Not many fans seem interested in tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup between the 3-7 Seattle Seahawks and the 4-6 Washington Football Team.
That includes Peyton and Eli Manning.
There won’t be a Manningcast on ESPN2 tonight, meaning all eyes will be on ESPN’s main booth of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and former Eagles front office executive Louis Riddick. Peyton and Eli are calling only 10 games this season, and have already done eight, including the Eagles’ Week 3 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Thankfully, the Mannings aren’t taking three weeks off again as they did earlier this season. The duo will return next week, when the New England Patriots travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills in a game that could help decide who wins the AFC East.
Maybe the break will give Peyton more time to send some video clips to Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who threw three interceptions during Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants. Earlier this month, Hurts told reporters the Hall of Fame quarterback sends tapes from their Monday Night Football telecast and their ESPN+ show Detail on how to break down plays. Hurts attended the Mannings’ football camp while in high school in Texas.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with the Mannings … Always, little things I can learn from, pick their brain. I value that,” Hurts told reporters. “I value the Mannings and the relationship that I have with them.”
So how many more Manningcasts can we expect to get this season? It seems likely Peyton and Eli will call the Week 14 matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 13, as well as a wild card game during the playoffs. Otherwise, it’s slim pickings for Monday Night Football, with three straight games featuring teams that have little chance to make it to postseason.
Thankfully, in 2023 the NFL will be able to flex Monday games, beginning in Week 12. Until then, here’s the remaining Monday Night Football schedule on ESPN (there is no Monday night game Week 18):
Fox crew calling Eagles-Giants had a few flubs
For the second straight week, the Eagles drew Fox announcers Adam Amin and Mark Schlereth, who are generally unspectacular but solid broadcasters for Fox.
Unfortunately, Sunday wasn’t their best day.
Late in the first quarter, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts threw what looked like a bad third-down interception in the red zone, nixing the Birds chances of kicking a field goal. It also looked like there may have been some contact between Quez Watkins and Darnay Holmes.
Schlereth mentioned the contact, and the referees picked up a flag that had been thrown on the play. But after the commercial break, Fox never returned to show a replay of the interception or examine if there was any legitimate contact, frustrating Eagles fans looking for more information.
“I thought illegal contact should have been called,” former Colts and Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy said on NBC’s Football Night in America Sunday night.
Then there was the knee injury to Jason Kelce, which knocked the Eagles star offensive lineman out for a considerable chunk of the game. Unfortunately, it took several plays (and a Nate Herbig holding call) before the crew mentioned it and showed a replay of a Giants defender stepping on his foot, causing his leg to twist.
Finally, a minor quibble — Giants head coach Joe Judge was born in Philadelphia, but he grew up in Doylestown and attended Lansdale Catholic High School in Montgomery County. That is not “North Philly.”
However, I will credit Schlereth — a two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman — for his explanations on two key holding calls on Herbig. On the first, Herbig basically tackled a Giants defender, negating a 25-yard run by Hurts as the Eagles were driving before halftime. On the second, Schlereth explained that Herbig cost the Eagles a touchdown by needlessly hooking onto Giants linebacker Reggie Ragland.
I know, I know — everyone in Philadelphia is supposed to hate Fox announcer Joe Buck for some reason. But this was a great zinger directed at Aaron Rodgers during Rams-Packers on Sunday.
Jim Ross, the longtime voice of the WWE who joined upstart wrestling program All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in 2019, is stepping away from the microphone to undergo treatment for skin cancer. He announced on Twitter he hopes to return on Dec. 29 in Jacksonville, Fla.
So much for conservative football fans abandoning the NFL over players protesting during the national anthem. Thursday’s Cowboys-Raiders game on Thanksgiving drew an estimated audience of 38.53 million viewers, according to CBS, which would be the largest regular season TV audience for an NFL game since 1990.
The Sixers lost in double-overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night, but it was cool to see longtime 6ABC anchor Jim Gardner ringing the bell at the Wells Fargo Center prior to the game. Gardner is stepping down from the 11 p.m. telecast of Action News next month, and will retire fully from the network at the end of next year.