Sunday NFL Countdown: Christmas with Cam; Brandon Marshall; Soundtracks – Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin; and More
ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman, with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson will preview NFL week 16 on December 27 at 11 a.m. ET. 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.
Trey Wingo, NFL Insiders Mortensen and Schefter and NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick, will host NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition at 10 a.m., preceding the two-hour Sunday NFL Countdown.
Reporter game assignments for week 16:
- Patriots at Jets (Sal Paolantonio)
- Panthers at Falcons (Britt McHenry)
- Steelers at Ravens (Josina Anderson)
- Packers at Cardinals (Ed Werder)
- Giants at Vikings (Bob Holtzman)
- The Maturation of Brandon Marshall: ESPN NFL Insider Josina Anderson profiles New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall – telling the story of Marshall’s past and how he has become one of the nation’s top advocates for mental health education and treatment through his eponymous Brandon Marshall Foundation.
- Christmas with Cam: On Sunday, quarterback Cam Newton invited 11 Levine Children’s Hospital patients and their families to watch the game in his suite at the Bank of America Stadium. The Countdown crew had unfettered access to capture the relationship between the Pro Bowl quarterback and the fans of his team, and SportsCenter anchor Jade McCarthy reports through the eyes and words of one of the young patients – 15-year-old Franklin Crockett, a budding quarterback at Northside Christian Academy in Charlotte, who is taking the year off for treatment of a malignant tumor of the bone.
- Soundtracks – Big Ben and Tomlin: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and head coach Mike Tomlin, wired for in-game audio during their dramatic come-from-behind home win last Sunday over the Denver Broncos, are the subjects of this week’s Countdown “Soundtracks.”
ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos
Both vying for a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, the Cincinnati Bengals (11-3) face the Denver Broncos (10-4) in a battle between two first-place teams on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on December 28 at 8:15 p.m. The MNF commentator team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters call the game from Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.
The last MNF game of the year is a rematch of the 2014 MNF season finale (Cincinnati won 37-28) and also extends Denver’s NFL-best streak of 24 consecutive seasons playing on MNF (1992-present).
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, Tom Jackson 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 Denver.
MNF is also 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 Brock Osweiler: Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, who is filling in for injured Peyton Manning, visits with MNF’s Super Bowl-winning coachin this week’s edition of “Gruden’s Grill Session.”
- AJ McCarron Conversation with Lisa Salters: Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron, who is playing for injured starter Andy Dalton, sits for a one-on-one conversation with MNF sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
- Rick Reilly Feature – Cryotherapy: More than a dozen Denver Broncos players use cryotherapy to help their bodies recover from the pounding received when practicing and playing football. Countdown essayist Rick Reilly investigates this unique body preservation procedure.
- Soundtracks – Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware: Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller and defensive end DeMarcus Ware will be featured on Monday night Soundtracks.
NFL Sundays on ESPN Radio: New England Patriots at New York Jets
ESPN Radio’s national coverage of Sunday afternoon NFL games continues Sunday, Dec. 27, at noon when quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots visit the New York Jets, led by wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Marc Kestecher will call the game alongside analyst Bill Polian and reporter Ian Fitzsimmons.
NFL Matchup: Patriot at Jets; Pittsburgh at Baltimore; Green Bay at Arizona; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s NFL matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis Saturday, Dec. 26, at 7:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3 and 5:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Inside the Matchup I & II – Patriots at Jets: Jaworski explains how, in their first meeting of the season at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium, the Patriots successfully exploited the Jets zero blitz tendency several times during the game. In “Inside the Matchup II,” Hoge shows how Jets wide receiver Eric Decker has found more success playing in the slot position.
- Matchup Extra – Pittsburgh at Baltimore: Jaworski reviews specific, well-designed plays by the Steelers offense against the Colts and Raiders that beat the defensive coverage.
- Run to Daylight – Green Bay at Arizona: Jaworski explains how running back David Johnson and the Cardinals offense have success in the running game by combining excellent blocking from wide receivers with cuts by Johnson.