the NFC North Division title and a first round bye in the playoffs. The win also marked the first time since 1991 that the Bears swept the Packers.
2005 – BALTIMORE RAVENS 30, Minnesota Vikings 23
Quarterback Kyle Boller completed 24 of 34 passes for 289 yards and threw 3 TDs while Derrick Mason had 9 catches for 103 yards and one TD to lead the Ravens past the Vikings. Minnesota's post-season hopes ended with the loss.
2006 – Philadelphia Eagles 23, DALLAS COWBOYS 7
The Eagles scored on four of its first five possessions en route to a win over the Cowboys in Dallas. Philadelphia QB Jeff Garcia threw for 238 yards and TD and RB Brian Westbrook rushed for 122 yards on 26 carries.
2006 – New York Jets 13, MIAMI DOLPHINS 10
The Jets and Dolphins battled through a torrential rainstorm and sloppy field conditions. Neither team scored in the first half but had touchdowns in the fourth quarter after the rain let up. Jets’ kicker Mike Nugent won the game on a 30-yard field goal with 10 seconds to play in regulation. The Dolphins Ronnie Brown led all rushers with 110 yards on 18 carries.
2009 – San Diego Chargers 42, TENNESSEE TITANS 17
This rare Friday night NFL game kicked off week 16 action as the Chargers went into Tennessee and handled their business even though they had clinched the AFC West Division six days earlier. Philip Rivers completed 21-27 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns in the rout. One notable for the Titans was running back Chris Johnson who rushed for 142 yards (his 10th-straight 100-yard rushing game of the season) and one touchdown on the way to his 2,000-yard rushing season.
2010 – ARIZONA CARDINALS 27, Dallas Cowboys 26
Neither the (5-10) Cowboys nor the (5-10) Cardinals were playing for a spot in the playoffs on Christmas night at University of Phoenix Stadium. Dallas dominated the game statistically, but two interception returns for touchdowns by cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (32 yards) and Greg Toler (66 yards) helped Arizona jump out to a 21-3 lead. The Cowboys rallied and with only 1:41 left in the game pull ahead with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Stephen McGee to Miles Austin. Unfortunately for Dallas, the Cowboys missed the extra point and left the door open for a Jay Feely 48-yard game-winning field goal with just five seconds remaining in the game.
2011 – GREEN BAY PACKERS 35, Chicago Bears 21
The Bears and Packers faced off for the 184th time, which includes two postseason meetings, during the Sunday Night Football Christmas special. Chicago was fighting for the final Wild Card spot in the NFC, while Green Bay, the NFC North Division Champions, were playing to secure the conference's number one seed. The Bears' third-string running back Kahlil Bell rushed for 121 yards and helped Chicago's depleted offense keep the game close, at 14-10 early in the third quarter. But Aaron Rodgers, who threw for 283 yards and 5 TDs, drove the Packers for touchdowns on their next three possessions to put the game out of reach.
# Divisional playoff games. All other games were during regular season.
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
, Hayes, Bob
, Shula, Don
, Staubach, Roger