Sunday NFL Countdown with host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis will preview the NFL’s week 15 games on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 9:30 a.m. (ESPN and WatchESPN). Anchor/host Wendi Nix will handle select segments, while NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news.
Note: With ESPN’s College Football Playoff Selection Show scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 7, at 12:30 p.m., the three-hour Countdown pregame will begin 30 minutes earlier than usual (9:30 a.m.). In addition, the two-hour Fantasy Football Now (11 a.m.) will move to ESPNEWS. Highlights of the special Sunday morning and early afternoon schedules for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS on Sunday:
|8 – 9:30 a.m.||SportsCenter||ESPN|
|9 – 9:30 a.m.||Colin’s Football Show||ESPN2|
|9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.||Sunday NFL Countdown||ESPN|
|9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.||SportsCenter||ESPN2|
|11 a.m. – 1 p.m.||Fantasy Football Now||ESPNEWS|
|12:30 – 3 p.m.||College Football Playoff Selection Show||ESPN|
Reporters at game sites:
- Steelers at Bengals (Lindsay Czarniak and Merril Hoge)
- Ravens at Dolphins (Ed Werder)
- Colts at Browns (Josina Anderson)
- Seahawks at Eagles (Sal Paolantonio)
- Waiting for Wilson: NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports on how the Seahawks zeroed in on their future franchise quarterback months before his final college season at Wisconsin. The story goes inside the team’s 2012 NFL Draft war room as the coaches and player personnel staff plotted and planned back-up scenarios as they patiently waited, and hoped Russell Wilson would be on the board at pick No. 75. Wilson was the sixth quarterback selected in the draft.
- Antonio Brown Double Move: The Steelers wide receiver leads the league in receptions (96) and yards (1,258). Brown, regarded as one of the best in the league in running routes, shares insight on how he developed the skills with Countdown’s Jim Trotter.
- Fantasy Pressure: Monday Night Countdown’s Rick Reilly reports how Twitter taunts from fans frustrated by their underperforming fantasy team players have become personal for NFL players, including the story of former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.
NFC Division Leaders Meet on Monday Night Football: Aaron Rodgers and Packers Host Matt Ryan and Falcons at Lambeau Field
Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers host Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons – who are tied for first in the NFC South – on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Dec. 8 at 8:15 p.m. ET. Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the game from historic Lambeau Field. MNF will also be available on Spanish-language ESPN Deportes and via WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.
The Packers have appeared on MNF for 22 consecutive seasons (1993-present), second only to the Denver Broncos (1992-present). Green Bay is 6-0 at home this season, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown 360 consecutive pass attempts and 31 touchdown passes in a row at home without an interception, both NFL records.
The NFL’s week 14 finale kicks off with a more than two hour Monday Night Countdown, which begins at 6 p.m. Suzy Kolber anchors ESPN’s coverage from Lambeau with analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young and host Chris Berman joins the show from ESPN’s headquarters with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.
Monday Night Countdown features:
- Gruden’s Grill Session with Jordy Nelson: MNF’s Jon Gruden sits with Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
- Rick Reilly’s Feature – Hating the Packers in Green Bay: What is it like to live in Green Bay and hate the Packers? Countdown’s Rick Reilly travels to the smallest city with a professional football team to find out.
- Matt Ryan – Conversation with Lisa Salters and Soundtracks: Countdown takes a two-part look at Matt Ryan. The Falcons quarterback sits with MNF reporter Lisa Salters for a one-on-one conversation; he is also featured in “Soundtracks.”
NFL Matchup: Patriots Run Defense, Russell Wilson’s Improvisations, Steelers Defense, Ravens Play-Action Offense and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups via a film-room Xs and Os analysis on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-airs on ESPN, Sunday at 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Disaster Down – Brandon Flowers Interception: Jaworski takes viewers through a well-designed blitz by the Chargers defense that fooled Rams quarterback Shaun Hill and led to an interception.
- Hoge Breakdown – Patriots Run Defense: Hoge explains why the Chargers must run the ball effectively against the New England Patriots to have success in Sunday’s crucial AFC matchup.
- Let’s See it Hoge – Russell Wilson’s Improvisations: Hoge traces the unpredictability of the Seahawks offense to quarterback Russell Wilson’s ability to extend plays when things break down.
- Between the Lines – Darren Sproles Out of the Backfield: In the matchup between the explosive Eagles offense and the Seahawks’ stout defense, Jaworski shows why versatile running back Darren Sproles will be the X-factor.
- Inside the matchup – Steelers Defense: Hoge looks back to last season’s game when the Steelers defense confused Andy Dalton and put consistent pressure on the quarterback and the Bengals offense.
- Blitz Breakdown – Packers Sack vs. the Eagles: Green Bay has used linebacker Clay Matthews as a movable piece this season, and Jaworski explains how opposing offenses must account for his blitzes to have success against the Packers defense.
- Jaws Playbook – Ravens Play-action Offense: Jaworski shows how a strong running game in Baltimore sets up big-play opportunities in the Ravens play-action passing game.
- Run to Daylight – Broncos Newfound Running Game: Hoge shows how running back C. J. Anderson has seen his role increase in Denver, aided by the fact he is running behind six linemen on 39 percent of his rushes over the past two games.
ESPN Radio: NFL Doubleheader Sunday – Colts at Browns and Bills at Broncos
The NFL on ESPN Radio continues Sunday, Dec. 7, with a doubleheader broadcast – Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns host Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at 12 p.m., followed by Fred Jackson and the Buffalo Bills visiting Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at 4 p.m.
ESPN.com: NFL “Hot Read” – Young Quarterbacks Face Adversity, Scrutiny
In this week’s “Hot Read,” senior NFL columnist Jeffri Chadiha takes a deep-dive into the league’s young quarterbacks – Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson – who arrived with much early fanfare and promise, but now appear to be caught in adversity and scrutiny, barely two to three years into their promising careers.
- ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters handicap which teams might pursue RG III;
- On “Inside Slant,” NFL Nation writer Kevin Seifert offers his NFL quarterback report for week 13.