Sunday NFL Countdown: Peyton Manning’s One-Hit Wonders; Smashing Records – The DeMarco Murray Story; Special Guest Jim Cramer; and More
Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis will preview week 7 on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. ET. The three-hour 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:
- Bengals at Colts (Lindsay Czarniak and Ron Jaworski at “The Big Early Game”)
- Saints at Lions (Sal Paolantonio)
- Panthers at Packers (Bob Holtzman)
- Giants at Cowboys (Ed Werder)
- 49ers at Broncos (Josina Anderson)
- One-Hit Wonders: Peyton Manning has 506 touchdown passes and needs just three more to surpass Brett Favre’s record 508. Seven players caught only one touchdown in their careers with the lone pass coming from Manning. Reporter Jim Trotter tracks down some of the lucky seven.
- Smashing Records: Breaking rushing records is in DeMarco Murray’s DNA. The Cowboys running back is on the precipice of several NFL rushing records this season, including Jim Brown’s record for six consecutive 100-yard games to open a season. Murray broke Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith’s Cowboys single-game rushing record with 253 yards in October 23, 2011, vs. the Rams. At the University of Oklahoma, Murray set several school records, surpassing Sooner greats Billy Simms, Marcus Dupree and Adrian Peterson. Greg Garber reports on Murray’s history with breaking records.
- My Brother’s Keeper – The Joe Haden Story: 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. (Ed note: This piece was moved from last Sunday’s show to this week.)
- Soundtracks – Earl Thomas: Seahawks safety Earl Thomas of the vaunted “Legion of Boom” defensive unit was wired for in-game audio last Sunday against the Cowboys and will be featured on Sunday’s “Soundtracks.”
- Jim Cramer – Buy or Sell: Jim Cramer, star of CNBC’s Mad Money joins the Countdown crew for a segment, measuring the stock of AFC North quarterbacks.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football: JJ Watt and the Texans Visit Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers
JJ Watt and the Houston Texans visit Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 20 at 8:15 p.m. The Steelers enter the matchup with the longest MNF home win streak in the series’ 45-year history – 15 games.
The MNF team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters will call the game from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The NFL’s week seven finale will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and available via WatchESPN for those with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.
Monday Night Countdown begins at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Suzy Kolber and NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young review Sunday’s games and preview the MNF matchup from Heinz Field. Studio host Chris Berman, NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter join the show from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn.
Monday Night Countdown highlights:
- Soundtracks: Best of J.J. Watt: The Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, J.J. Watt’s dominating performance this season has his name being mentioned in MVP discussions. Countdown features the best of Watt’s in-game audio in Soundtracks.
- Gruden’s Grill Session with JJ Watt: MNF’s Gruden visits with Texans All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt in this week’s Grill Session.
- Ben Roethlisberger Conversation: Two-time Super Bowl Steelers winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sits for a one-on-one conversation with MNF reporter Salters.
- Rick Reilly’s Feature – Bill O’Brien: Family and football is a tough balancing act for any head coach. Rick Reilly tells the story of how Jack O’Brien, the son of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, helped give his father a renewed perspective on pressure and life beyond the football field.
NFL Matchup – Colts Play Action; Cowboys Run Game; Struggling Seahawks Offense; and More
NFL Matchup host Sal 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. 18, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.). Highlights:
- Jaws Playbook – Colts Play Action: Jaworski takes viewers through a play-action pass that the Colts offense will execute against the Bengals defense on Sunday.
- Inside the Matchup – Chargers Bunch Formation: Jaworski explains how the Chiefs man-to-man defense can be nullified by the Chargers’ bunch formations.
- Coach’s Clicker – Cowboys Run Game: Hoge illustrates the staples of a versatile Cowboys run game, giving the Cowboys a more balanced offense that wears down opposing defenses.
- X and O Files – Jets Defensive Game Plan vs. Manning: The Jets defense was able to slow down quarterback Peyton Manning’s decision-making process by playing a variety of defensive coverages, something the 49ers will look to replicate this weekend, argues the NFL Matchup panel.
- Hoge Breakdown – Suh to Disrupt Drew Brees: Hoge explains how the Lions will rely on their defensive line, led by Ndamukong Suh, to create pressure on quarterback Drew Brees and slow down the Saints passing attack.
- Let’s See it Hoge – Struggling Seahawks Offense: The Seahawks offense is having trouble on third downs and when defenses are able to keep quarterback Russell Wilson in the pocket, Hoge explains.
NFL on ESPN Radio: Drew Brees and Saints vs. Matthew Stafford and Lions
ESPN Radio will broadcast the matchup between two exciting NFL quarterbacks – Drew Brees vs. Matthew Stafford – on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 1 p.m., when the Detroit Lions (4-2) host the New Orleans Saints (2-3) on ESPN Radio. Ryan Ruocco, Bill Polian and Ian Fitzsimmons will be on site for the broadcast. Pre-game coverage begins at 12 p.m.
E:60 – Profile on Cowbpys’ Jason Witten Airs Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has six All-Pro selections, played in nine Pro Bowls and owns the franchise record for receptions during his 12 seasons. But what sets him apart, are his toughness and resilience, traits he learned those at an early age, although not by choice. Witten grew up haunted by an abusive father until, at the age of 11, he and his battered mother moved to live near their maternal grandfather, a legendary high school football coach who helped Witten heal and emerge as a star football player. The Cowboys star has established a foundation that mentors boys whose mothers are victims of domestic violence. E:60’s Jeremy Schaap reports (Trailer).
ESPN.com – On Jim Irsay’s Shadow Life and Cowboys Unexpected Success
- In “The Shadow Life of Jim Irsay,” ESPN The Magazine senior writer Shaun Assael, with reporting by Outside the Lines’ Greg Amante, investigates the private relationships that have burdened the public image of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
- Roundtable: Can Cowboys Keep it Up – A panel of ESPN football experts review the Dallas Cowboys’ unexpected success six weeks into the season and project whether the team can sustain the success.
- ESPN.com senior writer Tim Keown pens an in-depth profile of second-year Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who at 62, is coaching as if he has nothing to lose.