We have reached the final “Monday Night Football” matchup of the 2021 NFL season, and this one will occur during the 2022 NFL playoffs. This marks the first Monday night game in NFL postseason history, and it is shaping up to be a good one.
Two NFC West rivals, the Cardinals and the Rams, will square off for the third time this season. They have split the series today with the grudge match being the most important game in each team’s respective seasons.
NFL fans will certainly enjoy this contest and fans of the Manningcast will as well. Peyton and Eli Manning will be back on the ESPN airwaves after missing last week while there was no “Monday Night Football” action happening.
The Mannings will have just three guests as a part of “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” for wild-card weekend. However, their lineup is a strong one, featuring a current player, a former player and a celebrity that will provide solid commentary on the game. Unfortunately, the current player is not still alive in the playoff race, so there will be no chance at the “Manningcast curse” striking again until next season.
Viewers will be hoping that the Mannings can capture lightning in a bottle again like they did during Marshawn Lynch’s appearance in Week 7. He appeared on the show and admitted he had been drinking Hennessy (and dropped plenty of profanity during the broadcast). That episode itself was legendary, as it was also the one during which Eli Manning famously showed the camera the double bird. That prompted three viewer-submitted complaints to the FCC.
Will the Mannings be able to top that show and those moments? We’ll see soon enough, but viewers will enjoy the final Manningcast of the season either way.
Here’s a look at the guest list for the wild-card weekend airing of “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” during the Rams vs. Cardinals game.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, actor and owner of the XFL
Russell Wilson, Seahawks quarterback
It always seemed likely that the Mannings would lure in a Cardinals legend for this broadcast. Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner were the most prominent options, and Fitzgerald ended up getting the nod this time.
Fitzgerald is the Cardinals’ all-time leading receiver and has notched 17,492 yards and 121 touchdowns during his career. He played under Kliff Kingsbury and with Kyler Murray during their first two seasons in the desert, so he probably has a unique insight into the working relationship of those two.
Fitzgerald hasn’t officially retired from the NFL yet, but he decided not to play this year. Perhaps he’ll make a retirement announcement on this broadcast if he decides that he is finally ready to hang up his cleats.
“The Rock” is a big football fan. Before he became an actor, he was a wrestler. Before he was a wrestler, he played football at Miami (FL). His son, Dwayne Johnson Jr., spent time on the Giants’ practice squad this year, so he is in tune with the league.
Why bring him on for this game? That much is a mystery, but Johnson is one of the owners of XFL, which will attempt to return to action in 2023. ESPN previously broadcast XFL games when it first returned in 2020, and they were a success before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the fledgling league.
Will The Rock talk about the XFL? That seems likely. What else will he bring to the table? That’s for him to know, and Rams and Cardinals fans to find out.
Wilson is a great guest for this matchup. He has faced both the Rams and Cardinals twice this season, as he plays in the NFC West. He will be able to offer some solid insight into what the teams do well and what Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford bring to their teams.
Additionally, Wilson is, once again, the subject of offseason rumors. He could leave the Seahawks, so will he open up about his plans to the Manning brothers? This will be a good opportunity to see where his mind is at following his 10th season in Seattle.
How to watch Peyton, Eli Manning on Monday Night Football
“Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” will be broadcast on ESPN2. It will also be simulcast on ESPN’s streaming service, ESPN+, which has several subscription options. You can view them all below.