ESPN NFL Programming Update – Week 6


ESPN NFL Programming Update – Week 6

AFC West Showdown on MNF: Peyton Manning and Broncos vs. Philip Rivers and Chargers
On ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos visit Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers in an AFC West battle for first place October 15, at 8:30 p.m. ET. Manning has won 11 of his 15 starts on MNF and has a 96.3 passer rating in those games, while Rivers is 7-3 on Monday nights with 17 touchdowns and a 105.2 passer rating. It is the third time in the past four seasons that the Broncos and Chargers are playing on MNF. Play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call the game with sideline reporter Lisa Salters

MNF is available weekly on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Additionally, fans can watch MNF on computers at and on tablets via the WatchESPN app if they receive their video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.

Chris Berman hosts the two-hour pre-game show Monday Night Countdown at 6:30 p.m. with analysts Cris CarterMike DitkaTom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. On-site host Stuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and Salters join the Countdown team from Qualcomm Stadium. 

The two-hour Monday Night Countdown will include a live, on-set appearance at Qualcomm Stadium by four-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, who will attempt a $1 million shot udring halftime at the game.  Highlights:

  • ‘Gruden Extra’ with Philip Rivers:  The Chargers Pro Bowl quarterback joins MNF’s Gruden for a one-on-one interview.
  • Soundtracks – Peyton Manning:  Quarterback Peyton Manning has won 152 of the 232 NFL games and has thrown 439 touchdowns.  A collection of in-game audio over Manning’s career will be featured on Soundtracks.  
  • Rick Reilly Feature – Broncos Eric Decker: In his weekly feature, columnist and Monday Night Countdown essayist Rick Reilly profiles Denver wide receiver Eric Decker, and how the movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., brought back difficult memories having lived through a similar tragedy in high school.

Sunday NFL Countdown: Indy – Playing for Chuck Pagano; LeSean McCoy and his Football Role Model; Pete Carroll’s Celebrations; and More
Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview the NFL’s week six games on Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM on October 14, at 10 a.m.  ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and senior analyst Chris Mortensen will report the day’s news and updates.  

Correspondents Rachel Nichols (Indianapolis at New York Jets), Sal Paolantonio (Detroit at Philadelphia), Ed Werder (Dallas at Baltimore), Colleen Dominguez (New York Giants at San Francisco), and Josina Anderson (Green Bay at Houston) will report from games.  Highlights: 

  • Playing for Pagano:  Perhaps no Indianapolis Colts player had a better appreciation of the team’s dramatic, comeback win at home over the Packers last Sunday than wide receiver Reggie Wayne. The Colts dedicated the win to their head coach Chuck Pagano, who is fighting leukemia.   Wayne’s relationship with Pagano dates back to the mid-1990s when Pagano, then on the University of Miami’s coaching staff, recruited the young receiver. Wayne and Pagano have remained close since then.  Rachel Nichols explains how after one of the best performances of his career, Wayne is helping his coach and friend tackle the fight of his life.
  • Stopping on a Dime:  Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is easily the best cut-back runner in the League today.  McCoy’s inspiration and role model is the best cut-back rusher of all time, former Detroit running back Barry Sanders. McCoy shares the secret to stopping on a dime and explains how the Lions’ Hall of Fame running back impacts his game.  The admiration is mutual, reports MNF sideline reporter Lisa Salters
  • Pete Carroll’s Celebrations:  If you want to know how the Seattle Seahawks are doing, just watch head coach Pete Carroll on the sidelines.  Now in his third season with the Seahawks, the 61-year-old coach has not lost any of his enthusiasm or changed his sideline demeanor from his days as a college coach at USC.  Countdown talks to Seahawks players about their exuberant head coach and the impact he has on the young team.
  • Eli Manning, Crash-Test Dummy:  On Sunday, the N.Y. Giants head back to San Francisco for the first time since the 2011 NFC Championship game where New York won but quarterback Eli Manning took a beating from the 49ers vaunted defense. Analyst Trent Dilfer examines how Manning’s body might hold up by going to a real crash-test dummy simulation.  

The program will also include recurring segments such as Cris Carter’s ‘Where You At?’, where the former standout wide receiver calls out underperforming players and Ron Jaworski and Meril Hoge’s matchup. In addition to discussing hot topics in the League, including: Green Bay’s 2-3 start and whether quarterback Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys can begin to turn around their season vs. the Ravens.

Jason Taylor to be Inducted into Miami Dolphins Honor Roll

ESPN analyst Jason Taylor, who spent 13 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins, will be inducted into the team’s Honor Roll on Sunday, Oct. 14 — along with former teammate Zach Thomas — during the St. Louis Rams at Dolphins game.

Taylor ranks second all-time in team history with 204 games played and 186 starts. He was selected to six Pro Bowls and named the NFL Defensive Player of Year (2006) and the NFL Man of the Year (2007). He also owns numerous Dolphins career marks, including sacks (131), opponents’ fumble recoveries (27), fumble returns for touchdowns (six), defensive touchdowns (nine) and interceptions by a defensive lineman (seven). Additionally, his 139.5 career sacks are the sixth-highest total in NFL history.

Snickers NFL Matchup – Calvin Johnson in the Slot; Victor Cruz vs. Carlos Rogers; Aaron Rodgers Issues at QB; and More

NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge will preview the weekend’s key matchups by taking viewers inside the film room with X’s and O’s analysis Sunday, Oct. 14, on ESPN at 6:30 a.m. (ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

  • Hoge’s Breakdown – Cowboys Pass Protection Issues: This week’s Hoge breakdown features a play that shows how the Cowboys’ inability to recognize and adjust to blitz pressure leads to breakdowns in protection and quarterback Tony Romo turnovers.
  • ‘X and O Files’ – Calvin Johnson in the Slot:  In this week’s ‘X and O Files,’ Jaworski explains how the Lions’ alignment of Calvin Johnson in the slot has allowed the wide receiver to beat a coverage designed to defend him.
  • Jaws’ Playbook – Aaron Rodgers Issues: Jaworski shows how Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has struggled to make routine throws by breaking down an incompletion on a third down play where wide receiver Jordy Nelson would have scored an easy touchdown.
  • Coaches Clicker – Brady to Woodhead on Third and Long:  Hoge uses the Clicker to show how the Patriots’ backs and receivers are athletic enough to beat the coverage and stay open late in the down when quarterback Tom Brady is under heavy pressure.
  • ‘Shot Play’- Andrew Luck Deep Ball to Donnie Avery:  Hoge breaks down one of the Colts’ shot plays that featured max-protection and a designed roll out for quarterback Andrew Luck, giving wide receiver Donnie Avery a chance to get open down field.
  • ‘Game Within the Game’ – Victor Cruz vs. Carlos Rogers:  The film from last year’s games between the 49ers and the Giants shows the Giants favor the matchup of wide receiver Victor Cruz against corner back Carlos Rogers in the slot.  Jaworski breaks down two plays that show the different route combinations the Giants used to isolate Cruz on Rogers.
  • ‘Between the Lines’ – Philip Rivers/Malcolm Floyd versus the Blitz:  In this week’s ‘Between the Lines,’ Jaworski uses the telestrator to break down a 32-yard completion that shows quarterback Philip Rivers’ aptitude to recognize blitz pressure and make pre-snap adjustments at the line of scrimmage.

— 30 —


Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties, including soccer, NFL and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.