Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM will air a one-on-one television interview with Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as part of the three-hour program’s preview of week 13 games on Sunday, Dec. 2, beginning at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN. The program will feature Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski, with NFL Insider Adam Schefter and senior analyst Chris Mortensen reporting the day’s news. Comedian Frank Caliendo will contribute his recurring impressions of ESPN and NFL personalities.
Suh’s interview with Countdown’s Merril Hoge comes during the week Pro Bowl defensive tackle was fined $30,000 by the NFL for an on-field incident with Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub on their Thanksgiving Day matchup.
Correspondents Josina Anderson (Seattle at Chicago), Bob Holtzman (Minnesota at Green Bay), Sal Paolantonio (New England at Miami), Rachel Nichols (Pittsburgh at Baltimore) and Ed Werder (Philadelphia at Dallas) will report from game sites. Highlights:
- The 49ers Quarterback Controversy: After sitting out two games with a concussion, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith lost his starting role to Colin Kaepernick. Is the right guy starting for the 49ers?
- NFC Wild Card Spots: Which teams have the edge in the muddled chase for NFC Wild Card spots?
- The Packers Struggling: Coming off a stunning 38-10 loss last Sunday night at the New York Giants, what should fans expect from the Packers against division rival Minnesota?
- Your Choice Dallas or Philadelphia?: Both NFC East teams are struggling and performing below expectation as their head coaches are squarely on the hot seat. The Countdown crew discusses, where would you rather coach?
- 4th and 29: In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Baltimore at San Diego game, the Ravens, down by three points, faced a fourth down 29 yards to go. Quarterback Joe Flacco passed the ball short to running back Ray Rice, who ran for more than 20 yards to continue the drive. Sal Paolantonio sits with Rice as he discusses what has become one of the greatest plays in recent memory.
- Frank Caliendo: The comedian will play the role of ESPN’s award-winning host Bob Ley interviewing Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones.
The program will include live look-ins at quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Jay Cutler, Tom Brady, and running backs Reggie Bush and Adrian Peterson during their pre-game routines leading into the 1 p.m. games. Additional segments include Cris Carter’s “Where You At?, and Jaworski and Hoge’s Xs and Os “Eye in the Sky.”
Eli Manning and the Giants Face RG3 and the Redskins on ESPN’s Monday Night Football
Eli Manning and the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants will face Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football on December 3 at 8:30 p.m. With a win, the Giants would sweep the Redskins for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Under head coach Tom Coughlin, they are 7-3 on MNF. The first meeting between the NFC East rivals produced one of the most thrilling finishes of the season so far as Manning threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz with 1:13 to play in a 27-23 comeback win. Mike Tirico will call the game with analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
ESPN and ESPN Deportes will televise MNF. For those who receive video subscriptions from an affiliated provider, the game will also be available at WatchESPN.com (computers) and via the WatchESPN app (tablets).
Prior to the game, Chris Berman will anchor the two-hour studio show Monday Night Countdown (6:30 p.m., ESPN) with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. The studio crew will be joined by on-site host Stuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, columnist Rick Reilly and Salters, all of whom join the show from FedEx Field. Highlights:
- “Gruden Extra with Robert Griffin III: Several months after visiting with former head coach Jon Gruden in his pre-2012 NFL Draft QB Camp, Robert Griffin III returns to share his experiences as a rookie quarterback.
- Rick Reilly Feature – Giants Fan and Hurricane Sandy: During the height of Hurricane Sandy, 28-year-old Giants fan Mike Iann was swept out of his grandparents’ flooded New Jersey home, into the raging waters of a nearby bay. Treading water for hours, Iann sought refuge in a neighbor’s vacant house, where he composed a goodbye letter to his father, fearing the worst. ESPN.com columnist and Countdown essayist Rick Reilly reports.
- “Soundtracks” – RG3: In Soundtracks, Countdown relives key in-game audio and goes inside the huddle and on the sidelines with the Redskins captain and first year quarterback.
Snickers NFL Matchup: Colin Kaepernick; Russell Wilson Throwing on the Move; Washington’s Rushing Attack; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge will preview the weekend’s key matchups, taking viewers inside the film room with X’s and O’s analysis on Sunday, Dec. 2, on ESPN at 6:30 a.m. (ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Protection Plus – Vick Ballard and Pass Protection: Hoge explains a play which shows that Colts running back Vick Ballard is aware of his role in pass-protecting for the quarterback – abandoning a play-fake to pick up the unblocked defender.
- “Between the Lines” – Tom Brady to Shane Vereen: Jaworski uses the telestrator to show how the Patriots dictated a one-on-one matchup between running back Shane Vereen and a linebacker via pre-snap alignment and motion.
- “Inside the Matchup” – Lamar Woodley Sack: Hoge goes ‘Inside the Matchup’ to show how the Steelers matchup-zone concepts delay the speed a quarterback reads his progressions to force a sack.
- “Jaws Playbook” – Colin Kaepernick to Vernon Davis: Colin Kaepernick has the hot hand in San Francisco. Jaworski shows how the 49ers’ play design creates options for Kaepernick to make successful downfield throws.
- “Coaches Clicker” – Alfred Morris versus the Giants: While the Redskins did not win on the road in week 7, running back Alfred Morris gashed the Giants defense for 120 yards. Hoge shows how Washington’s use of multiple backfield personnel and blocking schemes produced a Morris 30-yard run against the Giants.
- “Let’s See it Hoge” – Russell Wilson to Sidney Rice: Hoge breaks down a play from the past week that shows Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson’s ability to escape pressure and make throws on the run.
- “Jaws Drop In” – Ahmad Bradshaw versus the Packers: With an injury-plagued defense, the Packers struggled to stop the Giants’ run game. To show how the Packers’ front seven struggled against basic blocking schemes, Jaworski uses a touchdown run by the Giants Ahmad Bradshaw from the past week.
- “Passing Thought” – Peyton Manning/Demaryius Thomas: Jaworski shows how Denver’s Peyton Manning draws a comparison between the press-coverage technique used by Tampa Bay cornerbacks and a technique used by Kansas City’s Jahlil Brown on a touchdown pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
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