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ESPN NFL Programming Update – Week 9


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ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Saints Host Eagles; Chris Berman Expected to Conduct Halftime Interviews with Presidential Candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will host Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football on November 5, at 8:30 p.m. Both quarterbacks have a history of memorable performances on MNF. Brees, who has won his last seven games on Monday night, threw five touchdown passes in one game (Nov. 30, 2009) to tie a MNF record, while Vick accounted for six touchdowns (four passing and two rushing) and more than 300 yards (Nov. 15, 2010). Play-by-play voice Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the game from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, site of Super Bowl XLVII.

On the eve of the U.S. Presidential Election, the MNF halftime is expected to include conversations with both candidates. Chris Berman is scheduled to conduct one-on-one interviews with President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney in one of the final national television appearances for both before the nation casts its vote the next day.

MNF is televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The game is also available on computers at and on tablets via the WatchESPN app for those who receive video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.

Berman will host the two-hour Monday Night Countdown pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Analysts Cris CarterMike DitkaTom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will join Berman in studio, while host Stuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and Salters will contribute from New Orleans.  Highlights: 

  • ‘Gruden Extra’ with Jonathan Vilma:  Suspended for his role in the Saints bounty program, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who is appealing the process, has rarely been on the field for his team.  While preparing for only his third game of the season, Vilma sits down with Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden in the MNF bus.
  • Drew Brees Conversation with Lisa Salters:  After an off-season filled with the Saints bounty scandal and his tense contract negotiations, quarterback Drew Brees has 20 touchdown passes in seven games and is on-track for a second straight season with more than 5,000 passing yards.  Brees sits for a candid conversation with MNF reporter Lisa Salters.
  • Rick Reilly Feature – Steve Gleason’s Block:  After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the Superdome served as a shelter for those displaced by the storm.  When the Superdome reopened in 2006, Steve Gleason’s blocked punt against Falcons sparked a memorable win for the Saints in their first game back at the Superdome.  A statue commemorating the moment now stands outside the Superdome and Gleason’s battle with ALS has inspired many.  Gleason’s block has become a signature moment in the rebirth of New Orleans, reports Rick Reilly.
  • Soundtracks – LeSean McCoy:  Eagles running back LeSean McCoy in-game audio last week vs. the Falcons will be featured in this week’s ‘Soundtracks’ on Monday Night Countdown.

MNF Steve Hirdt Discusses “Redskins Rule” and U.S. Presidential Elections

Steve Hirdt, the executive vice-president of Elias Sports Bureau and longtime Monday Night Football director of information, discovered a unique statistical occurrence in 2000 called the “Redskins Rule” which correlates the outcome of the most recent Washington Redskins home game to the U.S. Presidential Election.  More info.

“I was shocked to see it lined up exactly right, that whenever the Redskins won their last home game prior to the presidential election, the incumbent party retained the White House, and whenever the Redskins lost their last home game prior to the election, the out-of-power party won the White House,” Hirdt said. 

E:60 Profiles LeSean McCoy (Tuesday at 7 p.m.)

Philadelphia Eagle LeSean McCoy is one of the NFL’s best running backs and led the league with 20 touchdowns last year.  But a terrible injury in high school almost halted McCoy’s career before it started.  In the Tuesday, November 6, edition of ESPN’s award winning news magazine E:60,Lisa Salters documents the trials and tribulations of “Shady” McCoy as he attempts to overcome the hardships in his past and become one of the game’s best (Preview).

Sunday NFL Countdown: Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger – Class of 2004; Jumping the Route with Asante Samuel; Brandon Marshall; and More

ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM with Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview week nine on Sunday, November 4, at 10 a.m.  Adam Schefter, ESPN’s NFL insider, and senior analyst Chris Mortensen will report the day’s news and updates.  Comedian Frank Caliendo will contribute his witty and unique impressions of key ESPN and NFL personalities.

Correspondents Sal Paolantonio (Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons), Rachel Nichols (Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants), Josina Anderson (Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers), George Smith (Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins) and Bob Holtzman (Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals) will report from game sites.  Highlights:

  • Quarterback Class of 2004:  As quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Eli Manning and the N.Y. Giants on Sunday, Countdown relives the 2004 NFL Draft that changed both franchises.  The feature includes a look at the confluence of events — Giants acquiring Eli Manning via a swap with the San Diego Chargers for Philip Rivers — which produced two leading NFL quarterbacks who have won four of the last seven Super Bowls.
  • Jumping the Route:  Atlanta’s Asante Samuel is one of the NFL’s best at jumping routes and breaking up passes. Analyst Darren Woodson visits the 7-0 Falcons’ cornerback to unmask the art of jumping a route and making a pick, while explaining why life for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on Sunday against Atlanta will be a challenge.
  • Brandon Marshall:  Countdown will include an exclusive E:60 report by Lisa Salters examining how Chicago Bears star wide receiver Brandon Marshall, diagnosed with “Borderline Personality Disorder” after several off-the-field incidents such as domestic violence and drunk driving, has refocused on turning his life around.
  • Hurricane Sandy’s Impact:  The worst storm to hit the East coast in a generation ravaged most of the New York and New Jersey coastlines on Monday.  Sunday, the New York Giants will play at the Meadowlands in front of thousands who have been directly impacted by the storm.  ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap reports how the hurricane has impacted the Giants and their fans this week.

The three-hour program will also include: Jaworski and Hoge’s Xs and Os “Eye in the Sky” segment; Soundtracks with Texans defensive end JJ Watt; a look at Philadelphia Eagles future after three straight losses; and live look-ins to quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton in their pre-game routines leading up to the 1 p.m. games.  

Snickers NFL Matchup – Peyton Manning vs. Quarter Coverage; Jason Pierre-Paul – A Defensive Force; Falcons and Multiple Wide Receiver Screens; and More

NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge will preview the weekend’s key matchups by taking viewers inside the film room with X’s and O’s analysis Sunday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 a.m. on ESPN (ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

  • Blitz Breakdown – Wesley Woodyard Sack/Fumble: Jaworski explains a Denver Broncos defensive scheme which fooled the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, defeating the Saints pass protection via a delayed blitz from Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard.
  • Hoge Film Room – Drew Davis Touchdown Catch:  Hoge points out how the Atlanta Falcons used wide receiver screens in the red zone to set up Drew Davis’ first career touchdown catch against the Eagles in week eight.
  • ‘Jaws Playbook’ – Manning to Thomas vs. Quarter Coverage:  With Demaryius Thomas emerging as one of the top receivers in the league, Jaworski digs deeper into the Denver Broncos’ playbook to analyze a route combination that was designed to get the wide receiver open deep on a post against Quarter Coverage.
  • Ben Roethlisberger’s Pocket Movement: Hoge shows how Ben Roethlisberger’s mobility has allowed the Pittsburgh quarterback to beat defenses that appear to have the upper hand by extending the play.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul Sack:  After an All-Pro performance in Dallas that included a sack and an interception returned for a touchdown, Jaworski highlights the attributes that make the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul a force in both run and pass defense.
  • ‘Between the Lines’ – Aaron Rodgers to James Jones:  Jaworski uses the telestrator to show how Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ pre-game preparation allowed him to make a pre-snap adjustment that opened up wide receiver James Jones for an easy touchdown throw.
  • ‘Coaches Clicker’ – Chicago Blitz: With the Chicago Bears having the top-ranked defense through Week eight, Hoge pulls the clicker to explain the intricacies and facets of the Bears pressure defense.
  • ‘Hoge X and O Files’ – Sean Weatherspoon’s Sack:  Hoge identifies some of the Eagles’ issues with pass protection by highlighting a delayed blitz last Sunday by the Atlanta Falcons Sean Weatherspoon that led to a sack.

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