ESPN Kicks Off NFL Wild Card Weekend on Saturday, Jan. 9


ESPN Kicks Off NFL Wild Card Weekend on Saturday, Jan. 9

Chiefs vs. Texans Airs 4:20 p.m. ET on ESPN and ABC, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN

Photos via ESPN Images

ESPN will open the 2016 NFL Wild Card Weekend on Saturday, January 9, at 4:20 p.m. ET with the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) vs. Houston Texans (9-7). The AFC matchup will air on ESPN and be simulcast on ABC (for the first time). The game will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and streamed live on WatchESPN. Kickoff is 4:35 p.m. ET. (To view ESPN’s NFL Wild Card marketing spot.)

Monday Night Football’s Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and reporter Lisa Salters will call the game from NRG Stadium in Houston. MNF producer Jay Rothman and director Chip Dean – working their 25th season together (10th on MNF) – will produce the Wild Card game.

The ESPN Deportes team includes Alvaro Martin (play-by-play), Super Bowl champion kicker Raul Allegre (analyst) and reporter John Sutcliffe.

MNF’s Jon Gruden previews Chiefs-Texans:

“This Wild Card game features two of the best coaching jobs of the season. Both the Chiefs and the Texans lost their feature backs in Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster. Andy Reid has done an excellent job, as has Bill O’Brien – with a number of different quarterbacks. Both defenses are phenomenal. They’re excellent on third down. Both offenses are going to be hard-pressed to score. It’s going to be a tight football game. The turnover ratio will probably decide it.”

Suzy Kolber Hosts Wild Card Pregame Show from NRG Stadium – 3 p.m. ET

Leading into Chiefs-Texans, Suzy Kolber will host a special Postseason NFL Countdown (3 p.m., ESPN and ABC) live from NRG Stadium with analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young. Salters (Texans) and NFL Insider Ed Werder (Chiefs) will provide team updates.

Chris Berman, who will host a one-hour Postseason NFL Countdown on Saturday at 12 p.m. (ESPN), will also co-host the 3 p.m. show from Bristol, Conn., joined by analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson; host Wendi Nix; insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter;  and senior analyst Matthew Berry.

SportsCenter follows the Wild Card game on ESPN with Steve Levy, Dilfer, Lewis and Young at the stadium, offering analysis, interviews and more from Chiefs-Texans.

ESPN’s NFL Wild Card Weekend Schedule for Saturday, Jan. 9:

Date Time (ET) Program Network(s)
Sat, Jan 9 5:30 a.m. NFL Matchup ESPN, WatchESPN

(Reair: ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.)

  11 a.m. Fantasy Football Now ESPN2, WatchESPN
12 p.m. Postseason NFL Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  3 p.m. Postseason NFL Countdown ESPN, ABC, WatchESPN
  4:20 p.m. NFL Wild Card Game:

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

(Kickoff: 4:35 p.m.)

ESPN, ABC, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
7:25 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN, WatchESPN


Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s College Sports PR, while also working on ESPN soccer, Around the Horn, PTI and more. Previously oversaw communications for ESPN's Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows.
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