ESPN NFL Programming Update – Week 12


ESPN NFL Programming Update – Week 12

Note: Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton will be featured on SportsCenter’s “Pick 6” segment with anchor Lindsay Czarniak today at 6 p.m. ET

Sunday NFL Countdown: Broncos-Patriots Preview; Leon Lett’s Blunder Revisited; The Patriot Way; and More
Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis, will preview the NFL games on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 10 a.m. Senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry, providing fantasy football updates and insight, and NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news across the league during the three-hour pregame program.  

Countdown will have reporter Sal Paolantonio and analyst Merril Hoge at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. for the week’s most anticipated game when the Patriots (7-3) host the Broncos (9-1).  

Sunday NFL Countdown will also feature updates from reporters at games, including:

  • Michele Steele (Jets at Ravens)
  • Ed Werder (Chargers at Chiefs)
  • Bob Holtzman (Panthers at Dolphins)
  • Josina Anderson (Cowboys at Giants)
  • Paolantonio and Hoge (Broncos at Patriots)  


  • Wes Welker Conversation with Tedy Bruschi: After six successful years with the Patriots, Wes Welker joined the Broncos in the offseason as a free agent. Ahead of his return to face his former team, the wide receiver sits with ESPN’s Tedy Bruschi, his former teammate with the Patriots, to discuss his offseason move and the differences between quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
  • The Patriot Way or The Highway: Wes Welker is a symbol of what has become known in NFL circles as “The Patriot Way” – replacing productive Patriots with lesser known players. As Welker returns to Gillette Stadium for visiting Denver on Sunday,’s Greg Garber sits with former Patriots – including Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, Willie McGinest, Ty Law and Damien Woody – to discuss whether “The Patriot Way” has helped or hindered the team.
  • Leon Lett’s Thanksgiving Blunder: ESPN’s Emmy Award winning reporter Jeremy Schaap relives the infamous play from Thanksgiving 20 years ago at a snow-blanketed Texas Stadium when Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett unsuccessfully tried to recover a blocked field goal attempt. The mistake gave the visiting Dolphins an unexpected second chance, helping them to win the game. Schaap speaks with several key members of the Cowboys and Dolphins who played in one of the NFL’s most unforgettable holiday games.
  • DJ Porter on the “NFC Least”: This season, the NFC East has become the division that no one wants to win. DJ Steve Porter spins an audio mix culled from the frustrations expressed by members of the four division teams.

Monday Night Football: Robert Griffin III and the Redskins Host Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers
In a matchup of exciting young quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins host Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football on November 25 at 8:25 p.m. ET on ESPN. Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will call the game from FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, with sideline reporter Lisa Salters. The game will also be televised on ESPN Deportes and is available via WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from an affiliated provider. 

The 49ers — playing the first of their two Monday night games this season — are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the most wins (43) all-time in MNF history. In all, the franchise has played 68 Monday night games, third-most among all NFL teams.

Leading into the matchup, Stuart Scott will host Monday Night Countdown beginning at 6:30 p.m. from FedEx Field with analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and MNF’s Tirico, Gruden and Salters. ESPN’s Bristol-based crew of host Chris Berman, analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will also join in the discussion. Highlights:  

  • Countdown Quarterbacks on Kaepernick and Griffin: Combining Xs and Os video analysis with on-field demonstrations, Countdown quarterbacks Steve Young and Trent Dilfer offer an in-depth look at the quarterbacks in the MNF game – Colin Kaepernick (49ers) and Robert Griffin III (Redskins).
  • Gruden’s Extra: Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon sits for a conversation with MNF’s Jon Gruden on “Gruden’s Extra.”
  • Soundtracks – Colin Kaepernick: Last season, Colin Kaepernick captured the imagination of fans with his exhilarating runs. This season, the 49ers quarterback’s on-the-field play has been up and down. Kaepernick was wired for sound in a week 6 win over the Arizona Cardinals and that will be featured on this week’s “Soundtracks.”
  • Rick Reilly Feature: In an essay, Reilly takes a unique look at NFL safety from his perspective watching the games from inside the stadium.

NFL Matchup: Jerricho Cotchery in the Slot; Cardinals Blitz; Giants’ Wheel-Dig Combination; and More

NFL Matchup host Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Hoge will preview the weekend’s key matchups by taking viewers inside the film room with X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 6:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

  • Jaws Playbook – Ben Roethlisberger to Jerricho Cotchery: Steelers’ Jerricho Cotchery has the third most receiving yards from the slot in the NFL and has scored a touchdown in each of the last three games.  Jaworski goes to the playbook to show how Cotchery wins one-on-one matchups versus slot corners.
  • Blitz Breakdown – Cards Triple “A” Gap Blitz: The Arizona Cardinals, on a three-game win streak, has blitzed more than any team in the NFL. They visit the Colts on Sunday whose offensive line has struggled this season. Hoge breaks down how the Cardinals defense disguises creative blitz concepts.
  • X and O Files – Mike Mitchell Sack via Double “A” Gap: The Carolina Panthers defense has allowed only 11 touchdowns in 10 games. Hoge shows how the Panthers defensive pressure starts in the “A” gap and projects the havoc it will cause the Dolphins offense — which leads the league in giving up sacks.
  • Between The Lines – Cam Newton 24-Yard Scramble: In the Panthers six-game win streak, Cam Newton has done it through the air and with his legs, accounting for 13 touchdowns. Jaworki explains how Newton reads man coverage and reacts with a successful quarterback scramble.
  • Coaches Clicker – Patriots Run Game: This season the New England Patriots have rushed for 100+ yards in seven of their 10 games. Hoge uses the clicker to explain why the Patriots have been successful running the ball.
  • Eye in the Sky – Knowshon Moreno’s Middle Screen: No team executes the screen pass quite like the Denver Broncos. Credit Knowshon Moreno, the team’s most overlooked player. Hoge shows the Broncos always have a few wrinkles versus both man and zone in pass game.
  • Inside The Matchup – 49ers “22”: This season, 42 percent of the 49ers running plays have come out of their “22” personnel formation – two running backs and two tight ends. Hoge describes how the Saints defense stopped the 49ers run game.
  • Passing Thought – Giants Wheel-Dig Combination: Though the Cowboys won their week 1 game vs. the Giants, three Giants wide receivers had more than 100 receiving yards. Jaworski explains how Eli Manning will have success throwing against a struggling Cowboys secondary using the wheel-dig combination.

ESPN Radio: Panthers at Dolphins on Sunday
ESPN Radio’s Sunday afternoon NFL games continue with the Carolina Panthers at the Miami Dolphins on November 24 at 11 a.m. Bill Rosinski will provide play-by-play with analyst Bill Polian and reporter Ian Fitzsimmons.  

Football Sunday on ESPN Radio with host Jonathan Coachman continues November 24. The show can be heard on terrestrial ESPN Radio outlets, Sirius XM Channel ESPN 84,, ESPN Radio app, Tune-in and Slacker. It is simulcast on ESPN2 from 1-3 p.m., ESPN from 3-7 p.m. and ESPNEWS from 7-7:30 p.m. For more information on Football Sunday on ESPN Radio, click here.

Patriots at Panthers – Most-watched MNF game on ESPN Deportes

ESPN Deportes scored big with the Patriots-Panthers Monday Night Football game this week (Nov. 18). The game was seen by an average Hispanic audience of 157,000 viewers (P2+), based on a 0.6 Hispanic Household rating, making it the most-watched MNF game ever on ESPN Deportes and the most-watched NFL game on Spanish-language television. Previously, the most-watched NFL game on ESPN Deportes and on Spanish-language TV, was MNF’s Bears-Cowboys last season (10/1/12), seen by 119,000 viewers (P2+) with a 0.4 Hispanic Household rating.

On ESPN, the Patriots-Panthers MNF game this week helped ESPN win the night among all networks (broadcast or cable) among households, viewers and all key male and adult demos with a 9.9 US rating, representing an average of 11,480,000 households and 15,772,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen. Release. NFL Playoff Machine Returns

In anticipation of the final six weeks of the NFL season and the charge to the playoffs, ESPN’s popular NFL Playoff Machine is back for 2013. The Playoff Machine projects AFC and NFC playoff seedings based on multiple criteria: Win Percentage, Home and Away Records, Power Rankings, and Offense and Defense Rankings.


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 over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
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