Sunday NFL Countdown: Shutting Down Peyton Manning; Buffalo Bills Essay; Dear Brian – Mike Pettine’s Letter; Denver’s Raheem Moore; and More
Sunday NFL Countdown with host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis will preview the NFL’s week 3 games September 21 at 10 a.m. ET. Wendi Nix will host select segments, while NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news, including the latest from the recent off-field issues.
ESPN reporter game assignments:
- Broncos at Seahawks (Ed Werder and Ron Jaworski at Super Bowl XLVIII rematch game)
- Packers at Lions (Bob Holtzman)
- Vikings at Saints (Josina Anderson)
- Redskins at Eagles (Sal Paolantonio)
- Chargers at Bills (Britt McHenry)
- Shutting Down Manning: Ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII rematch in Seattle, Countdown host Berman visits with the two key players in the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” defensive secondary – cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas – to find out how they were able to shut down Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos offense last February.
- Rahim Moore: Countdown feature correspondent Michelle Beisner reports how Broncos safety Rahim Moore rebounded from acute compartment syndrome, which almost led to the amputation of his left leg last November. The story also includes the connection between Moore and devoted Broncos fan Tyson Goulding, who had the same health condition.
- Buffalo is …: The 2-0 Buffalo Bills are enjoying a rebirth. They defeated the conference rival Dolphins last week, and they have a new owner, pending league approval. Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, whose public battle against cancer has become one of the Bills’ success stories entering the season, voices a Countdown essay that captures the passion and love that the city of Buffalo has for its home team.
- Dear Brian – Mike Pettine’s Letter: After Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right leg last October in Buffalo, then-Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine wrote a letter to Hoyer. Pettine said that while preparing to face the Browns, he’d gained a lot of respect for Hoyer as a player. This season, Pettine, the Browns new head coach, has stood by Hoyer as the starter in the face of pressure to play first round pick Johnny Manziel, reports Greg Garber.
- Hannah Storm “Face to Face” with Patrick Peterson: In a special contribution to Countdown from her “Face to Face with Hannah Storm” series, the SportsCenter anchor features Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, who discusses why his wife, Antonique Larry, is his most-ardent fan and harshest critic.
- Soundtracks – Jay Gruden: The Redskins first-year head coach was wired for audio during the week 2 home opener vs. Jacksonville where his two star players – quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back DeSean Jackson – were injured.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Geno Smith and the Jets Host Jay Cutler and the Bears
Geno Smith and the New York Jets host Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on September 22 at 8:15 p.m. Mike Tirico will call the game from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., with analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters. During the telecast, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will join the NFL in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which continues through October 15. [Note: This Sunday (Sept. 21) marks 45 years to the day of the very first Monday Night Football game, a 31-21 Cleveland Browns victory over the Jets, televised on ABC.]
In addition to ESPN, MNF is available on ESPN Deportes and via WatchESPN. ESPN’s Weekly NFL Programming Schedule.
Also from MetLife Stadium, Suzy Kolber and NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Youngreview Sunday’s games and look ahead to the NFL’s week 3 finale in the pregame show, Monday Night Countdown (6 p.m., ESPN). Studio host Chris Berman joins Kolber from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., with NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Monday Night Countdown highlights:
- Gruden’s Grill Session with Rex Ryan: MNF analyst and Super Bowl-winning coach Gruden visits with Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
- Rick Reilly’s Feature – David Nelson: Countdown’s Rick Reilly tells the story of Jets wide receiver David Nelson, who is making a profound off-the-field impact in Haiti. Nelson and his brother have dedicated their lives to helping orphaned and poor children from the 2010 hurricane in Haiti.
- Soundtracks – Jay Cutler: In this week’s “Soundtracks,” Countdown presents some of the best in-game audio from Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s career.
NFL Matchup: Rivers and Cardinals’ Pressure; Attacking Richard Sherman; Kaepernick Corralled; Capable Kirk Cousins; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups with film-room X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Between the Lines – Rivers Beats Cardinals’ Pressure:Using plays from past games, Jaworski shows how quarterback Philip Rivers’ blitz recognition creates explosive plays for the Chargers.
- Coaches Clicker – Titans Run:After the Titans allowed 220 yards on the ground to the Cowboys, Hoge demonstrates how miscues on defense may be costly this week against a strong Bengals ground game.
- Blitz Breakdown – Kaepernick Corralled:Possibly foreshadowing Arizona’s strategy against 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick this weekend, Hoge takes us back to week 17 of last season when a carefully crafted Cardinals blitz got the defense off the field on a critical third down play.
- The Film Room – Seahawks Defense in the Super Bowl: Hoge explains two of Seattle’s best elements on defense – their use of a “lurk defender” to snuff out short-to-intermediate routes, and the ability to read and recognize route concepts when lined up in their base zone coverage.
- Fine Focus – Attacking Richard Sherman: Jaworski breaks down two plays to show how the San Diego Chargers deliberately threw the ball into areas covered by Seattle’s Richard Sherman, proving it is possible – and even necessary — to attack the heralded cornerback.
- Let’s see it Hoge – Steelers Blitz Miscue: Hoge dissects a poorly executed blitz by the Steelers defense, showing how an overly aggressive defense can become a liability for the Steelers
- Anatomy of a play – Geno Smith vs. the Blitz: Last week Jets quarterback Geno Smith stood in the pocket and delivered a perfect ball against a Packers blitz. Jaworski shows the elements in Smith’s game that project well to future success.
- QB Corner – Capable Kirk Cousins: Jaworski explains how the Redskins’ cerebral quarterback smoothly operates the offense, and how a stable of playmakers around him will ease his transition into the starting role.
ESPN Radio: Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
ESPN Radio NFL game broadcasts continue Sunday at 1 p.m. with an AFC South matchup as Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts play the Jacksonville Jaguars. Marc Kestecher, Bill Polian and Ian Fitzsimmons will call the game.
ESPN The Magazine’s Fansourced Issue (on newssstands Friday, September 19). Release.
- Andrew Luck was the fans’ pick for the 25-or-under NFL player they would most like to build a franchise around. The Magazine takes more fan questions to the Colts QB.
- The Mag asked fans whom they think is the most impactful defensive player in the NFL. They picked (no surprise) Richard Sherman. Jordan Brenner takes a metric look at whether they’re right, or if another contender – J.J. Watt, Robert Quinn or others – takes that crown.
- At the beginning of the last NFL season, Mina Kimes made her brother a half-hearted promise: If the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, they’d each get Seattle-themed tattoos. Well, the Seahawks came through. And Kimes – begrudgingly – keeps that promise.
ESPN.com: DeMarcus Ware – “How I Get to the Quarterback”
ESPN The Magazine writer Anna Katherine Clemmons talks with Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware about the specific technique he uses to get to the quarterback. The Broncos defensive end, the second-fastest player ever to reach 100 career sacks, is a seven-time Pro Bowler.