Sept. 21, 1970, Was the First Monday Night Football Game.
While Sunday’s game in Cleveland may not attract too great of an audience, apart from diehard fans of these two teams, not too long ago a Jets vs. Browns matchup played on this spot on Lake Erie was a momentous event in NFL history.
Keith Jackson did the play by play that night, and was joined for commentary by Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. The next season, Jackson, known for his decades of work calling college football games, would be replaced by Frank Gifford.
The 1970-71 campaign was the first to be played following the AFL-NFL merger. One year previously, the Jets represented the former AFL in Super Bowl III, Namath’s famous guarantee, while the Browns, who joined the NFL in 1950 after four years in the AAFC, moved to the American Football Conference, one half of the modern league as it stands today.
Namath pitched a touchdown to George Sauer, but also three interceptions, including the one that decided the game, taken back 25 yards by Billy Andrews for a score that clinched Cleveland’s eventual 31-21 victory.
The Jets and Browns have met 22 times in their histories, with Cleveland holding a 12-10 advantage all time.