Sunday NFL Countdown will preview the NFL’s week 2 games on September 14 beginning at 10 a.m. Chris Berman will host the three-hour pregame show with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis. Reporter/host Wendi Nix will host segments, and NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news.
Reporters covering Sunday games:
- Dolphins at Bills (Lindsay Czarniak and Ron Jaworski at “Big Early Game”)
- Falcons at Bengals (Bob Holtzman)
- Cowboys at Titans (Ed Werder)
- Patriots at Vikings (Sal Paolantonio)
- Bears at 49ers (Josina Anderson)
- William Gay and Domestic Violence: In 2012, Monday Night Countdown essayist Rick Reilly profiled current Steelers cornerback William Gay, whose mother was abused and shot to death by his abusive stepfather. In light of the Ray Rice case, Countdown revisits the story of Gay, who now volunteers at shelters for abused women.
- Pete Carroll’s Journey: Berman visits with Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll to discuss the Super Bowl-winning coach’s journey from subpar coaching stints with the Jets and Patriots through a historic run at the University of Southern California, and now to Seattle, where he has helped mold the Seahawks into the league’s best team.
- Cordarrelle Patterson: Minnesota receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is currently under the tutelage of longtime and famed Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart, who has coached “receiving royalty” in the NFL – Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens to name a few. Stewart tells Countdown’s Jim Trotter that Patterson has the same skill-set that may lead to similar greatness.
- Devon Still: After cutting Devon Still last week, the Cincinnati Bengals signed the third-year defensive tackle to their practice squad so he can keep his health insurance to take care of his four year-old daughter stricken by cancer. Entering Sunday’s game against the visiting Falcons, the Bengals coaching staff moved Still to the active roster. Countdown’s Michelle Beisner reports on the Bengals’ loyalty and Still’s gratitude.
- Rex Ryan Soundtracks: The Jets head coach, wired for sound during the team’s season-opening win at home over the Raiders, will be featured on Sunday’s “Soundtracks.”
ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Andrew Luck and the Colts Host Nick Foles and the Eagles
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts host Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football on September 15 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN (kickoff is 8:30 p.m.). MNF play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call the game from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
MNF is available on ESPN Deportes and via WatchESPN. ESPN’s Weekly NFL Programming Schedule.
The Monday Night Countdown pregame begins at 6 p.m. Chris Berman hosts the show from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn., with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young join Countdown from Indianapolis.
Monday Night Countdown highlights:
- Andrew Luck: Andrew Luck’s on-field performance has firmly established the Colts quarterback as one of the league’s best. MNF reporter Lisa Salters sits for a one-on-one interview with Luck.
- Gruden’s Grill Session: MNF analyst and Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden will visit with an Eagles player (TBD) to preview the Monday Night matchup.
- Rick Reilly’s Feature – Ben Utecht: Former Colts tight end Ben Utecht is a musician, soon releasing his debut album. One of his songs is inspired by an emotional letter he wrote to his wife and kids asking that the letter be opened only if/when Ben loses his memory of them. Utecht fears his football concussions have created pockets in his life that he can’t remember – unable to remember being in his friend’s wedding even when he sees pictures of the event. Countdown essayist Rick Reilly sits with Utecht and his wife, Karyn, to discuss the former footballer’s fears about the future, and also his work speaking before Congress about concussion awareness and reform.
- E:60 – LeSean McCoy’s Family Life: With videogame-like moves, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is one of the NFL’s most dynamic players. Off the field, McCoy is a single dad, with primary custody of his two-year old son, Salters reports in an E:60 profile.
NFL Drives ESPN Digital Media to Record Audiences on Sunday, Sept. 7
Driven by the kickoff of the 2014 NFL season, ESPN Digital Media recorded its best day ever on Sunday, Sept. 7, with an average audience of 1 million people across platforms, eclipsing the previous high of 866,000 set on Sunday, Sept. 15 (Week 2 of 2013 NFL season). Much of the growth was attributed to the ESPN.com mobile Web and ESPN Fantasy Football app, up 25 percent and 73 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year.
Additionally, ESPN.com across platforms logged 24.8 million unique visitors (up 13 percent from Week 1 a year ago) on Sunday, the second-best day ever behind only Thursday, June 26, during the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Engagement with ESPN on social platforms was also significant, with more than 240,000 Twitter users interacting with @ESPN, @SportsCenter and ESPN’s NFL accounts on Sunday, 55 percent more than key accounts of its five closest competitors combined.
The Monday Night Football doubleheader on Monday, Sept. 8, also logged audience growth on WatchESPN, with the Giants vs. Lions game generating 335,000 live unique viewers (up 31 percent compared to the previous year). The Chargers vs. Cardinals game more than doubled its audience (up 114 percent) with 366,000 live unique viewers.
espnW: Ray Rice and Roger Goodell Reaction
espnW.com has continuing coverage from Jane McManus on the latest in the NFL and the Ray Rice case, and Kate Fagan discusses whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should resign. Also, W columnists Fagan and Sarah Spain voice their opinions about the Rice case in the latest W Debate: Who Botched Their Case More.
ESPN Analyst and Three-Time Patriots Super Bowl Champ Tedy Bruschi Honored with Football Legacy Award at ‘The Tradition’ in Boston
ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi will be presented with the Football Legacy Award at The Sports Museum’s 13th annual event, ‘The Tradition,’ on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the TD Garden in Boston. A three-time Super Bowl champion with Patriots, Bruschi was drafted by New England in 1996 and spent his entire 13-year career with the team. He is also a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame. ESPN’s Chris Berman will also attend and present sports radio personality Eddie Andelman with the Media Legacy Award.