The Eagles will take on the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on ESPN's Monday Night Football in a must-win NFC East match-up the team needs to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
Eagles fans watching the game on television will get their first chance to hear ESPN's much-maligned new broadcast crew, which Awful Announcing rated as the worst in the NFL in their annual rankings. It features always-excited play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore, field analyst Anthony "Booger" McFarland (who calls the game from an elevated cart on the sideline) and former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who has been repeatedly mocked for gaffe-filled broadcasts.
After being compared to Captain America by Monday Night Football producer Jay Rothman, Witten has struggled calling games this season. At times, he's flubbed his remarks, like when he said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers "pulled a rabbit out of his head" or that the San Francisco 49ers had "kicked themselves in the foot." He also forced the politically averse ESPN to jump in when he said the NFL had become too "left wing" in terms of roughing the passer penalties.
Witten has also produced many cringe-worthy moments over his first 12 games, like when he couldn't pronounce the name of Los Angeles Rams linebacker Samson Ebukam.
Eagles fans can be unforgiving at times, as NBC's Cris Collinsworth knows all too well. Witten told me during the offseason his 15-year season with the Cowboys prepared him to deal with Birds fans.
"Look, those boos have been happening for a long time. They're not going to stop now," Witten said in May.
Here's everything you need to know to watch today's game:
Redskins (6-5) at Eagles (5-6): Week 13 Monday Night Football game
When: Monday, Dec. 3
Where: Lincoln Financial Field
Time: 8:15 p.m. kickoff
TV: 6ABC, ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters)
Radio: 94.1 WIP (Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Howard Eskin)
Spanish radio: La Mega, 105.7 FM (Rickie Ricardo, Gus Salazar)
Streaming: ESPN app (requires cable authentication), FuboTV, NFL GamePass, YouTube (all require a subscription)
Mobile: NFL Mobile app and Yahoo Sports app (free on smartphones and tablets within the Philadelphia market)
Referee: Tony Corrente (more on him below)
As with every game, staff writers Zach Berman, Jeff McLane, Les Bowen, and Paul Domowitch will be covering all the action live on Twitter. Our Eagles live blog, moderated by Jonathan Tannenwald, will launch around 8 p.m. Notes and observations about the game will be at philly.com/eagles and in our Early Birds newsletter.
>> READ MORE: ESPN tweaks 'Monday Night Football' after fans complain
Eagles Pregame Live, hosted by Michael Barkann and featuring Seth Joyner, Ray Didinger, and Barrett Brooks, will air live from Xfinity Live on NBC Sports Philadelphia at 6:30 p.m. Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor and Daily News columnist, will join the crew back in the studio for Eagles Postgame Live following the game.
ESPN's Monday Night Countdown, hosted by Suzy Kolber and featuring former NFL players Steve Young, Charles Woodson, Matt Hasselbeck, and Randy Moss, will obviously be Eagles-heavy, and will feature an interview between Witten and tight end Zach Ertz.
Why is the game also airing on 6ABC?
While the game is airing across the country on ESPN, Eagles fans who aren't cable subscribers will be able to watch the game locally on 6ABC.
Because ESPN is only available to cable subscribers, the NFL requires that a simulcast of the game is syndicated on a broadcast television station within the local market of the teams that are playing, in this case Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The league opened up bidding rights on the game in the offseason to all local OTA broadcasters, and 6ABC ponied up the most attractive bid. 6ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Co., which holds an 80 percent stake in ESPN.
Though the game is airing 6ABC, it's just a simulcast of ESPN's feed. 6ABC also broadcast the Eagles' 24-18 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, which aired on the NFL Network and featured a much-discussed four-man booth that was so well received, it's likely to return next season.
Referee has some history with the Eagles
Tony Corrente is 5-11-1 calling Eagles game since 1999, which became an issue last season during the team's 24-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Corrente was criticized by fans and on sports talk radio for several questionable calls, including a phantom pass-interference penalty against Ronald Darby that led to the Seahawks' first touchdown.
As my colleague Ed Barkowitz pointed out last season, Corrente called Andy Reid's final game as Eagles coach in 2012, as well as that awkward tied game in Cincinnati in 2008 when some Eagles — including quarterback Donovan McNabb — didn't realize that NFL games could end in a tie.
Corrente is 8-6 calling Redskins games since 1999, and this will be the first time this season he calls a game featuring either team.
What to know about the Eagles
• Les Bowen reports that Eagles running back Darren Sproles, who hasn't taken the field since the season-opening victory over Atlanta due to a hamstring injury, will play tonight against the Redskins.
• Carson Wentz dazzled Monday Night Football's national audience with both his arms and feet against the Redskins last season. Zach Berman explores the chances Wentz will have a repeat performance.
• Help is on the way in the defensive backfield with Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. But Zach Berman writes that the Eagles are still missing key players.
• How long before Golden Tate becomes a factor in the Eagles' offense? Bob Ford tries to get to the bottom of why it's been slow going for the former Detroit Lions receiver.
What to know about the Redskins
• Colt McCoy, playing in place of the injured Alex Smith, is a risk-taker who threw a pair of touchdowns during the Redskins' loss against the Cowboys last week. But McCoy also threw three interceptions, and Paul Domowitch explores how McCoy's aggressiveness could benefit the Eagles tonight.
• Adrian Peterson has been a main driver of the Redskins' success this season. In their six wins, Peterson has averaged 105 yards rushing. In their five losses, the former NFL MVP has averaged just shy of 26 yards rushing.
• NFL teams around the league were shocked that the Redskins picked up linebacker Ruben Foster after the 49ers cut him following his arrest on domestic violence charges (Foster remains on the commissioner's exempt list and won't play tonight against the Eagles). "Obviously, there's no place for this kind of behavior," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson told reporters.
Eagles regular-season recap and schedule
Week 1: Thursday, Sept. 6
Eagles 18, Falcons 12
Eagles show reminders of Super Bowl team in win over Atlanta Falcons
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16
Buccaneers 27, Eagles 21
Ryan Fitzpatrick, DeSean Jackson use big plays to haunt team marred by injuries
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23
Eagles 20, Colts 16
In 2018 debut, Carson Wentz relies on defense to come through in clutch
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30
Titans 26, Eagles 23
Eagles drop to 2-2 as defense can't stop Marcus Mariota in overtime
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7
Vikings 23, Eagles 21
Penalties, turnovers plague Birds in rare home loss
Week 6: Thursday, Oct. 11
Eagles 34, Giants 13
It took until Week 6, but the Eagles finally played to expectations
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21
Panthers 21, Eagles 17
Birds give up 17-point lead in fourth quarter for worst collapse in years
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28
Eagles 24, Jaguars 18
Birds escape London with important win
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11
Cowboys 27, Eagles 20
Birds fall to 4-5 in an important NFC East game
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18
Saints 48, Eagles 7
Birds embarrassed in New Orleans with worst loss in more than a decade
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25
Eagles 25, Giants 22
Jake Elliott's 43-yard field goal keeps Birds alive in the NFC East
Week 13: Monday, Dec. 3
8:15 p.m. – Washington Redskins at Eagles (ESPN)
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9
4:25 p.m. – Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (FOX)
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16
8:20 p.m. – Eagles at Los Angeles Rams (NBC)
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23
1:00 p.m. – Houston Texans at Eagles (CBS)
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30
1:00 p.m. – Eagles at Washington Redskins (FOX)