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ESPN Kicks Off Monday Night Football’s 49th Season with Sept. 10 Doubleheader


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  • Beth Mowins, Brian Griese and Laura Rutledge to Call Jets vs. Lions in Detroit, 7:10 p.m. ET
  • Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland and Lisa Salters to Call Rams vs. Raiders in Oakland, 10:15 p.m.
  • Suzy Kolber Hosts Monday Night Countdown Live from Jack London Square in Oakland

The 49th season of Monday Night Football (13th on ESPN) kicks off with a doubleheader on Monday, September 10:

Date Time (ET) Teams / Commentators
Mon, Sept. 10 7:10 p.m. New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions

Beth Mowins, Brian Griese and reporter Laura Rutledge

  10:15 p.m. Los Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders

Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland and reporter Lisa Salters

In the opener, Sam Darnold – the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft – will be the first rookie quarterback to start a season-opener on MNF as the New York Jets go on the road to face Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The game also marks the head coaching debut for Matt Patricia, who joined the Lions after serving as the Patriots longtime defensive coordinator. MNF last opened the season in Detroit in 2014 (Giants vs. Lions).

The late game will mark the much-anticipated coaching return of Jon Gruden, who served as MNF’s lead analyst the past nine years. Now the Raiders head coach, Gruden’s regular-season debut will feature quarterback Derek Carr facing Todd Gurley and the defending NFC West champion LA Rams under coach Sean McVay, who was mentored by Gruden early in his career.

Rams-Raiders will be the first MNF game in Oakland since the opening week of the 2012 NFL season. ESPN will bookend the 2018 regular season with a return visit Dec. 24 for Broncos-Raiders.

MNF Production

ESPN’s new MNF team of Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland and Lisa Salters (seventh season on MNF) will make its regular season debut with Rams-Raiders – the first time ESPN’s main commentator team will call the late game in the season-opening doubleheader. New MNF rules consultant and former NFL official Jeff Triplette will also be part of the crew. Producer Jay Rothman and director Chip Dean enter their 13th season on MNF and 28th overall as a producer-director duo. [Note: ESPN’s MNF team participated in a media event on Aug. 17 to preview the new season. Video replay.]

Beth Mowins, Brian Griese and reporter Laura Rutledge will call the Jets-Lions game. A year ago, Mowins became the first female broadcaster to call an NFL game in 30 years. Griese and Rutledge will be calling their first MNF game.

MNF on ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ESPN2

ESPN Deportes will again present MNF games in Spanish this season beginning with the opening night doubleheader on Sept. 10. The Jets-Lions and Rams-Raiders games will also be simulcast in Spanish on ESPN2. The primary ESPN Deportes team of Alvaro Martín (play-by-play), Super Bowl XXI champion Raul Allegre (analyst) and reporter John Sutcliffe will open the season in Oakland, while Eduardo Varela (play-by-play), Pablo Viruega (analyst) and Ciro Procuna (reporter) will call the opening game in Detroit.

Monday Night Countdown Live from Jack London Square in Oakland

Leading into Jets-Lions, Suzy Kolber will host a special two-hour Monday Night Countdown (5 p.m., ESPN) live from Jack London Square in downtown Oakland with Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, Charles Woodson and Steve Young. Louis Riddick, who will join Kolber and Young during halftime and postgame of both games from Oakland, will also be part of Countdown, as will Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen and Matthew Berry from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios. This marks the first time Countdown is opening the season from the late game in the doubleheader.

Show Highlights:

  • Ninja/Fortnite – With more than three million followers, Ninja (Tyler Blevins) is the top streamer on Twitch. He’s also a YouTube sensation and fan of the video game Fortnite – and the Detroit Lions. ESPN’s Jac Collinsworth plays Fortnite and talks Lions football with Ninja.
  • Gruden Conversation – Lisa Salters’ conversation with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, her former MNF teammate.
  • McVay vs. His Mentor – NFL Features reporter Michele Beisner Buck previews the MNF opening matchup of head coaches as Sean McVay of the Rams faces Gruden, one of his mentors.
  • Boomer’s Vault – Chris Berman’s weekly Countdown segment examines Gruden’s coaching return and looks back at his first stint in Oakland. 

Special ESPN TV Schedule on Monday, Sept. 10:

Time (ET) Show
2:30 p.m. NFL Primetime
3:30 p.m. NFL Live
5 p.m. Monday Night Countdown Served by Applebee’s
6:55 p.m. GMC Monday Night Kickoff
7:10 p.m. MNF: New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions
10:15 p.m. MNF: Los Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders
1:30 am. SportsCenter
3 a.m. NFL PrimeTime (re-air)