Sunday NFL Countdown: Le’Veon Bell – In his Words; Belichick – the Inspiration for Ann Dowd’s HBO Character; Caliendo on Trump; and More
ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman, with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson will preview NFL week 6 on October 18 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.
Reporter game assignments for week 6:
- Cardinals at Steelers (Lindsay Czarniak)
- Bengals at Bills (Bob Holtzman)
- Broncos at Browns (Josina Anderson)
- Panthers at Seahawks (Britt McHenry)
- Patriots at Colts (Sal Paolantonio)
- Le’Veon Bell: Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell began the 2015 season on a two-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. In three games back, he has rushed for 302 yards and scored three touchdowns – one in each game – including the last second touchdown to beat the Chargers last week on Monday Night Football. In his own words, Bell offers some insight into how he became a shifty runner.
- Bill Belichick – Inspiration for Ann Dowd’s HBO Character: Actress Ann Dowd plays Patti, the no-nonsense leader on the HBO series, The Leftovers. The award-winning actress sits with ESPN’s Chris Connelly to discuss the NFL inspiration – Patriots head coach Bill Belichick – for her character.
- Panthers Josh Norman: Currently having a breakout season, Panthers cornerback Josh Norman shares his motivation from the movie Gladiator, his signature horse dance and how he compares with other big name corners.
- Frank Caliendo on Donald Trump: Countdown comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo returns to the show as Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump facing the media to discuss hard-hitting issues and controversies in the National Football League.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football: New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles host Eli Manning and the New York Giants on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 19 at 8:15 p.m. The MNF commentator team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters call the game from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
The new 30-second spot for MNF’s Giants-Eagles is set to the Alabama 3 song “Woke Up This Morning.” View the spot.
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 Lincoln Financial Field.
MNF is available on ESPN Deportes and will be streamed live on WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers. Highlights:
- Eli Manning in the Fourth Quarter: Countdown looks back at the last-minute ups and downs of the Giants 2015 season so far – from the late game losses to Dallas and Atlanta, to the last-minute home win Sunday night vs. San Francisco.
- Gruden’s Grill Session with Malcolm Jenkins: Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins visits with Super Bowl-winning coach and MNF’s Jon Gruden, in this week’s edition of “Gruden’s Grill Session.”
- Ricky Reilly Feature – Fletcher Cox: In January, Fletcher Cox lost his brother, Shaddrick, to a sudden heart attack, exacerbated by a complication from diabetes. As Countdown’s Rick Reilly reports, the Eagles defensive end is learning to cope while stepping up as a role model to his nephew and helping his family through the loss of his brother.
NFL on ESPN Radio – Arizona at Pittsburgh
ESPN Radio’s national coverage of Sunday afternoon NFL regular-season games continues Sunday, Oct. 18, with Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals visiting Antonio Brown and the Pittsburgh Steelers at noon. Commentator Ryan Ruocco, analyst Bill Polian and reporter Ian Fitzsimmons will call the action in this rematch of Super Bowl XLIII. ESPN Radio will broadcast a one-hour pre-game show before each week’s game.
SportsCenter on the Road Visits Steelers-Cardinals
SportsCenter on the Road will originate from the Cardinals-Steelers game in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 8 a.m. on ESPN with Hannah Storm anchoring a two-hour program from outside Heinz Field. SportsCenter anchor Cari Champion will join Storm and Lindsay Czarniak will report from inside the stadium. In addition to regular SportsCenter news and highlights, the program also will include Steelers LB James Harrison in a “Face to Face” interview with Storm, who also will interview Steelers WR Antonio Brown. Retired Steelers legends Troy Polamalu, Lynn Swann, and team president Art Rooney II will appear on the set during the show.
NFL Matchup: Jaworski on Eagles Offense; Riddick on Giants Offense; The Money Down – Patriots at Colts; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Louis Riddick (filling in for a recuperating Merril Hoge), preview the weekend’s NFL matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis Saturday, Oct. 17, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 4 and 6:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Run to Daylight and In the Red Zone: Jaworski explains how a better offensive line with the ability to adjust has led to success in the Eagles run game, while Riddick shows the matchup problems the Giants offense presents against the Eagles defense in the red zone.
- The Money Down – New England at Indianapolis: The Patriots offense has been extremely successful on third downs this season via their concepts which exploit matchups and put stress on defenders. Jaworski shows how precision passing by Tom Brady and excellent play design make it an easy pitch and catch for the Patriots offense on third downs.
- Matchup Vision and Matchup Extra: Riddick takes Matchup viewers through a well-designed and successful third-down blitz by the Steelers defense. In turn, Jaworski shows how lining up Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald in the slot has been successful against opposing defensive units.
E:60 Features Houston Texan J.J. Watt – Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. on ESPN
Before the Houston Texans All-Pro defensive end became the first player in NFL history to record two 20-plus sack seasons; before he was named second-team All-American in college as a defensive end at the University of Wisconsin, J.J. Watt was the fastest and most dependable pizza delivery driver in his hometown of Pewaukee, Wisc. At 26, Watt is quickly becoming the face of the National Football League with his charm and charisma on- and off-the-field. In a special report by Chris Connelly, ESPN’s award-winning E:60 newsmagazine takes an in-depth look at the incredible rise of a player who says his prime is still ahead. For the feature, E:60 joined Watt during the off-season, including stops in Toronto and Los Angeles. Speaking exclusively with Connelly, Watt discussed losing the MVP award to Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers; life as one of the most eligible bachelors; and recounts one of the most difficult moments in his life at the bedside of his ailing grandfather. Trailer.
ESPN The Magazine: 2015 ULTIMATE STANDINGS – NFL
As part of its annual ranking of the 122 U.S. sports franchises, ESPN The Magazine has released its Ultimate Standings for the 32 NFL teams. The rankings judge teams, via votes submitted by fans, on the following criteria: affordability, coaching, fan relations, ownership, performance and stadium experience. In the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks earned top ranking, while the Washington Redskins ranked last. Click here to read team-by-team analysis of the standings by ESPN Nation reporters, and watch video of senior writer Peter Keating, the project’s coordinator, explains the standings.