- Appearances by both Super Bowl teams – Baltimore Ravens at Detroit (Dec. 16); and San Francisco 49ers (twice), at Washington (Nov. 25) and vs. Atlanta (Dec. 23);
- Eight teams have two appearances each – Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington;
- Rematch of 2012 NFC Championship in final regular season game at Candlestick Park (Dec. 23).
The 44th season of Monday Night Football will kick off on ESPN with a doubleheader Monday, September 9 –Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (7 p.m. ET) and Houston Texans at San Diego Chargers (10:15 p.m. / 7:15 p.m. PT). ESPN’s 17-game prime time schedule in 2013 will feature all 12 playoff teams from 2012, including both the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.
The Redskins and Robert Griffin III – the hopeful opening week starter after suffering a knee injury in the playoffs – kick off the season at FedEx Field against the division rival Philadelphia Eagles and Michael Vick in the first game of ESPN’s nationally televised week 1 doubleheader. Washington won the NFC East last year for the first time since 1999. The Eagles, who hold a 4-3 advantage over the Skins in seven previous MNF meetings, have high hopes for the new season under first-year head coach Chip Kelly.
In the second game, quarterback Matt Schaub and the AFC South champion Texans travel west to play Philip Rivers and the Chargers under new head coach Mike McCoy.
Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the Eagles-Redskins opener, and the MNF games each week at 8:30 p.m. The commentators for the West Coast game will be announced at a later date.
All ESPN MNF games will be available on tablets and computers via WatchESPN. ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network, will also continue to offer a Spanish-language production of MNF games during the 2013 NFL season. Additional MNF “game around the game” content will be available throughout the day across ESPN’s multimedia platforms, including the Monday Night Countdown pregame and post-game SportsCenter. The week-by-week MNF schedule:
September: Broncos and Peyton Manning renew MNF rivalry with Raiders
- Sept. 9: Season-opening doubleheader – Eagles at Redskins and Texans at Chargers;
- Sept. 16: Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, a Wild Card team in 2012, host Ben Roethlisberger and the AFC North divisional rival Pittsburgh Steelers;
- Sept. 23: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos host the new-look Oakland Raiders and quarterback Matt Flynn. The longtime AFC West rivals face one another for an NFL record 17th time under the Monday night lights, while the Broncos extend the NFL’s longest current streak of 22 consecutive seasons playing on MNF (1992-present).
- Sept. 30: Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins, one of the NFL’s most aggressive teams in free agency this spring, play Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in The Big Easy.
October: NFL MVP Adrian Peterson vs. Eli Manning and Giants
- Oct. 7: Matt Ryan and the NFC South champion Falcons welcome Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta;
- Oct. 14: Andrew Luck makes his MNF debut when the Indianapolis Colts travel to San Diego to play the Chargers;
- Oct. 21: NFL MVP Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings face Eli Manning and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, home of Super Bowl XLVIII;
- Oct. 28: The resurgent Seattle Seahawks, led by second-year sensation Russell Wilson, take on the divisional foe Rams as MNF returns to St. Louis for the first time since 2006.
November: Top QBs Rodgers, Brady and Kaepernick in Monday Night games
- Nov. 4: The second half of the season begins with a bang when Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears play Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a key NFC North game at Lambeau Field.
- Nov. 11: A “Sunshine State” slugfest pits the Dolphins against Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, which MNF’s Gruden once called home as coach of the Bucs;
- Nov. 18: Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers take on Tom Brady and the defending AFC East champion New England Patriots. The same two franchises met in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
- Nov. 25: Colin Kaepernick – who made his debut as a starter on MNF in 2012 – and the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers play RG III and the Redskins in the Nation’s Capital in a matchup of electrifying quarterbacks.
December: Cowboys vs. Bears; NFC Championsip rematch as 49ers close out Candlestick vs. Falcons
- Dec. 2: In a matchup of NFC playoff hopefuls, Brees and the Saints play Wilson and the Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest;
- Dec. 9: For the second straight year, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys play Cutler and the Chicago Bears on MNF, this time in the Windy City;
- Dec. 16: Joe Flacco and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens face Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions in Motown;
- Dec. 23: An early holiday gift, the MNF season-finale features a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship when Kaepernick and the 49ers host Matt Ryan and the Falcons. It will be the 36th MNF game at Candlestick Park – most among all NFL stadiums – and the final regular season game at the historic venue, as the 49ers are set to move into a new facility in 2014.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football
ESPN’s Monday Night Football is the most-watched series in cable television history. In seven seasons on ESPN, MNF has registered five of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history. For the 2012 season, ESPN’s MNF delivered 12 of the 20 biggest household audiences (and 11 of the top 20 among viewers) for cable television in 2012, averaging a 9.5 rating (8.2 US rating) and 9,325,000 homes (12,826,000 viewers).
ESPN’s 2013 Monday Night Football Schedule
|Aug. 8||8 p.m.||Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta Falcons|
|Aug. 15||8 p.m.||San Diego Chargers vs. Chicago Bears|
|Aug. 19||8 p.m.||Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins|
|Aug. 22||8 p.m.||Carolina Panthers vs. Baltimore Ravens|
|Sept. 9||7 p.m.||Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins|
|10:15 p.m.||Houston Texans vs. San Diego Chargers|
|Sept. 16||8:30 p.m.||Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals|
|Sept. 23||8:30 p.m.||Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos|
|Sept. 30||8:30 p.m.||Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints|
|Oct. 7||8:30 p.m.||New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons|
|Oct. 14||8:30 p.m.||Indianapolis Colts vs. San Diego Chargers|
|Oct. 21||8:30 p.m.||Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants|
|Oct. 28||8:30 p.m.||Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams|
|Nov. 4||8:30 p.m.||Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers|
|Nov. 11||8:30 p.m.||Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Nov. 18||8:30 p.m.||New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers|
|Nov. 25||8:30 p.m.||San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Redskins|
|Dec. 2||8:30 p.m.||New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks|
|Dec. 9||8:30 p.m.||Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears|
|Dec. 16||8:30 p.m.||Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions|
|Dec. 23||8:30 p.m.||Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers|