ESPN NFL Programming Update - Week 7

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October 18th, 2012

via press release:

ESPN NFL Programming Update – Week 7
NFC North Battle on Monday Night Football: Bears vs. Lions
Jay Cutler and the division-leading Chicago Bears will host Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 22, at 8:30 p.m. ET. In his last six starts on MNF, Cutler has won five games. Stafford, who will make his second MNF appearance, led his team to a 24-13 victory over the Bears last year. Play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the game.
Fans can watch MNF on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and also tune in on computers at or on tablets via the WatchESPN app if they receive their video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.
Chris Berman will host the two-hour pre-game show Monday Night Countdown at 6:30 p.m. with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn JohnsonandNFL Insiders Chris Mortensen andAdam Schefter. On-site hostStuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and Salters will add to the show.
  • ‘Gruden Extra’ with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall: Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall are now teammates for the second time and just like their stint in Denver, the duo has shown great chemistry. This week, Cutler and Marshall visit Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden in the MNF bus to discuss the Bears 4-1 start.
  • Rick Reilly Feature – The many faces of Jay Cutler: Cutler's on-field demeanor has been a major topic in the media this season. In his weekly feature, columnist and Monday Night Countdown essayist Rick Reilly breaks down the many faces of Jay Cutler.
  • Jim Schwartz Soundtracks: After reaching the playoffs in 2011, the Lions have had a slow start this season. During their week four loss to the NFC North rivals Vikings, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was wired for sound. This week's Soundtracks captures the best moments from a tough day for Schwartz.
  • Matthew Stafford Conversation: After a 1-3 start and facing a 10-point fourth quarter deficit, Matthew Stafford led the Lions to an overtime win over the Eagles. Before a divisional road test on Monday Night Football, the Lions quarterback sits down with Lisa Salters.’s Jeff Chadiha: When Do You Quit on a Franchise Quarterback?
In an in-depth piece on, senior writer Jeff Chadiha explores the many factors teams consider before giving up on their star quarterbacks. In When do you quit on a franchise QB?,” Chadiha reviews the plight of previously heralded quarterbacks mired in inconsistent on-the-field performances and the process teams go through to make a switch. The story features insightful commentary by Super Bowl XXXV-winning quarterback and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, Super Bowl-winning GM and NFL Network analyst Charlie Casserly, and Super Bowl XXXV-winning coach and Fox analyst Brian Billick. Current quarterbacks Alex Smith (49ers) and David Carr (New York Giants) were also interviewed.
Sunday NFL Countdown: Earl Campbell on the Evolution of the Workhorse Running Back; Steelers LaMarr Woodley and More
Chris Berman, Cris Carter,Mike Ditka,Tom Jackson,Keyshawn Johnson,Suzy Kolber, Merril HogeandRon Jaworski will preview week seven on Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM on October 21 at 10 a.m.ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and senior analyst Chris Mortensen will report the day’s news and updates.
Correspondents Sal Paolantonio (New York Jets at New England Patriots), Ed Werder (Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans), Bob Holtzman (Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers), and Josina Anderson (Washington Redskins at New York Giants) will report from game sites. Highlights:
  • The Last of the Workhorse Running Back: With the NFL trending towards the use of running backs by committee, it appears the days teams used running backs who carry the ball 20 or 30 times per game are fast becoming history, except for Baltimore’s Ray Rice and Houston’s Arian Foster. Leading up to Ravens-Texans matchup, Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell, the epitome of workhorse backs, narrates Countdown’s look at the evolution of the running back position.
  • LaMarr Woodley: Pittsburgh Steelers’ LaMarr Woodley played football at Saginaw (Mich.) High School, one of the counties across the U.S. facing shortfalls in funding to sustain athletic programs in their districts. Last summer, Woodley paid the $60,000 to fund the Saginaw football program. Rachel Nichols reports how the Steelers linebacker is making it possible for student-athletes from his hometown to follow in his footsteps.
  • DJ Porter Spin on the Jets: The New York Jets are going through another up-and-down season. DJ Steve Porter returns with his musical spin on Gang Green, mixing music and Jets sound from their roller coaster season ahead of their showdown with the New England Patriots on Sunday.
The program will also discuss key topics from the past week: the legacy of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in the wake of his season-ending injury; with rookie quarterbacks going 4-1 last Sunday, NFL film room guru Ron Jaworski will grade the rookies; and keeping with the elections, the crew will debate the strengths and weaknesses of the AFC where only two teams have a winning record.
Snickers NFL Matchup: Antrel Rolle’s Interception; Calvin Johnson vs. Charles Tillman; Ben Roethlisberger’s Pocket Movement; 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, Oct. 20, at 6:30 a.m. on ESPN (ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.). Highlights:
  • ‘Inside the Matchup’ – Ben Roethlisberger’s Pocket Movement: Hoge goes ‘Inside the Matchup’ to discuss how Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s mobility allows him to beat the Cincinnati defense by extending plays.
  • Jaws’ Playbook – Antrel Rolle Interception: Jaworski breaks down a disguised coverage the N.Y. Giants used against the San Francisco 49ers that included a safety and linebacker exchanging responsibilities. This disguise led to Alex Smith’s third interception.
  • ‘Coaches Clicker’ – Ravens Run Defense: Hoge pulls out the clicker to show how breakdowns on the Ravens’ defensive front have allowed their opponents to rush for over 400 yards in the last two weeks.
  • ‘Tell Me Something I Don’t Know’ – Cowboys Center Phil Costa: Jaworski highlights the return of Cowboys Phil Costa in Week 6, and how the center helped the Cowboys rush for over 200 yards in Baltimore.
  • Ray Rice in Pass Protection: Despite being regarded as one of the top backs in the NFL, running back Ray Rice still struggles with certain aspects of his game which leads to breakdowns in Ravens pass protection, explains Jaworski.
  • ‘Factor Back’ – Ahmad Bradshaw with Henry Hynoski: Hoge praises N.Y. Giants fullback Henry Hynoski and shows his importance in the run-blocking schemes that led to two straight 100-yard performances by running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
  • ‘Game within the Game’ – Calvin Johnson vs. Charles Tillman: The film from last year’s Lions-Bears games reveals how the Chicago Bears used safety coverage concepts with Charles Tillman defending man-to-man on Detroit’s wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
  • ‘Between the Lines’ – Wes Welker Slot Touchdown: Through six weeks, New England’s Wes Welker is the league’s leading slot receiver in every category, thanks to head coach Bill Belichick’s game-to-game coaching style. Jaworski, who expects Belichick to challenge the Jets nickel corner Ellis Langster with Welker, goes to the telestrator to show the slot matchup.
  • Tell Me Something I Don’t Know – Adrian Peterson on Draw Plays: Hoge showcases a Vikings’ rushing tendency that has accounted for 40 percent of running back Adrian Peterson’s yards this year.
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