Sunday NFL Countdown: NFL Battle Scars; Demaryius Thomas’ Wish for his Mom; Mike Zimmer on Soundtracks; and More
Host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson will preview NFL week 10 games on ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown on November 15 at 11 a.m. ET. Reporter/host Wendi Nix will host select segments, NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news, with senior analyst Matthew Berry and special contributor Stephen A. Smith.
The two-hour pre-game program will be preceded by a one-hour NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition at 10 a.m. with host Trey Wingo, NFL Insiders Mortensen and Schefter and NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick.
Reporter game assignments for week 10:
- Browns at Steelers (Britt McHenry)
- Panthers at Titans (Ed Werder)
- Lions at Packers (Bob Holtzman)
- Vikings at Raiders (Josina Anderson)
- Patriots at Giants (Sal Paolantonio)
- NFL Battle Scars: Nov. 18 marks the 30th anniversary of Joe Theismann’s broken leg on Monday Night Football against Lawrence Taylor and the Giants. To this day, Theismann still carries a reminder of that gruesome injury – a scar that runs up his leg. Countdown visits with current and former NFL players, including Theismann,, who share the story of their scars from the gridiron. Other players include J.J. Watt (Texans), Rashad Johnson (Cardinals), Thomas Davis (Panthers), Jack Youngblood (Rams) and Napoleon McCallum (Raiders).
- Demaryius Thomas: Katina Stuckey Smith, the mother of Broncos All Pro receiver Demaryius Thomas, has never seen her son play football in person because she’s been in prison since he was 12 years old. This week, Smith’s sentence was commuted. During the team’s weekly media session, Thomas discussed what it meant to have his mom free and the travel restrictions he hopes to work through so she can finally see him play. Countdown’s Michelle Beisner reports.
- Soundtracks – Mike Zimmer: The Vikings head coach, wired for in-game audio during the week 9 win over St. Louis, is the subject of this week’s Soundtracks. The audio includes Zimmer’s impassioned reactions to what he thought were questionable hits on his quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, who left the game with a concussion.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Houston Texans at Undefeated Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals – one of three remaining undefeated NFL teams at 8-0 – host J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on November 16 at 8:15 p.m. ET. The MNF commentator team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters call the game from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
Leading into the matchup, Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter (in Bristol) and Suzy Kolber, Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young (in Cincinnati) will review Sunday’s games and preview the MNF matchup in a two-hour Monday Night Countdown at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
MNF is available on ESPN Deportes and will be streamed live on WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers. Highlights:
- Gruden’s Grill Session with Andrew Whitwork: Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, in the middle of an All Pro season, visits with MNF’s Super Bowl-winning coach, Jon Gruden, in this week’s “Gruden’s Grill Session.”
- J. Watt Conversation with MNF Lisa Salters: Texans All Pro defensive end J.J. Watt in a one-on-one conversation with MNF sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
- Rick Reilly Feature – The Bungles: The Cincinnati Bengals are perfect for the first time at the season’s mid-point. Countdown essayist Rick Reilly visits Cincinnati to detail the misery that has overcome the franchise in the 27 years since its last Super Bowl appearance.
ESPN Radio NFL Sunday Doubleheader: Lions-Packers and Patriots-Giants
ESPN Radio’s national coverage of Sunday afternoon NFL regular-season games will continue Sunday, Nov. 15, with a doubleheader. Beginning with a one-hour pregame show at noon, Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions visit Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers in the first game. Commentator Dave Flemming and analyst Mark Dominik will call the action with reporter Ian Fitzsimmons. At 4 p.m., Tom Brady and the New England Patriots visit Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Marc Kestecher will provide commentary with analyst Bill Polian and reporter Michele Steele.
NFL Matchup: Arizona at Seattle; Patriots at Giants; Kansas City at Denver; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s NFL matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 and 6:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Arizona at Seattle: Jaworski’s Playbook shows how the Cardinals offense will attack the seams in Seattle’s cover-3 defensive concept. Hoge, in Matchup Vision, explains how and why Seahawks tight end Luke Wilson got open in the seam for a 22-yard touchdown in a designed play against the Cowboys.
- Matchup Extra – Patriots at Giants: Jaworski explains how the Patriots design plays in the red zone to counter how opposing defenses try to render tight end Rob Gronkowski ineffective.
- Inside the Matchup – Kansas City at Denver: Peyton Manning’s numbers haven’t been good against the blitz and pressure this season. Hoge shows a play from their last meeting where Kansas City’s defensive unit moved linebacker Justin Houston to create a mismatch, leading to a sack of Manning.
- Run to Daylight – Miami at Philadelphia: Jaworski describes how opposing defenses must identify the Eagles unbalanced offensive line – six offensive linemen – to avoid running back Ryan Matthews using an extra blocker on the line to outflank the defense.
ESPN NFL Nation: Jeremy Fowler to Cover Steelers; ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde Joins Packers Beat
Jeremy Fowler, who joined ESPN in September 2014 as a senior NFL writer and NFL Nation reporter, is moving to Pittsburgh to cover the Steelers fulltime. The past year, Fowler has been based in Cleveland, working alongside Pat McManamon to cover the AFC North rival Browns. Fowler has covered the Steelers on an interim basis the past few months and will now lead ESPN’s coverage of the six-time Super Bowl champions.
Also, veteran sports writer and ESPN Wisconsin on-air personality Jason Wilde has joined ESPN as a NFL Nation reporter to cover the Green Bay Packers. Wilde will focus primarily on 2014 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, while working with NFL Nation’s Rob Demovsky, who will continue to cover the team overall. A two-time NSSA Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year, Wilde wrote his first stories for ESPN.com this weekend. He will contribute across ESPN platforms and continue his role as host/reporter for ESPN Wisconsin, where he hosts a weekly “Tuesdays with Aaron” show featuring the Packers quarterback and serves as a senior NFL writer for the station’s website.
30 for 30 Shorts: Tose: The Movie
ESPN Films’ new 30 for 30 Shorts documentary “Tose: The Movie” debuted Wednesday on the 30 for 30 Shorts homepage. The late Leonard Tose was a genius and a fool, a saint and a sinner, but most of all the former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles was the man who took his team from the depths of the NFL all the way to the Super Bowl. “Tose: The Movie” is directed by Mike Tollin and executive produced by ESPN’s Trey Wingo. It will air Friday, Nov. 13, on SportsCenter in the 6 p.m. ET hour as part of “Friday Night Movie Night.” Watch: http://es.pn/1WRNVaC
ESPN Films Short: Chattanooga Strong – Peyton Manning Tribute to Fallen Veterans
ESPN Films and Maggie Vision Productions presents “Chattanooga Strong,” a powerful story on how Denver Broncos quarterback and University of Tennessee alum Peyton Manning is honoring the four Marines and one Navy sailor who were killed in the tragic shootings at the US Navy Reserve Center this summer in Chattanooga, Tenn., where Manning has a home. Actor Ethan Hawke narrates the film. To watch: http://es.pn/1QitGnA
ESPN The Magazine: The Quarterback Issue
The current issue of ESPN The Magazine – on newsstands Friday, Nov. 13 – focuses on “The QB,” a comprehensive look at the most important position in sport. Highlights:
- How to Raise a QB – Are teams smart or, well, just plain mean to start this many young QBs? By Peter Keating
- Year 1: Class Begins – Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston were forced to be the faces of their franchises the minute they stepped onto the field – and they’ve suffered plenty of growing pains. Insider Matt Bowen breaks down the tape, highlighting their many rookie mistakes, and shows what they’ve learned from them – and what they haven’t.
- Year 2: Second Reads – For starters, four starters. We poll scouts, GMs and fellow ESPN experts to size up the four most high-profile members of the 2014 QB class – Bortles, Bridgewater, Carr and Manziel – and assess how they’re faring in Year 2. By Mike Sando
- Year 3: Pass … Fail – Not a single quarterback drafted in 2013, including Geno Smith and EJ Manuel, is starting for an NFL team. Using analytics, we determine whether this was in fact the worst QB class of the past decade. By Ben Arledge
- Year 4: Step Up in the Pocket – In a two-part series, Elizabeth Merrill looks at Andrew Luck and the Colts willingness to build around him; and Brock Huard offers why Russell Wilson is perfect for the Seahawks (Part II)
- Year 5: The Study Haul – When you look at the top-performing QBs in the NFL right now, they’re all over 30—they all have the experience and knowledge to read and react to NFL defenses. Here, we look at Year 5 in the QB development cycle, when QBs either start to make the leap into that elite tier … or don’t. In three acts, we examine the three Year 5 QBs—Andy Dalton, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick. All have emerged from the QB crucible as vastly different men. By Seth Wickersham
Jaws QB Big Board – 2015 Second Quarter Rankings on Friday, Nov. 13
On Friday, Ron Jaworski will release the second quarter rankings for his self-titled “Jaws QB Big Board.” The quarterly series rates all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL based on their performance as judged by Jaworksi.