Sunday NFL Countdown: Mean; Manning’s 509th Touchdown; Jordy Nelson Goes Face to Face with Hannah Storm; Brandon Marshall Soundtracks; and More
Host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis will preview week 8 on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 10 a.m. Anchor/host Wendi Nix will handle select segments, while NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news.
ESPN reporters at game sites:
- Bears at Patriots (Sal Paolantonio and Merril Hoge)
- Seahawks at Panthers (Ed Werder)
- Ravens at Bengals (Bob Holtzman)
- Eagles at Cardinals (Josina Anderson)
- Mean: Days away from Halloween, Countdown turns to some of the most intimidating, hardest hitting current and past players – Mean Joe Green, JJ Watt, Chuck Cecil, Cortland Finnegan, Bill Romanowski, Ed Reed, et al – to share, in their own words, the art of intimidating opposing players through attitude and performance.
- Peyton Manning’s 509th Touchdown: Peyton Manning was wired for in-game audio when he broke Brett Favre’s career touchdown record last Sunday. Countdown will feature the sights and sounds on the field as Manning threw and completed touchdown No. 509 in Denver.
- Jordy Nelson – Touchdown Celebrations: With an average 28.4 points per game, ranked fourth in the NFL, the Packers have plenty of reasons to celebrate in the end zone. In a chat with Hannah Storm for her upcoming “Face to Face with Hannah Storm” special, Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson discusses the many touchdown celebrations the Packers receiving corps has in store for fans.
- “No More” PSA’s: The NFL has joined the “NO MORE” campaign via a series of public service announcements to deter domestic violence. Several current and former players, including Countdown’s Cris Carter, have declared their plea against domestic violence. Countdown will feature behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from the “NO MORE” campaign shoot.
- Soundtracks – Brandon Marshall: Bears wide receiver and outspoken leader Brandon Marshall, wired for in-game audio last Sunday during Chicago’s loss to the Dolphins, will be featured on Sunday’s Soundtracks.
- Ditka’s Pumpkin Patch: Countdown’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka breaks down the conference contenders based on the size of the pumpkins he gives a group of youngsters representing the teams.
Monday Night Football: Tony Romo and the Cowboys Host the Redskins in NFC East Battle
Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys — with a league-best record of 6-1 — host the NFC East divisional rival Washington Redskins on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 27 at 8:15 p.m. ET. Play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the game from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Monday’s matchup will be the 16th time the Cowboys have faced the Redskins on MNF with the Cowboys leading the series 8-7. Only the Raiders-Broncos have played against each other more on MNF (17 matchups). Additionally, in the 45-year history of the series, the Cowboys have won 43 games on MNF, trailing only the San Francisco 49ers (46 wins) among all NFL franchises. (Note: Former University of Texas standout Colt McCoy, who is scheduled to start at quarterback for the Redskins on Monday, was one of the first participants in Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series in 2010. Video.
The NFL’s week eight finale will also be available on ESPN Deportes and via WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.
ESPN’s pregame show Monday Night Countdown begins at 6 p.m. with Suzy Kolber and NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young on site in Texas. Studio host Chris Berman anchors 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. Highlights:
- Gruden’s Grill Session with Jerry Jones: After an offseason filled with questions about the Cowboys roster, the team, at 6-1, has the NFL’s best record so far. With the Cowboys on a six-game win streak, owner and general manager Jerry Jones joins MNF’s Jon Gruden in this week’s Grill Session.
- Soundtracks – Cowboys Offense: From running back Demarco Murray’s dominant start to the outstanding offensive line play, the Cowboys offense has been one of the top stories of the NFL season. In this week’s Soundtracks, Monday Night Countdown features on-the-sideline and in-the-huddle audio of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and other members of the Cowboys offense.
- Colt McCoy with Lisa Salters: The Redskins quarterback situation has been one of the most discussed and debated positions on any team. In week 8, the Redskins will feature their third starting quarterback in Colt McCoy, who sits with MNF reporter Lisa Salters for a one-on-one interview ahead of his return to his home state of Texas for his first NFL start since 2011.
- Rick Reilly’s Feature: Countdown’s Rick Reilly tells the story of Raul Vargas, who has been travelling to Dallas Cowboys home games from Monterrey, Mexico, since 1981, and is among thousands who travel from Mexico to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for every Cowboys home games.
NFL Matchup – The Eagles Defense; Bears Shaky Pass Protection; Colts Third Down Defense; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- X and O Files – Eagles Defense: Jaworski and Hoge will show how the Eagles used two very similar defensive formations in consecutive weeks resulting in an interception and a sack-fumble.
- Let’s See it Hoge – Bears Shaky Pass Protection: Hoge explains how the Patriots creative pass rush will create favorable matchups against a depleted Chicago offensive line.
- Disaster Down – Colts Stingy Third Down Defense: The Steelers offense must get creative to beat a Colts defense that is allowing a meager 26 percent conversions on third downs, and just eight percent on third and long, contends the NFL Matchup
- The Red Zone – Packers Scoring at Ease in the 20: The Matchup panel shows how the Packers offense has been efficient in the red zone, with basic plays and flawless execution.
- Jaws’ Playbook – Seahawks Third Down Defense: Jaworski shows how the Seahawks have gotten away from their identity by blitzing and playing man coverage on third downs, allowing opposing offenses to convert on a relatively high 47 percent of third down chances.
- Hoge Breakdown – Seahawks First Down Offense: The first down struggles continue for the Seattle offense, gaining only 4.1 yards per play over the last two games, 28th in the NFL over that stretch.
- Coaches Clicker – Ravens Blitz Concepts: Hoge analyzes the evolving Ravens defensive pressure schemes and contends it will be a key factor in the second matchup of the season against the Bengals struggling offense.
- Between the Lines – Tony Romo to Gavin Escobar: With all the attention in Dallas going to the ground game, NFL Matchup explains how Tony Romo has put together an efficient passing attack by spreading the ball to multiple weapons on offense, such as tight end Gavin Escobar.
ESPN Radio: Chicago visits New England on Sunday
On Sunday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m., ESPN Radio will broadcast the NFL matchup featuring wide receiver Brandon Marshall and the Chicago Bears at the New England Patriots, led by three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady. Play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco and analyst Bill Polian will describe the action with reporter Ian Fitzsimmons.
The Herd on the Road in Arlington ahead of Dallas-Washington NFC Showdown
ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd will broadcast live Monday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m. from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in advance of the ESPN Monday Night Football showdown between the Cowboys and Redskins (ESPN, 8:15 p.m.). The show in Texas is part of ESPN Audio’s annual Fall Football Tour, and is open to the public. ESPN NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Tim Hasselbeck and other guests will discuss the evening’s matchup with Cowherd, and additional guests.
ESPN.com NFL “Hot Read”
As the NFL trade deadline approaches on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m., ESPN.com writer Greg Garber explores four plausible, albeit unlikely, hypothetical transactions in this week’s “Hot Reads.” Highlights:
- A look at the reluctance of NFL team executives to engage in players’ transactions and offers a cautionary tale that “nobody wants to be remembered for being on wrong side of a lopsided deal.”
- Proposed trade No. 1: What if quarterback Tom Brady is traded to the Texans in exchange for the Texans 2015 first round pick and wide receiver Andre Johnson?
- Proposed trade No. 2: What about Detroit Lions moving defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Bengals for a second round pick in 2015 and cornerback Darqueze Dennard?
- Proposed trade No. 3: The Eagles send running back LeSean McCoy, linebacker Brandon Graham and two later rounds picks to the Raiders for potential No. 1 overall pick in 2015.
- Proposed trade No. 4: Seattle sends running back Marshawn Lynch to the Chargers in exchange for running back Branden Oliver and a 2015 fourth-round draft choice.
espnW Continues the Discussion around Domestic Violence
espnW continues its examination of domestic violence with a story by Melissa Isaacson: In a post-Ray Rice world, domestic violence advocates have received unprecedented awareness of their issue. Now they have turned their attention to a more important question: How do you turn that attention into action? Also, On Monday night, the NFL put the finishing touches on the education program it plans to take on the road, starting next week. Here’s what it looks like.
E:60 Profiles Rob Ryan
ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine, E:60, will offer an in-depth profile of New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on Tuesday, Oct. 28 (8 p.m., ESPN). Summary:
Everything about Rob Ryan is big. The New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator has a big personality, a big reputation, a big mouth, and even big hair. All of which has made Ryan a big target. Throughout his coaching career, attention has always come his way, whether for good or bad. He was praised for turning around a dismal Saints defense last year. But this year critics have been on him, especially after cameras captured head coach Sean Payton confronting him on the sidelines for the unit’s failings. In Dallas with the Cowboys he was beloved, until he wasn’t. Ryan’s firing there in 2012 garnered as much attention as any NFL personnel move. And though at every step of his career he has been one of the biggest lightning rods in the league, Ryan refuses to change. He does not want to be his father, defensive genius Buddy Ryan, or his identical twin, Jets head coach Rex. As he tells reporter Jeremy Schaap, “I’m going to be who I am. That’s what’s most successful for me.” With unprecedented access, E:60 tells the big story of Rob Ryan, an NFL coach like no other. Preview.
ESPN Corporate Outreach and USA Football Team Up on “Heads Up Football”
ESPN will team up with USA Football prior to Monday Night Football in Dallas to host a local high school and youth football players and coaches educational clinics on Saturday, Oct. 25, and Sunday, Oct. 26, as part of the USA Football’s “Heads Up Football” program. ESPN NFL analyst and former Dallas Cowboy Darren Woodson will participate in Saturday’s equipment grant presentation from ESPN to the Frisco Football League at the Warren Sports Complex in Frisco, Texas. On Sunday, ESPN and USA Football will host clinics at AT&T Stadium during the Dallas Cowboys Rally Day. ESPN and USA Football are committed to better, safer play nationwide to benefit young athletes.
Slacker Radio Launches “Gruden’s Groove” Custom Classic Rock Station
ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike plays a different classic rock song each week when MNF analyst Jon Gruden appears on Wednesday mornings. As an extension of that, Slacker Radio launched the new “Gruden’s Groove” custom classic rock station this week as part of its “I Am The DJ” series. The station gives fans the chance to hear some of the Monday Night Football analyst’s favorite music. Listeners of Mike & Mike can continue to nominate their favorite classic rock hits to play during Gruden’s appearances using the hashtag #grudensgroove.