ESPN NFL Programming Update – Week 8

ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown logoSunday NFL Countdown: Alfred Morris’ Car, Tom Brady Soundtracks, Recipe for the Chiefs Success, and More

Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson will preview the NFL games on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m. The three-hour pregame program will feature senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry, providing fantasy football updates and insight, and NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news across the league.

Sunday NFL Countdown will also feature updates from reporters at games, including:

·         Sal Paolantonio and Merril Hoge (Cowboys at Lions – “The Big Early Game”)

·         Ed Werder (Browns at Chiefs)

·         Michele Steele (Dolphins at Patriots)

·         Bob Holtzman (Jets at Bengals)

·         Colleen Dominguez (Redskins at Broncos)


·         Alfred Morris’ Car: Last year, Countdown featured Redskins running back Alfred Morris and his 1991 Mazda 626. Since then, the jalopy has been refurbished by Mazda. In a version of the popular MTV program “Pimp my Ride,” Countdown will feature the restored ’91 Mazda. Josina Anderson reports.

·         Tom Brady Soundtracks: Two weeks ago, quarterback Tom Brady led the Patriots in a game-winning drive over the Saints. Brady was wired for sound in that thrilling game and will be the subject of “Soundtracks.”

·         Chiefs Recipe for Success: reporter Greg Garber visits Kansas City, the barbeque capital, to find out the recipe for the Kansas City Chiefs success from the city’s top barbeque chefs.


NFC West-Leading Seahawks Face Division Rival Rams on ESPN’s Monday Night Football

Russell Wilson and the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks face the division rival St. Louis Rams on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 28 at 8:25 p.m. ET. Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will call the game and Lisa Salters will report from the sideline at the Edward Jones Dome.


Prior to game time, Suzy Kolber will kick off ESPN’s pre-game show, Monday Night Countdown, at 6:30 p.m. with analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and the MNF crew of Tirico, Gruden and Salters, all of whom will be in St. Louis. Host Chris Berman will join the show from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Highlights:


·         Gruden’s Extra: Rams defensive end Chris Long, the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, joins MNF’s Jon Gruden for a conversation on “Gruden’s Extra.”

·         Russell Wilson: Seattle’s second year quarterback Russell Wilson has developed quickly into one of the NFL’s top signal-callers. Monday Night Countdown will present a double-feature on the Seahawks quarterback – a conversation with MNF reporter Lisa Salters, and a Wilson “Soundtracks.”

·         Rick Reilly Feature: Monday Night Countdown’s Reilly reports how Rams center Scott Wells and his wife, Julie, overcame their loss of having stillborn twins in 2004 by resolving to have a larger family. After the birth of their three children, the Wells made good on their wish by adopting three Ugandan orphans, giving hope to three underprivileged youngsters.


NFL Matchup – Tom Brady on Third Downs; Jamaal Charles Does It All; Redskins Pass Defense; 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. 26, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 6:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

·         Film Room – Tom Brady on Third-Down Blitz: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offense has struggled on third downs, converting only 33 percent.  Jaworski breaks down the Patriots’ offense being vulnerable to the blitz and Brady’s less-functional space in the pocket.

·         Coaches Clicker – Jamaal Charles’ Zone Run: Running back Jamaal Charles is carrying the load for the Kansas Chiefs’ offense, leading the team in rushing yards, receptions and receiving yards.  Hoge uses the Clicker to explain Charles’ zone run versus the New York Giants.

·         Jaws Playbook – Geno Smith: Geno Smith made plays with his legs and his arms to beat the Patriots last Sunday, putting the New York Jets a game behind first place in the AFC East.  Jaworski gives his breakdown on Smith’s play this season.

·         Let’s See It Hoge – Jermaine Gresham Seam vs. Lions Stephen Tulloch: Having Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert on the field allow different variations for the Bengals two tight-end personnel.  Hoge shows how the Bengals exploit mismatches with their double tight-end sets.

·         The Money Down – Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson: Matthew Stafford is on a roll leading the NFC in pass yards (2,129) this season. Jaworski analyzes Stafford’s 27-yard touchdown throw to receiver Calvin Johnson and explains how the Lions rely on big plays.

·         Blitz Breakdown – Malcolm Smith Sack: Hoge breaks down a unique combination of blitz coverage by the Seattle Seahawks defense and shows how the Seahawks defense has allowed an NFC best 191 passing yards per game this season.

·         Between The Lines – Redskins Pass Defense: The Redskins’ secondary will face its toughest test Sunday versus NFL’s top passing team, the Denver Broncos.  Jaws goes to the telestrator to explain what the struggling Redskins pass defense can do to slow down Peyton Manning.

·         Hoge Breakdown – Robert Griffin Two-back Pistol Read-Option: The Redskins rushed for a season high 209 yards last Sunday against the Bears. The Redskins are going back to the basics running the read-option, contends Hoge.


New ESPN NFL Analyst Mark Brunell Makes ESPN Debut Monday and Tuesday

Three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Mark Brunell is the newest analyst to join ESPN’s NFL team. A 19-year veteran, Brunell spent the majority of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars and also played for the Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets.                                                                                                                                             

Brunell will make his ESPN debut Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 28-29, on SportsCenter, NFL Live and First Take. His anticipated schedule:


Day Time (ET) Show Network
Mon, Oct 28 1 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN
  4 p.m. NFL Live ESPN
Tue, Oct 29 9 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN
  10 a.m. First Take ESPN2
  1 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN
  4 p.m. NFL Live ESPN


E:60 to Feature Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch

ESPN’s newsmagazine program E:60 will feature Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch in the episode airing Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Lynch opens up to reporter Jeffri Chadiha about his tough reputation and his life away from football, allowing E:60 to follow him back to his hometown of Oakland, Calif., where he grew up in difficult times and now gives back to help the youth of the community. The program airs one night after the Seahawks take on the St. Louis Rams on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. “Hot Read” on the Lack of Blockbuster Trades in the NFL

As the NFL trade deadline approaches, writer and reporter Greg Garber explores some of the impediments against blockbuster trades in the National Football League.


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