The NFL Monday Night Football (MNF) schedule 2019 features 17 games, all 12 playoff teams from last year, and one international game. The Chief and the Chargers will play in prime time in Mexico City in Week 11.
This is the 50th season of MNF and the NFL’s 100th. A total of 25 of the NFL’s 32 teams will get the call for Monday Night football games this year.
Monday Night Football 2019 Schedule
The schedule is set as ESPN has announced the 2019 NFL schedule. All times are Eastern Time (ET). To watch the 2019 NFL season of Monday Night Football games, check the schedule below and tune in.
Week 1 (Two Games!) – Regular Season
September 9, 7:10 pm: Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (ESPN).
September 9, 10:20 pm: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (ESPN).
September 16, 8:15 pm: Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (ESPN).
September 23, 8:15 pm: Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins (ESPN).
September 30, 8:15 PM: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN).
October 7, 8:15 pm: Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers (ESPN).
October 14, 8:15 pm: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (ESPN).
October 21, 8:15 pm: New England Patriots at New York Jets (ESPN).
October 28, 8:15 pm: Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN).
November 4, 8:15 pm: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (ESPN).
November 11, 8:15 pm: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (ESPN).
November 18, 8:15 pm: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers (in Mexico City, ESPN).
November 25, 8:15 pm: Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams (ESPN).
December 2, 8:15 pm: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (ESPN).
December 9, 8:15 pm: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN).
December 16, 8:15 pm: Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints (ESPN).
December 23, 8:15 pm: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (ESPN).
That’ it. So if the question is: Who plays Monday Night Football tonight? Just check this schedule.
Monday Night Football Announcers
MNF and ESPN have opted for a two-man booth for telecasts for the 2019 season. With Jason Witten returning to the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN is going with the announcing team of Joe Tessitore as the play-by-play announcer. Booger McFarland will shift to commentator. Last year, McFarland was the on-field analyst. Returning for her eighth season as sideline reporter is Lisa Salters.
Apparently ESPN reached out to Peyton Manning for a role in the booth, but nothing materialized.
MNF popularized the 3-man booth concept using it in 37 of the past 49 years. Tessitore and McFarland may get a little more air time as a result.
Joe Tessitore: Play-By-Play Announcer
As an ESPN Announcing Team Member for MNF, Tessitore has a rich history in sports announcing. Previously, he was the lead play-by-play announcer for ESPN’s Saturday Night College Football Primetime Game and the College Playoff.
Sports Illustrated honored his work with Broadcast Team of the Year in 2016. Prior to that, he called boxing fights for ESPN as part of Tuesday Night Fights and Friday Night Fights.
He produced Roll Tide, War Eagle for ESPN 30 for 30 Series and contributed to the 30 For 30 on Bo Jackson. Tessitore hosted ESPN’s live New Year’s Eve specials for five years. He has also cohosted Battle of the Network Stars.
An Albany New York native, Tessitore attended Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
Booger McFarland: Color Analyst
The new color analyst for MNF has some impressive player credentials with nine years in the NFL. He won two Super Bowls – one with the Buccaneers and one with the Colts. He played defensive tackle for Louisiana State University before being drafted by the Bucs in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft.
Booger earned his nickname during his childhood from his mother for his bad behavior. Once, he nearly burned down the house playing with fire. But, his behavior improved as he grew older. But, the name stuck.
McFarland started his broadcast career in the Tampa Bay area where he co-hosted a radio program. Later, he joined the SEC network as a color analyst. He also made frequent appearances on the Mike & Mike morning program as a guest football analyst. Last year, he was a sideline analyst in a booth perched near the field (it was nicknamed “The Booger Mobile” for broadcasts.
Lisa Salters: Sideline Reporter
Lisa Salters is a former collegiate basketball player and will continue in her role as sideline reporter for broadcasts. She joined the crew in 2012 replacing Suzy Kolber.
Prior to ESPN, Salters worked for ABC News and provide coverage on the Oklahoma City bombing trials, the crash of TWA Flight 800 and the Matthew Shephard murder.
Salters graduated from Penn State University. At 5’2″ tall, she is the shortest player to ever compete for the women’s basketball team.
MNF Fun Facts
Are you ready for some ESPN’s Monday Night Football Fun Facts?
1.) Prior to MNF, most NFL broadcasts featured two announcers in the booth. The MNF telecast used three commentators.
2.) MNF debuted on September 21, 1970. The Cleveland Browns beat the New York Jets by a score of 31 – 21.
3.) What NFL legend set the rushing yards record for a MNF game with 221 yards?
Bo Jackson trampled over Brian Bosworth and the Seattle Seahawks. The Raiders, behind Bo, won 37 – 14.
4.) What was commentator Don Meredith’s nickname? Dandy Don.
5.) On December 8, 1980, Howard Cosell broke the news to the MNF audience of Beatle John Lennon’s assassination.
6.) MNF shifted from ABC to ESPN with the 2006 season. John Madden said at the December 26, 2005 game (the last played on ABC), “They can take football away from ABC on Monday nights, but they can’t take away the memories.”
The Spectacle of Monday Night Football
7.) The Miami Dolphins have made the most MNF appearances.
8.) MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL®, and ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?® are registered trademarks of ABC Sports, Inc.
9.) Cowboys’ Tony Dorsett set the record in the NFL for the the longest run from scrimmage in 1983 in a Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings. How far did he run? Answer: 99 yards.
10.) What NFL team holds the record for most consecutive MNF wins? The Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders won 14 games in a row from 1970 to 1999.
11.) What famous MNF broadcaster was a lawyer? Answer: Howard Cosell. Among his clients was Willie Mays, the baseball star. Cosell had a 14 year fun on Monday Night Football.
12.) What were some MNF innovations? ABC went with double the number of cameras to cover the game relative to other Sunday games, used instant replay to a much greater extent, and added a chair to the broadcast booth to bring the number of folks to three vs. the standard of two (play-by-play announcer and analyst).
13.) Cosell’s half-time recap of games played on Sunday was also a popular innovation. As the first, ongoing major sports production in prime time, it generated huge viewership numbers and was eventually copied by other sports.
The Dream Team: Broadcast Team for MNF
For long-timers who have watched Monday Night Football since the beginning days, there’s really no contest in terms of who the best broadcast team was for the franchise.
The team of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford brought an energy and entertainment level to the games that has not been matched. The glory days brought the circus to town for every MNF game. Cosell was the Pied Piper, Meredith brought folksy humor, and Gifford brought NFL legitimacy.
Cosell generated different feelings for viewers. Cosell, a man with a big vocabulary, was not afraid to show it off. One poll showed that at the same time, Cosell was both the most popular and least popular sportscaster in America. Viewers were passionate about Cosell – one way, or another.
Meredith, the former Cowboys’ QB seemed like the guy who would be fun to have a beer with. “Turn off the lights, the party’s over” was sung by Meredith when games were already decided on the scoreboard. “If ‘if’s’ and buts were candy and nuts, what a merry Christmas we’d have,” Dandy Don would chant if Howard are Frank began a sentence with ‘if.’
The interaction between Cosell and Dandy Don made for good TV. Gifford, a big time NFL star with the NY Giants, prepared for each game with care and it showed.
Together, this was the broadcasting team that put MNF on the map! The announcing team, at times, even shined brighter than the action on the field. On Tuesday morning, sports fans from around the country, would be talking about not only the NFL action on the night before, but also the hijinks generated by these three.
The Best MNF Game in 2018
The highest scoring game in MNF was in the 2018 season when the Los Angeles Rams outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 54 – 51. The 105 point total topped the score of the Green Bay Packers beating the Washington Redskins by 48 – 47 in 1983 at Lambeau Field.
Not only was it a high scoring game on the field scoreboard, but it was also a rating smash hit. The game earned an overnight rating of 11.3, which was 57 percent higher than the comparable game from the previous year.
A game featuring the two best offenses in the league at the time was sure to draw some interest. It also happened to be the first game broadcast from Los Angeles, California in 33 years.
If ESPN managed the scheduling completely, you’d think they be looking for more matchups exactly like this one.
MNF Song: “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night”
Hank Williams Jr.’s song, noting that all his rowdy friends were coming over to watch MNFgot its start in 1989. It was a huge hit and became synonymous with the MNF experience.
ESPN unplugged it in the opening after Williams compared then President Barack Obama golfing with then House Speaker John Boehner to being like Adolph Hitler meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But, after a 6 year cooling off period, a variation of the song was brought back for the 2017 season. So, in total, the song has played for MNF some 24 years.
1994 MNF Show Opening Featuring Hank Williams
That’s Frank Gifford with the lead-in before Hank Williams jumps into the song.
What Goes into the Television Production of a MNF Game?
ESPN essentially creates a small city when prepping for and broadcasting a game. A staff of 250 to 300 members do the heavy lifting to get the broadcast in peak form. These members will get to the stadium three days before kick-off with nine trucks of equipment.
The computers and technical equipment are powered by two 350,000-watt generators with twin 175,000-watt back-up generators. If something goes down in the stadium, ESPN is prepared. With their own generators, ESPN is powered to send the video signal to the satellite and then on to headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
Using about 30,000 feet of wire, the crew uses some 28 cameras to get the best angle for every play. There’s approximately 40 microphones strategically placed to capture sounds of the game. The game’s director reviews over 120 screens to decide on the best shot and audio to use at any particular moment in the game. A separate truck is assigned to graphics, and one to replay directors.
The traveling circus of MNF continues throughout the football season. The crew travels over 25,000 miles per year to bring the games to viewers.
Learn More about MNF
Check out these books to learn more about Monday Night Football:
1.) Monday Night Mayhem – The Inside Story of ABC’s MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL by Marc Gunther and Bill Carter.
2.) Kicking Off the Week: A History of Monday Night Football on ABC Television, 1970-2005 by Wesley Hyatt.
You’re on Monday Night Football Schedule 2019.
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