Sunday NFL Countdown: Michelle Beisner on Denver’s Defensive Backs; Tom Jackson Conversation with Andy Dalton; and More
ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman, with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka and Keyshawn Johnson will preview NFL week 8 on November 1 at 11 a.m. ET. Tom Jackson will appear from Denver where he will join his former team, the Broncos, to honor owner Pat Bowlen on Sunday. 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 program will include updates on the Lions at Chiefs matchup from London. Countdown will be preceded by a one-hour NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition at 10 a.m. featuring host Trey Wingo, NFL Insiders Mortensen and Schefter and NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick.
Reporter game assignments for week 8:
- Bengals at Steelers (Bob Holtzman)
- Cardinals at Browns (Brit McHenry)
- Giants at Saints (Josina Anderson)
- Seahawks at Cowboys (Ed Werder)
- Packers at Broncos (Sal Paolantonio)
- Broncos Defensive Backs – Jumping the Route: The Denver Broncos defensive backs have been proficient this season at jumping the receivers’ routes – a skill-set that allows them to come up with interceptions and break up passes from opposing quarterbacks. Countdown’s Michelle Beisner traveled to Denver for a first-hand look at how the Broncos defensive backs practice and apply the defensive tactic.
- Andy Dalton Conversation: In his four NFL seasons, Andy Dalton has led the Cincinnati Bengals to the playoffs. The Bengals have also lost four straight Wild Card games under Dalton, who has led the team to a 6-0 start this season. In a wide-ranging interview with Countdown’s Tom Jackson, Dalton discusses his high expectations for the Bengals in 2015 and the post-season.
- Pat Bowlen Tribute: Beisner will pay tribute to Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who will be inducted into the team’s “Ring of Honor” on Sunday night. Tom Jackson, who played for the Broncos, will join Beisner, a former cheerleader for the team, to capture the voices in tribute to one of the league’s most respected owners.
- Isidore Newman’s Finest: Odell Beckham Jr. and the Mannings – Eli and Peyton – famously went to the same high school just outside of New Orleans. As the Giant quarterback Eli Manning and his receiver Beckham return home to face the Saints, Countdown will relive their most outstanding plays from Isidore High School.
- Inside Slant – The Cowboys Mess: In a roundtable discussion, Stephen A. Smith, Cris Carter and Mike Ditka will try to make sense of the strong support Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has shown his defensive end Greg Hardy.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton and the 6-0 Carolina Panthers host Andrew Luck and the AFC South-leading Indianapolis Colts on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on November 2 at 8:15 p.m. ET. The MNF commentator team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters will call the game from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
Leading into the matchup, Chris Berman and Suzy Kolber host Monday Night Countdown at 6 p.m. on ESPN. NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter review Sunday’s games and preview the MNF matchup with Berman in studio, while Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis, Steve Young and Kolber offer analysis from North Carolina.
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 Josh Norman: After accumulating four interceptions in the first quarter of the 2015 season, the Panthers’ Josh Norman is fast establishing a reputation as one of the league’s top cornerbacks. Norman visits with Super Bowl-winning coach and MNF’s Jon Gruden, in this week’s edition of “Gruden’s Grill Session.”
- Cam Newton Conversation with Lisa Salters: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has led the team to 6-0 start, sits for a one-on-one conversation with MNF’s Lisa Salters.
- Rick Reilly Feature – Ron Rivera: Countdown’s Rick Reilly reports how Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has found strength in dealing with the death of his 56-year-old older brother, Mickey, from pancreatic cancer before the team’s pre-season camp.
NFL Sundays on ESPN Radio – Giants at Saints
ESPN Radio’s national coverage of Sunday afternoon NFL regular-season games continues Sunday, Nov. 1, at noon, when Eli Manning and the New York Giants visit Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Marc Kestecher and analyst Bill Polian will call the action, with reporter Ian Fitzsimmons.
NFL Matchup: Green Bay at Denver; Money Down – Jets at Oakland; Passing Thoughts on Giants at Saints; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge, in his first show back after undergoing heart surgery, preview the weekend’s NFL matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis Saturday, Oct. 31, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 and 6:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Green Bay at Denver: In a special matchup analysis of the two 6-0 teams, Hoge shows how the Broncos defense makes clutch and game-winning plays while Jaworski describes how Green Bay’s structured timing helps quarterback Aaron Rodgers to repeatedly beat opposing defenses.
- Money Down – Jets at Oakland: Jaworski explains how Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s ability to process the opposition’s defensive alignment and formation shifts leads to successful completions for Oakland.
- Passing Thought – Giants at Saints: Jaworski reviews a designed play by the New Orleans offense that creates open spaces in the opponent’s defensive secondary and leads to wide receiver Ben Watson’s advantage.
- Coach’s Clicker – Tampa Bay at Atlanta: Falcons running back Devonta Freeman leads the league in rushing after eight weeks of play. Hoge shows how he is able to be successful in either one- or two-back sets.
Jaws Big QB Board – 2015 First Quarter Rankings
Ron Jaworski, ESPN’s X’s and O’s technician and an expert on the art of quarterbacking, has released the first of his self-titled “Big QB Board” – a quarterly ranking of the 32 NFL starting quarterbacks. The top five: Aaron Rodgers (#1), Tom Brady (#2), Peyton Manning (#3), Ben Roethlisberger (#4) and Russell Wilson (#5). The bottom: Ryan Mallett (#32), Jameis Winston (#31), Marcos Mariotta (#30), Colin Kaepernick (#29) and Blake Bortles (#28). Jaws’ second quarter Big QB Board rankings will be updated next week.
E:60 Profiles Bears Running Back Matt Forte – Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. on ESPN
Three days each week during the offseason, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte finds himself at the bottom of a daunting hill in a park just outside Chicago. The goal: to sprint and conquer that hill, over and over again. The workout pushes the Louisiana native to his limits, but in many ways, Forte has been running uphill his whole life. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler, topped 1,000 yards five times, and was the first player in NFL history to have 900 rushing yards and 400 yards receiving in his each of his first four seasons. Still, Forte has been overlooked his entire career. In this profile, Forte talks with E:60 correspondent and MNF reporter Lisa Salters about his journey from Slidell, La., to the NFL.