ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown with host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Ron Jaworski and Keyshawn Johnson will preview NFL week 15 games on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. on 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.
Reporters at game sites:
- Steelers at Falcons (Ed Werder)
- Packers at Bills (Josina Anderson)
- Bengals vs. Browns (Bob Holtzman)
- 49ers at Seahawks (Jim Trotter)
- Cowboys at Eagles (Sal Paolantonio, Ron Jaworski)
- Gruden’s Five-Point Plan for Johnny Manziel: Jon Gruden, a Super Bowl-winning coach and guru of the quarterbacking position, offers his advice to rookie Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel on how to have success in his first start.
- Chip Kelly’s Lab: Not long before leading the Eagles with their high-tempo offense, head coach Chip Kelly was tinkering with his innovative style in the small town of Durham, N.H., where he was the offensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire, reports SportsCenter anchor Jade McCarthy.
- “You Don’t Live in Cleveland, You Live in Cincinnati”: Twenty-five years ago this week, then-Bengals head coach Sam Wyche grabbed the mic and delivered the “you live in Cincinnati” message to unruly fans at the city’s Riverfront Stadium. Ahead of the matchup between the Ohio rivals, reporter Greg Garber sat down with Wyche and widely-known Browns fan John “Big Dawg” Thompson to relive one of the great moments in the rivalry.
- Philip Rivers’ Game of Catch: Philip Rivers of San Diego has completed nearly 3000 passes in his illustrious NFL career. However, the quarterback says, it is passes he completes when the crowds aren’t around that he appreciates the most, reports Trotter.
Jay Cutler and the Bears Host Drew Brees and the Saints on ESPN’s Monday Night Football
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on December 15 at 8:15 p.m. Mike Tirico will call the game from Chicago’s Soldier Field with analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters. The game will also be available via WatchESPN (for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers) and on Spanish-language ESPN Deportes.
ESPN’s coverage from Chicago kicks off with Monday Night Countdown (6-8:15 p.m., ESPN). Suzy Kolber anchors from Soldier Field with NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Mike Ditka, Ray Lewis and Steve Young, while Chris Berman hosts from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., with analysts Cris Carter, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.
Monday Night Countdown features:
- Soundtracks – Drew Brees and Sean Payton: Drew Brees and Sean Payton have been one of the most successful quarterback-head coach combinations in the league and were wired for in-game audio during the Saints’ week 5 win over the Buccaneers, in Soundtracks.
- Gruden’s Grill Session with Frank Caliendo: MNF’s Jon Gruden has spent most weekends of the season sitting down with the best players in the NFL for his Grill Sessions. This week, the Super Bowl-winning head coach visits with Countdown’s comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo for a special edition of the series.
- Rick Reilly’s Feature – Steve McMichael: Rick Reilly examines the life of former Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael, who won a Super Bowl with Chicago in 1985, became a pro wrestler and launched a failed mayoral campaign in Romeoville, Illinois.
NFL Matchup: Russell Wilson, LeSean McCoy vs. Cowboys Defense, T.J. Ward Sack, Patriots Pressure 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. 13, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-airs on ESPN, Sunday at 3 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Shot Play – Russell Wilson: Hoge analyzes a play by the Seahawks’ offense where quarterback Russell Wilson missed a read and an opportunity for a touchdown as he scrambled away from the pocket.
- Inside the Matchup – McCoy’s Run vs. Dallas Defense: Hoge looks at the Eagles’ designed runs to get running back LeSean McCoy on the perimeter of the Dallas defense, a play Philadelphia will replicate in their matchup on Sunday.
- Jaws Playbook – Cary Williams/Dez Bryant Matchup: Jaworski examines the key matchup in the Eagles’ week 13 win against the Cowboys – a strong man to man coverage on receiver Dez Bryant (Cowboys) by cornerback Cary Williams (Eagles).
- Blitz Breakdown – T.J. Ward Sack: Hoge dissects an emerging aspect of the Broncos’ defense – a significant increase in blitzes that is leading to more sacks on opposing quarterbacks.
- Eye in the sky – Patriots Pressure Philip Rivers: Jaworski explains why the Chargers had a tough time with the Patriots’ blitz, especially athletic linebacker Jamie Collins.
- Between the Lines – Julio Jones 79-yard Reception: Jaworski describes a well-designed play by the Atlanta Falcons and shows receiver Julio Jones’ unique athleticism.
- Hoge Breakdown- J.J. Watt Sack: Hoge explains why Texans defensive end J.J. Watt can still get to the quarterback even when the offense is accounting for his presence by using an additional player on the block.
- X and O Files – Justin Gilbert: Jaworski cautions that Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will have to be aware of the disguises by cornerback Justin Gilbert and Cleveland’s pass defense.
Sunday NFL Doubleheader on ESPN Radio: Three AFC East Teams in Play
ESPN Radio will broadcast two NFL games Sunday, Dec. 14, beginning at noon when Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins visit Tom Brady the New England Patriots. Marc Kestecher and Bill Polian will call the game with reporter Ian Fitzsimmons.
At 4 p.m., Jack Locker and the Tennessee Titans host Geno Smith and the New York Jets. Boll Rosinski, Louis Riddick and reporter Michelle Steele will handle game commentary.
ESPN.com: NFL “Hot Read” – Football is in Matthews Family DNA
Coming off last Monday Night Football which, a matchup of the Matthews cousins – Clay (Packers) and Jake Matthews (Atlanta), writer/reporter Greg Garber highlights the family whose seven NFL players span three generations and more than 60 years in the league in this week’s “Hot Read.”