Sonntag, Dezember 05, 2010

Monday Night Football: Jets at Patriots

In one of the marquee matchups of the entire NFL schedule, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (9-2) will host Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets (9-2) in a battle of the AFC’s top teams on Monday Night Football on Dec. 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN America, ESPN and ESPN HD. The winner of this critical game will take the lead in the AFC East with just a month left in the regular-season. Mike Tirico and analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will call the game, and Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber will provide updates on the teams from Gillette Stadium.

Monday’s telecast will begin with a Frank Gifford vignette highlighting then-Jets head coach Bill Parcells’ return to Foxboro Stadium Oct. 19, 1998, to face his former Patriots team for the first time on Monday night. Dubbed Tuna Bowl III, the Jets beat their AFC East rivals 24-14 and Parcells went on to lead New York to its first division title since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Monday’s game marks just the fourth time two teams with 9-2 records or better are playing each other on MNF, and the first time since 1990. All three previous occasions featured the San Francisco 49ers under quarterback Joe Montana: Bears (10-2) vs. 49ers (10-2), 1987; Giants (9-2) vs. 49ers (9-2), 1989; and Giants (10-1) vs. 49ers (10-1), 1990.

Additionally, ESPN NFL analyst and former All-Pro Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi will be honored by his former team at halftime.  Bruschi’s 189 regular-season games played are the most by a Patriots linebacker.  He retired in 2009 after being part of nine postseason appearances, eight division titles, five conference championships, and three Super Bowl titles.

ESPN’s “game around the game” will begin with ESPN Radio/ESPN2’s Mike and Mike in the Morning live from Showcase Live at Patriot Place at 6 a.m.  Studio coverage will begin at noon on SportsCenter, followed by NFL Live at 3:30 p.m. and NFL PrimeTime at 4 p.m.  The 90-minute Monday Night Countdown pregame will begin at 7 p.m. with host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Mortensen, and NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Stuart Scott and analysts Matt Millen and Steve Young will contribute from the stadium.

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