ESPN's 2008 Monday Night Football Schedule
11 Playoff Teams from 2007; Super Bowl Champion N.Y. Giants at Cleveland on Oct. 13
The 39th season of Monday Night Football will open on ESPN with a nationally televised doubleheader Monday, Sept. 8 � previously announced Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (7 p.m. ET) and Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (10:15 p.m.) � and will continue with a total of 17 primetime games. Following a successful season that delivered the four biggest cable household audiences of the year, and 16 of the top 20, ESPN's schedule will feature 11 playoff teams from 2007, including both the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and AFC champion New England Patriots.
Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analysts Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser will call the MNF game telecast each week at 8:30 p.m. with additional MNF and NFL-related content available throughout the day across ESPN's multimedia platforms.
ESPN's MNF Schedule Highlights:
Appearances by both Super Bowl teams � New York Giants at Cleveland Browns (Oct. 13) and New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos (Oct. 20);
Three MNF appearances each by two teams -- Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers;
Two MNF appearances each by five teams -- Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers;
MNF will visit six NFL cities in 2008 it has not visited in ESPN's two seasons � Boston (Foxborough, Mass.), Chicago, Cleveland, Green Bay, Houston and Nashville;
Games of note � Sept. 8: Aaron Rodgers will make his first start at quarterback as the Packers begin post-Brett Favre era on MNF; Nov. 3: Steelers-Redskins game in Washington, D.C., the night before the nation votes for a new president, and Steelers' first game there in 20 years;
Dec. 1: Houston Texans play first MNF game in franchise history, vs. Jacksonville Jaguars.
Following the season-opening MNF doubleheader, the ESPN schedule will feature a matchup of longtime NFC East rivals as Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles face Tony Romo, former Eagles receiver Terrell Owens and the Dallas Cowboys (Sept. 15). On Sept. 22, the New York Jets head west to face LaDainian Tomlinson and the San Diego Chargers. The opening month concludes Sept. 29 with an AFC North grudge match between Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens and Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
October opens with a matchup of elite young running backs when Adrian Peterson and the Vikings visit Reggie Bush and the New Orleans Saints (Oct. 6), followed by back-to-back games featuring last year's Super Bowl teams. First, Eli Manning and the NFL champion New York Giants play Derek Anderson and the upstart Cleveland Browns (Oct. 13), the Browns' first MNF appearance since 2003. A week later, MVP Tom Brady and the defending AFC champion New England Patriots host Jay Cutler and the Denver Broncos on Oct. 20. Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts close out the first half of the season with a key AFC South division game against Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on Oct. 27.
On the eve of the United States presidential election, MNF will be in the nation's capital when Roethlisberger and the Steelers meet Clinton Portis and the Washington Redskins (Nov. 3), the Steelers' first regular-season game in Washington since 1988. MNF will then have a NFC West clash, San Francisco 49ers-Arizona Cardinals (Nov. 10), followed by the Browns at the Buffalo Bills (Nov. 17). The final game of the month pits likely NFC Playoff contenders against one another when Rodgers and the Packers meet Drew Brees and the Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on Nov. 24.
The December MNF schedule will kick off with a first when the Houston Texans, the lone current NFL team yet to play on MNF, will host David Garrard and the AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 1. A week later, NFC South teams face off when Jeff Garcia and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet Steve Smith and the Carolina Panthers (Dec. 8). The Browns play the Eagles in Philadelphia (Dec. 15) before the MNF season concludes with an old fashioned NFC North slugfest between the Packers and Chicago Bears Dec. 22 � the first MNF game in the Windy City since 2003.
ESPN Deportes, ESPN's 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network, will continue to offer a Spanish-language production of MNF preseason and regular-season games this year.
ESPN's Monday Night Football
ESPN's Monday Night Football is the most-watched series in cable television history and the only NFL series nominated for a Sports Emmy in the Outstanding Live Sports Series category both the past two years. In two seasons on ESPN, Monday Night Football has registered nine of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history, led by the New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens telecast (12/03/07), which attracted cable's largest audience ever (12.5 million homes and 17.5 million viewers). For the 2007 season, MNF averaged an 8.6 rating and 8,277,000 homes (11,230,000 P2+); the accompanying �Monday Night Surround� content on ESPN.com sparked an increase of Monday traffic to the site of 36% over the previous season.
ESPN's Monday Night Football 2008 NFL Schedule
Date Time (ET) Teams
Aug. 7 8 p.m. New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals
Aug. 11 8 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers
Aug. 18 8 p.m. Cleveland Browns at New York Giants
Aug. 25 8 p.m. Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers
Date Time (ET) Teams
Sept. 8 7 p.m. Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
10:15 p.m. Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
Sept. 15 8:30 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Sept. 22 8:30 p.m. New York Jets at San Diego Chargers
Sept. 29 8:30 p.m. Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Oct. 6 8:30 p.m. Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Oct. 13 8:30 p.m. New York Giants at Cleveland Browns
Oct. 20 8:30 p.m. Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
Oct. 27 8:30 p.m. Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Nov. 3 8:30 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins
Nov. 10 8:30 p.m. San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
Nov. 17 8:30 p.m. Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills
Nov. 24 8:30 p.m. Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
Dec. 1 8:30 p.m. Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Dec. 8 8:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Dec. 15 8:30 p.m. Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles
Dec. 22 8:30 p.m. Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
All games on ESPN and ESPN HD