Sunday NFL Countdown will preview the NFL games on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m. with host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis. ESPN’s senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry, who will provide fantasy football updates and insight, while NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news across the league on the three-hour pregame program.
Sunday NFL Countdown will also feature updates from reporters at games, including:
· Bob Holtzman (Bengals at Lions)
· Josina Anderson (Patriots at Jets)
· Lindsay Czarniak (Bears at Redskins)
· Sal Paolantonio (Broncos at Colts)
· Rex Ryan Conversation: Countdown’s Ray Lewis, in his first interview assignment since joining ESPN upon his retirement from the Baltimore Ravens, sits for a conversation with Jets head coach Rex Ryan, his former defensive coach for 10 seasons.
· Jim Irsay on The Peyton Manning Decision: Colts owner Jim Irsay relives the agonizing decision-making process that led to drafting Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in 2012 as the replacement for Peyton Manning, his team’s quarterback and leader.
· Being Andrew Luck: Two quarterbacks in recent NFL history had been through what Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is experiencing – replacing a legend. Hall of Famer Steve Young replaced Joe Montana at the 49ers and in Green Bay Aaron Rodgers took over for Brett Favre. Young and Rodgers discuss the unique challenges of replacing a legend and offer insight on how to handle the process.
· DJ Porter – Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick: The difference in styles between Jets head coach Rex Ryan and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick couldn’t be more evident than in how the two conduct their press briefings. DJ Steve Porter spins a classic remix of Ryan and Belichick’s press conferences.
Eli Manning and the Giants Host Adrian Peterson and the Vikings on Monday Night Football
Eli Manning and the New York Giants host Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 21 at 8:25 p.m. ET. Mike Tirico will serve as play-by-play commentator, Jon Gruden will provide analysis and Lisa Salters will report from the sideline at MetLife Stadium. MNF is available on ESPN, ESPN’s Spanish-language ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.
Manning needs 215 yards to surpass Phil Simms for the Giants’ franchise record of 33,462 passing yards by a quarterback.
Kolber will host ESPN’s pre-game show, Monday Night Countdown, (6:30 p.m., ESPN) from East Rutherford, N.J. She’ll be joined by analysts Trent Dilfer, Lewis and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and Tirico, Gruden and Salters. Host Berman and analysts Carter, Ditka, Jackson, Johnson, and insiders Mortensen and Schefter will join the crew from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn. Highlights:
· Gruden’s Extra: Before his first start for the Vikings, quarterback Josh Freeman sits with MNF’s Gruden to discuss the circumstances surrounding his benching and eventual release by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
· Soundtracks – Adrian Peterson: Since his rookie season in 2007, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has electrified NFL fans. In this week’s Soundtracks, Countdown features the best of Peterson’s in-game audio.
· Eli Manning Conversation: Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning sits with MNF’s Salters to discuss the toughest season of his career.
· Rick Reilly Feature: Monday Night Countdown’s Reilly reports how the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area is preparing for thecold weather Super Bowl.
· Week 7 Recap: A review of the key week 7 matchups including quarterback Peyton Manning’s return with the Broncos to face his former team – the Indianapolis Colts.
Snickers NFL Matchup – Vernon Davis a Vertical Threat; Packers Blitz; Geno Smith in Review; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge will preview the weekend’s key matchups by taking viewers inside the film room with X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 6:30 a.m.). Highlights:
· Blitz Breakdown – Zackary Bowman Interception vs. the Giants: Expect the Chicago Bears to pressure Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, contends Hoge, as he explains a ‘Double-A-Gap’ blitz the Chicago Bears used against the Giants, resulting in a Zack Bowman interception.
· X And O Files – Cowboys’ Empty Pass Game: Tony Romo is 29 of 38 for 461 yards out of empty package formations in the offense. The Cowboys’ success this formation would present a problem for the Philadelphia Eagles defense, says Hoge.
· Let’s See It Hoge’ – Geno Smith in Review: Jets quarterback Geno Smith has had a roller coaster rookie season, alternating wins and losses in his first six games. Ahead of the Jets’ rematch with the Patriots, Hoge reviews Smith’s play so far.
· Jaws Playbook – 49ers Vertical Threat in Tight End Vernon Davis: In the last two weeks, 49ers’ Vernon Davis has had two 60+-yard touchdown receptions, the first by a tight end since 1969 by Cincinnati Bengal Bob Trumpy. Jaworski goes to the playbook to demonstrate the 49ers vertical threat in Davis.
· Coaches Clicker – Packers Blitz: Green Bay’s defense leads the NFL in sacks off of blitz situations, thanks to defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who is known for his ‘Blitzburgh’ days in Pittsburgh. Hoge uses the Clicker to explain how Green Bay uses crossing blitz schemes to bring relentless pressure from all angles against any offense.
· Film Room – Andy Dalton and Tyler Eifert out of Backfield: The Bengals offense has been the most successful team using two tight end sets that creates mismatches against opposing defenses. Jaworski explains how the Bengals has been successful using rookie tight end Tyler Eifert out of the backfield.
· Between The Line – Peyton Manning Bubble Screen: Through six games, the Denver Broncos offense has 82 percent touchdown efficiency in the red zone with only six incompletions by quarterback Peyton Manning. Jaworski goes to the monitor to explain how the Broncos use the same ‘bubble screen-and-go’ pass concept with different personnel.
E:60 to Feature Giants Coach Tom Coughlin
ESPN’s newsmagazine E:60 will feature New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m., one day after Coughlin’s Giants take on the Minnesota Vikings on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Reporter Jeremy Schaap conducts an extensive interview with the two-time Super Bowl winning coach to discuss the poor start the Giants have had this season and how Coughlin is different now than in his previous years as a coach. In the piece, Hall of Famer Floyd Little also talks about Coughlin, his former Syracuse teammate. Click HERE for a preview clip.
ESPN.com “Hot Read” – Von Miller Benefited from NFL’s New Drug Policy Suspension Rule
ESPN The Magazine/ESPN.com senior writer David Flemming writes about how “a little-known provision in the league’s drug policy” allows players, such as Denver broncos linebacker Von Miller, to continue to work closely with their teams while suspended.