The question posed in the longtime musical intro to Monday Night Football on ESPN—“Are you ready for some football?”—was, is, and always will be rhetorical: No one has ever answered “no.” Me, my rowdy friends, everyone tuning-in to ESPN at 8pm ET on a Monday is ready for some football. C'mon man.
Still, your degree of readiness can fluctuate game-to-game, and in terms of sheer anticipation, nothing matches the first MNF broadcast of the season. In tonight's Season 52 premiere, the Baltimore Ravens will take on the Las Vegas Raiders in the first NFL game with fans in attendance at the Raider’s new home of Allegiant Stadium on the Vegas Strip.
The spiffy stadium isn't all that’s new this year. From a musical collaboration with the hottest rapper on the planet to a famous football family commentating on ESPN2, here’s what to get ready for this season on MNF. To watch Monday Night Football and the rest of ESPN’s programming, subscribe to Sling Orange using the link at the bottom of this page.
Who the Manning?
The biggest news around MNF is that there will be a new simulcast on ESPN2 with the brothers Manning, Peyton and Eli. In addition to the traditional broadcast on ESPN—which will once again feature Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry—Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli will make its debut during the Raiders-Ravens game. ESPN is describing it as a “casual, non-traditional remote telecast” that will “combine in-the-moment analysis, big picture NFL dialogue, knee-jerk reaction, historical perspective and more. Iconic NFL stars and current athletes, as well as celebrities, are expected to appear each week.” The alternate telecast will air 10 times this season, including Weeks 2 and 3.
Making Headlines with Drake
Earlier this week, ESPN announced another new collaboration, this time with the Certified Lover Boy himself. Rapper/ Singer/ Well-Known Sports Fan Drake will “choose music that encapsulates both the energy and mood of select Monday Night Games on ESPN,” according to the Worldwide Leader. “The music will be a combination of Drake’s most recent releases, potentially some classics, as well as new music from other artists he identifies; all of which will run in Monday Night Football promotional spots, live telecasts and pre-game shows for ten games this season.” Last month, Drake appeared in a SportsCenter teaser to officially announce the release date for his new album. In other music-related news, Earth, Wind & Fire will “star in the show’s open” tonight.
Full MNF Schedule
The Ravens-Raiders matchup is the first of 17 Monday Night Football games this season (in case you forgot, the NFL expanded its schedule to 17 games spread across 18 weeks this season). Those two teams will appear twice on MNF in the first month of the season, with Las Vegas visiting the L.A. Chargers in Week 4, followed by the Ravens hosting the Colts in Week 5. Check out the complete Monday Night Football schedule below.
2021 Monday Night Football Schedule
All games start at 8:15pm ET on ESPN (Sling Orange)
Week 1 - Sept. 13 - Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 2 - Sept. 20 - Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Week 3 - Sept. 27 - Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Week 4 - Oct. 4 - Las Vegas Raiders at LA Chargers
Week 5 - Oct. 11 - Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Week 6 - Oct. 18 - Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans
Week 7 - Oct. 25 - New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks
Week 8 - Nov. 1 - New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs
Week 9 - Nov. 8 - Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 10 - Nov. 15 - Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Week 11 - Nov. 22 - New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 12 - Nov. 29 - Seattle Seahawks at Washington
Week 13 - Dec. 6 - New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Week 14 - Dec. 13 - Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Week 15 - Dec. 20 - Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Week 16 - Dec. 27 - Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints
Week 17 - Jan. 3 - Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers