Sunday NFL Countdown: Russell Wilson – The Escape Artist; Joe Haden; Panic in the Big Apple; and More
Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson will preview week 6 games in the NFL on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 10 a.m. on ESPN. The program will feature reporter/host Wendi Nix during select segments, while NFL insiders, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, will report the day’s headlines and news.
ESPN reporters at game sites:
- Patriots at Bills (Sal Paolantonio and Merril Hoge)
- Panthers at Bengals (Bob Holtzman)
- Packers at Dolphins (Britt Mchenry)
- Broncos at Jets (Josina Anderson)
- Cowboys at Seahawks (Ed Werder)
- Russell Wilson – The Escape Artist: With assistance from magician and illusionist Chriss Angel, Countdown’s Chris Berman looks into quarterback Russell Wilson’s uncanny ability to repeatedly escape from seemingly negative plays on the field.
- My Brother’s Keeper – The Joe Haden Story: The Browns cornerback Joe Haden has always shared a unique bond with his younger brother Jacob, who has special needs and is unable to communicate verbally. That bond was further strengthened when Joe, at nine years of age, dove into their Aunt’s swimming pool to save Jacob’s life. Josina Anderson reports.
- Panic in the Big Apple: After a 1-4 start, Jets head coach Rex Ryan and his young quarterback Geno Smith are facing a critical point in their careers after the team’s blowout loss in San Diego. In a radio interview this week, Ryan admitted his job is now on the line. Countdown measures the panic level in the Jets locker room.
- Herschel Walker 25 Years Later: On the silver anniversary of “The Great Trade Robbery,” ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary short series looks at the great trade between the Cowboys, who traded running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings and in return, acquired several players who turned Cowboys into a dynasty.
- Sport Science – Dez Bryant: In overtime against in-state rivals Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant made an exceptional catch to set up a field goal that won the game for his team. Sport Science’s John Breckus puts Bryant’s catch to the test in the lab to show how the receiver did it.
Monday Night Football’s 700th Game: Austin Davis and the Rams Host Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers
In the 700th game of Monday Night Football, Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers face Austin Davis and the St. Louis Rams on October 13 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. The MNF commentator team of play-by-play voice Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the NFC West matchup from the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
The 49ers enter this contest with a six-game win streak on MNF, and with a win, Kaepernick will be a perfect 4-0 against St. Louis.
MNF is available on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.
MNF’s pregame show Monday Night Countdown leads into the NFL’s week six finale, beginning at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Suzy Kolber leads on-site coverage from St. Louis with NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young while Chris Berman hosts the show from ESPN’s NFL studio in Bristol, Conn., with NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Following the game, Stan Verrett and Neil Everett anchor SportsCenter’s coverage from the stadium. Monday Night Countdown highlights:
- Gruden’s Grill Session with James Laurinaitis: MNF’s Jon Gruden visits with Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis in this week’s Grill Session.
- Colin Kaepernick Conversation: Now in his second full season as the starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has become the 49ers offensive centerpiece. After a slow start to the season, he has the 49ers back on track at 3-2. As he prepares for the Rams, Kaepernick sits down for a conversation with Lisa Salters.
- Rick Reilly – Maurice Alexander: In his weekly feature, Countdown’s Rick Reilly tells the story of St. Louis Rams rookie safety Maurice Alexander, who once worked in the Edward Jones Dome as a janitor.
- Soundtracks: Best of Jim Harbaugh: 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh’s demonstrative sideline demeanor is one of the most unique in the game. This week, Countdown features the best of Harbaugh’s in-game audio from the sidelines in Soundtracks.
NFL Matchup – Eli Manning Finds Victor Cruz; Romo in the Red Zone; Carolina’s Pass Protection; Patriots Back to Basics; and More
NFL Matchup host Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Money Down – Manning Finds Cruz: Giants quarterback Eli Manning will look to find favorable matchups against the Eagles in critical situations by targeting his go-to receiver Victor Cruz, Jaworski explains.
- Jaws Playbook – Wilson to Baldwin: Jaworski shows how the Seahawks use a creative play design to get wide receiver Doug Baldwin open.
- Game Changer – Tony Romo in the Red Zone: In a preview of red zone strategy against the Seahawks defense, Hoge explains how Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will have to contend with Seattle’s safeties.
- Hoge Breakdown – Carolina’s Pass Protection: Hoge shows how the Bears defensive alignment led to a sack of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and contends it is a something the Bengals will try to imitate this weekend.
- Between the Lines – Rodgers to Cobb in the Red Zone: Jaworski analyzes the Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb connection, a staple of the Packers red zone offense.
- Let’s See it Hoge – Patriots Back to Basics: New England effectively used multiple tight ends in its pass offense for a win against the previously undefeated Bengals last Sunday, and will look to continue that success against Buffalo Bills this week, Hoge posits.
- Inside the Matchup – Ben Roethlisberger: Hoge illustrates Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to extend plays in the pocket by escaping defenders and deliver a perfect pass – something Cleveland’s defense will have to limit to win on Sunday.
- Game Within the Game – Peyton Manning’s Anticipation: Jaworski explains how Peyton Manning anticipates the alignment of opposing defenses to complete passes.
NFL on ESPN Radio: Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins
ESPN Radio will broadcast Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (3-2) visiting Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins (2-2) on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 1 p.m. Play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco and analyst Bill Polian will describe the action with sideline reporter Ian Fitzsimmons.
E:60 Profiles Gerald McCoy
ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine, E:60, on ESPN Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. will include an in-depth profile of Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Highlight:
- Defensive tackles in the NFL are supposed to be intimidating. They are supposed to be angry, vicious, border-line uncontrollable. Then there is Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yes, he is an All-Pro that has made a living blowing up offenses and bringing down quarterbacks. But you are just as likely to find him making teammates, opponents or even unsuspecting referees laugh. “I don’t have to be angry to play the game,” McCoy says. “I can have a good time and smile and still be that physical dominating presence on the field.” It is just who McCoy is, who he has always been – from his childhood in Oklahoma City, to his days starring for the Sooners, to being picked number three in the 2010 NFL Draft. McCoy always finds the lighter side of life. Remarkable, perhaps, for someone in his line of work. More remarkable when you learn of the losses he has endured. E:60’s Lisa Salters tells the story of Gerald McCoy, the NFL’s gentle giant. Click HERE for a preview clip of Gerald McCoy profile.
ESPN.com – The Run that Birthed Dallas’ Dynasty
ESPN The Magazine senior writer Steve Wulf recounts the genesis of the blockbuster trade, 25 years ago this Sunday, between the 0-5 Dallas Cowboys and the 3-2 Minnesota Vikings. In the trade, the Cowboys sent their best player, Hershel Walker, and four draft picks to the Vikings, and in return, acquired five players and eight draft picks that put the team on the path to three Super Bowl victories in four seasons.
NFL Hot Read: The Return of Philip Rivers
Two years ago, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers finished the season with the sixth-worst QBR in the league. His rebound in 2014 can be attributed predominately to one thing: efficiency. Despite continued gaudy numbers by quarterbacks, it’s how they are compiling these stats that has markedly changed – especially for Rivers. National NFL writer Kevin Seifert writes the story for ESPN.com and the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine. Read.