Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals will host NFC West divisional foe Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football on October 28, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. In the last six seasons, these teams have met five times on MNF with the 49ers winning four of those games. Play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call the game with sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
In addition, fans can watch MNF on ESPN Deportes and – for anyone who receives their video subscriptions from an affiliated provider – on WatchESPN.com (computers) or via the WatchESPN app (tablets).
Leading into the matchup, Chris Berman will host the two-hour pre-game show Monday Night Countdown at 6:30 p.m. with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. On-site host Stuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and Salters will also join the show. Some highlights:
- ‘Gruden Extra’ with Larry Fitzgerald: Since entering the National Football League in 2004, Larry Fitzgerald has been one of the league’s top wide receivers. He passed the 10,000 career receiving yards mark earlier this year, but more importantly, he has been a team leader for the Cardinals. This week, the Pro Bowl receiver sits down with Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden in the MNF bus to discuss the Cardinals season.
- Rick Reilly Feature on William Gay: William Gay was just seven when his mother was shot and killed by his step-father, a senseless act of violence that turned his life upside down. Today, the Cardinals cornerback helps others affected by domestic abuse in Pittsburgh, the home of his former team, reports Rick Reilly.
- Jim Harbaugh Soundtracks: In just his second season, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has infused his personality into his football team. This week’s Soundtracks features in-game audio from Harbaugh during his team’s week six loss to the New York Giants.
Sunday NFL Countdown: Looking Back at “You Play to Win the Game”; Sport Science on the Mile High Altitude; and More
ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM with Chris Berman, Cris Carter,Mike Ditka,Tom Jackson,Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril HogeandRon Jaworski will preview week eight games on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 10 a.m. ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefterand senior analyst Chris Mortensen will report the day’s news and updates. Comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo will contribute with a witty and unique look at some of the ESPN and NFL personalities.
Correspondents Sal Paolantonio (Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles), Rachel Nichols (Miami Dolphins at New York Jets), Josina Anderson (Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears), George Smith (Washington Redskins at Pittsburgh Steelers) and Ed Werder (New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys) will report from game sites. Highlights:
- You Play to Win the Game: This week marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most famous on-the-podium speeches by a coach in NFL history – then-N.Y. Jets head coach Herm Edwards’ “You Play to Win the Game.” Countdown will commemorate this hallmark rant with Edwards, now an ESPN analyst, as the crew reviews the impact the saying has had on the game, including insight from Judy Battista of the New York Times, reporter whose question prompted the memorable answer.
- Sport Science – Measuring the Mile High Altitude: Quarterbacks Drew Brees (Saints) and Peyton Manning (Broncos) will go head-to-head on Sunday night in Denver. Sports Science host John Brenkus will analyze how the altitude at Mile High Stadium could impact the speed and tempo of running a no-huddle offense in the game between the league’s two leading quarterbacks.
The three-hour program will also include Jaworski and Hoge’s Xs and Os “Eye in the Sky” segment; preview Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, ahead of his first game against the vaunted Steelers defense; Cris Carter’s “Where You At?”; and Kenny Mayne tackling a sticky situation in his self-titled, tongue-in-cheek segment, “Mayne Event.”
Snickers NFL Matchup – Cowboys Blitz Breakdown; Frank Gore Trap TD Run; Robert Griffin III on Play-Action Passes; 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 Sunday, Oct. 28, on ESPN at 6:30 a.m. (ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- ‘Inside the Matchup’ – Cowboys Blitz Breakdown: Jaworski goes ‘Inside the Matchup’ from the first week of the season to show that the Cowboys defense seldom blitzed quarterback Eli Manning, yet sacked Manning three times and limited the quarterback to two completions on eight attempts facing a blitz.
- Jaws’ Film Room – Todd Bowles Blitzes from 2011: Jaworski goes back to last year’s tape to show the blitz schemes that Todd Bowles was a part of while on Miami’s coaching staff. As the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator, Bowles could use similar blitzes this week at home against Atlanta.
- Hoge Drop In – Kroy Bierman Spy: Hoge highlights the versatility of defensive end Kroy Biermann, showing how the Falcons use him as a spy to neutralize mobile quarterbacks like Redskins’ Robert Griffin III.
- ‘Coaches Clicker’ – Frank Gore Trap TD Run: Hoge revisits last year’s matchup between the 49ers and Cardinals and uses the ‘Coaches Clicker’ to break down an inside trap that opened the hole for running back Frank Gore’s 37-yard touchdown run.
- ‘Tell Me Something I Don’t Know’ – Luke Kuechly: Jaworski highlights the emergence of Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly who has 26 tackles in two weeks since starting at middle linebacker.
- Hoge Breakdown – Robert Griffin III Play-Action Pass Game: With 54 percent of Robert Griffin’s passing yards coming on play-action passes, Hoge shows how the Redskins’ use of multiple formations and backfield action paralyzes second-level defenders, opening up downfield throws that result in big gains.
- ‘Between the Lines’ – Saints Offense Back on Track: Jaworski contends the Saints offense is back on track and uses the telestrator to show a big play that features wide receiver Marques Colston running a cross pattern in one of the team’s staple pass routes.
- ‘Factor Back’ – Reggie Bush: Hoge puts the skill set of Dolphins “Factor Back” Reggie Bush on display using two plays from earlier this season – Week 3 against the Jets – where he was featured as a conventional-style running back, and later as a receiver out of the backfield.
- ‘Beyond the Film Room’ – Andrew Luck: NFL Matchup goes ‘Beyond the Film Room’ with Andrew Luck to show the quarterback’s uncanny improvisation last week vs. the Browns.
ESPN.com’s Elizabeth Merrill: Matt Schaub Plays it Close to the Vest
In marketing, Q score measures the familiarity of a celebrity, brand, company, et al, in the marketplace. As ESPN.com senior writer Elizabeth Merrill asks in an insightful piece about Houston Texan Matt Schaub – How could the quarterback have a Q score of seven (7) when the average NFL player who makes the list has a score of 15? In this NFL “Hot Read,” Merrill reveals that despite leading the Texans to a 6-1 record, Schaub prefers being low-key and eschews making headlines. The story features interviews with Schaub’s current and past coaches – Joe Carroll (West Chester, Pa., High School), Bill Musgrave, currently with the Vikings (University of Virginia), and his current head coach Gary Kubiak.
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