Aikman: “Bears Go As Their Defense Goes”

nfl-on-fox-logoFOX SPORTS NOTES, QUOTES & ANECDOTES

Pivotal Week 15 Contests Take Center Stage as

Falcons/Giants & Bears/Packers Battle for Playoff Position

Aikman: “Bears Offense Needs to Be More Than Brandon Marshall”

Pereira: Don’t Lose Sleep Over Potential That Kickoff Will Be Abolished

The Ultimate Fighter Finale on FX Live Saturday at 8:00 PM ET

A TIGHTENING NFC TAKES CENTER STAGE IN WEEK 15 –It’s the time for giving and FOX Sportsdelivers NFL fans eight games for Week 15 onSunday, Dec. 16. The action kicks-off in Atlanta, as Matt Ryan and the NFC South champion Falcons host Eli Manning and the NFC East-leading Giants. Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and on-field analyst Tony Siragusa call the action from the Georgia Dome. A historic rivalry takes place at Soldier Field between the Packers and Bears as they meet in Chicago. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver call the action from the windy city. Fresh off four-straight wins, the Redskins could be without Robert Griffin III when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns. A shootout could emerge in New Orleans as Drew Brees and the Saints battle Josh Freeman, Doug Martin and the Bucs. Adrian Peterson looks to continue his spectacular 2012 season as the Vikings take on the Rams in St. Louis. The 4:00 PM ET window opens with a trip to our neighbors to the north as they Bills host Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Toronto. Also, Calvin Johnson and the Lions battle the Cardinals in Arizona while the Chargers host Cam Newton and the Panthers in San Diego.

Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET with America’s No. 1 pregame show, FOX NFL SUNDAY. Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee co-host the Emmy Award-winning program and are joined by analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson.  NFL Insider Jay Glazer breaks the latest league news and scoops from the FOX NFL SUNDAY studio while NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira discusses the previous week’s important impactful calls and points of emphasis in officiating. Comedic prognosticator Rob Riggle provides his weekly picks segment.

In a sit-down interview airing on FOX NFL SUNDAY, Erin Andrews talks with Falcons QB Matt Ryan, TE Tony Gonzalez and head coach Mike Smith about their first game against the Giants since New York knocked them out of the playoffs last year.  In a special presentation of BEING: C.J. Spiller—the Buffalo Bills running back gives a behind-the-scenes look at his trip to Canada where the Bills play the Seahawks.

For instant updates during the week and games from the entire NFL on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NFLONFOX. Fans can gain more access to exclusive FOX Sports content by logging on to www.facebook.com/foxsports.

GAME                                                                                    PLAY-BY-PLAY/ANALYST/SIDELINE            COV.                      TIME 

New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons                             Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston                         40%                       1:00PM

                                                                                                & on-field analyst Tony Siragusa

Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA

MARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Boston, Dallas, Hartford, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, San Antonio, San Diego, West Palm Beach

 

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears                         Joe Buck, Troy Aikman                                    21%                       1:00PM 

                                                                                                & Pam Oliver

Soldier Field – Chicago, IL

MARKETS INCLUDE: Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louisville, Milwaukee, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco

 

Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns              Ron Pitts, Mike Martz                                           7%                       1:00PM 

                                                                                                & Krista Voda

Cleveland Browns Stadium – Cleveland, OH

MARKETS INCLUDE: Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Norfolk, Richmond, Washington

 

Tampa Bay Bucs at New Orleans Saints                    Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick                        6%                       1:00PM 

                                                                                                & Laura Okmin

Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, LA

MARKETS INCLUDE: Fort Myers, New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa

 

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams                           Gus Johnson, Charles Davis                             6%                       1:00PM

& Kristina Pink

Edward Jones Dome – St. Louis, MO

MARKETS INCLUDE: Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Tulsa

 

Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills                                 Dick Stockton, John Lynch                                 9%                       4:05PM 

                                                                                                & Jennifer Hale

Rogers Centre – Toronto, ON, CAN

MARKETS INCLUDE: Baltimore, Buffalo, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Portland, Seattle

 

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals                                Chris Myers, Tim Ryan                                        5%                       4:05PM 

                                                                                                & Jaime Maggio

University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, AZ

MARKETS INCLUDE: Detroit, Phoenix

Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers                  Sam Rosen, Heath Evans                                   5%                       4:05PM 

                                                                                                & Jill Savage

QUALCOMM Stadium – San Diego, CA

MARKETS INCLUDE: Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh

 

AIKMAN ON BEARS: “OFFENSIVE GAME PLAN NEEDS TO BE MORE THAN BRANDON MARSHALL” – The Bears have been a roller coaster in the NFC North with the latest drop coming in the form of losing four of the last five games and losing ground in the playoffs. NFL on FOX’s lead analyst Troy Aikman calls an important game for the Bears against the Packers this Sunday and thinks even though the Bears’ defense has been getting a lot of heat for their recent slide, the offensive game plan is what needs to get adjusted. “The Bears go as their defense goes. If their defense isn’t dominating, then they have a hard time winning games. The defense has given up more yardage running the ball in the last few weeks but it’s still awfully good and the Bears wouldn’t be 8-5 right now without them. Offensively, they need more. Their game plan is to get it to Brandon Marshall but the complimentary players need to do more and that isn’t happening. The Bears are good enough on the defensive side to win a championship, the question is, can they improve enough offensively?”

PEREIRA: DON’T LOSE SLEEP OVER KICKOFF GOING AWAY NFL on FOX rules analyst and former VP of NFL officiating Mike Pereira joined Colin Cowherd’s radio program yesterday to discuss the possibility of the NFL abolishing the kickoff.  “Don’t lose sleep over this.  I think the committee will give it about 30 seconds of consideration and then move on to other issues.  Prior to the 2011 NFL season, they made two tweaks, one moved the kickoff line from the 30 back to the 35 and they didn’t let the kickoff team get a running start and the results, by their own admission, was a reduction in concussions of over 40%,” said Pereira. If they want to reduce concussions even more, Pereira believes there are additional tweaks they could make without eliminating the kickoff completely.  “You could make the receiving team lineup more players between the 45 and the 50 so they can’t be back at the 20 and get a running start up-field.  They’d have to go back and setup to block.  There are other things you could try.  If you’re going to eliminate the kickoff then you might as well eliminate the pass across the middle.  You can’t change the fabric of the game like elimination of the kickoff would.”

WHATIFSPORTS PREDICTS AT&T COTTON BOWL WILL COME DOWN TO THE WIRE – WhatIfSports.com, a unit of FOX Sports Interactive Media,  predicts that this season’s Cotton Bowl airing live on FOX Friday, Jan. 4 (7:30 PM ET) from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX between the Texas A&M Aggies and Oklahoma Sooners is going to be a close one.  The website, which specializes in online sports simulations and fantasy-style games, predicts a dramatic late game comeback by the Aggies on their way to a 36-33 victory.  Citing narrow losses to Florida and LSU, WhatIfSports sees 2012 Heisman Trophy recipient Johnny Manziel carrying his team to a win over the powerful Oklahoma Sooners.  WhatIfSports.com uses over a thousand virtual game simulations to make its predictions and enables sports fans to compete in virtual sports worlds over multiple platforms such as baseball and college basketball.  WhatIfSports’ games do not relay on results generated by real-life players; games are simulated using propriety technology that incorporates statistical data, past performances and ratings into a complex game engine.

For complete college football bowl predictions click here:  http://www.whatifsports.com/beyondtheboxscore/default.asp?article=2012CFB_BowlPreview

PEARSON ONE OF BEST STRIKERS IN UFC, SOTIROPOULOS DANGEROUS ON GROUND IN UFC ON FX 6 – The UFC travels back to Australia on Friday, Dec. 14 for UFC ON FX 6 to determine the first winner of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes – Team Australia vs. Team UK. The coaches face off in the main event, as rivals George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson represent their teams and countries in a heated lightweight showdown.This is going to be a great fight because of the way they match up, and especially because of the hate they had for each other throughout the season,” says UFC TONIGHT Analyst Kenny Florian, who will also be calling the fights on FUEL TV and FX. “Ross Pearson is one of the best strikers at 155 lbs. that the UFC has. George is very dangerous on the ground. He is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and a guy with a ton of experience.” FUEL TV kicks-off coverage with the Weigh-in Show live on Thursday, December 13 (10:00 PM ET), hosted by Jay Glazer, with UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson and UFC Light Heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen offering analysis. MMA journalist Karyn Bryant conducts fighter interviews on-site.  The prelims air live on FUEL TV on Friday, Dec. 14 (6:00 PM ET), and the Postfight show wraps things up (11:00 PM ET) with Glazer hosting, Henderson and Sonnen offering analysis, and Bryant conducting onsite interviews.

THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALE LIVE ON FX SATURDAY  – The Ultimate Fighter Finale takes place on Saturday, Dec. 15 from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and airs live on FX at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT. In the night’s main event, UFC heavyweight and coach of Team Nelson, Roy Nelson, will face-off against Matt Mitrione. According to FUEL TV’s UFC TONIGHT Analyst Kenny Florian, Nelson’s experience gives him the edge in the fight. “Experience is going to be the factor here. Mitrione is former NFL player, and he definitely looks more the part of an athlete, but do not underestimate Roy Nelson. This guy is like Kung Fu Panda. He may be a little soft in some parts, but he is very flexible, he is very fast, has an unbelievable chin and he can also knock you out.” FUEL TV presents the UFC WEIGH-INS live on Friday, Dec. 14 (5:00 PM ET), hosted by Jay Glazer, with UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson and UFC Light Heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen offering analysis. Heidi Androl conducts fighter interviews on-site.  Coverage continues on Saturday, Dec. 15 (7:00 PM ET) with the live UFCPRELIMS ON FUEL TV hosted by Glazer, with Henderson and Sonnen offering analysis. All three will be back at midnight for the UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV LIVE.

FUEL TV PRESENTS THE BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE THIS SATURDAY – On Saturday, Dec. 15 (9:30 AM ET) FUEL TV sets the stage for a crucial BPL match as Liverpool hosts Aston Villa, live. With a win, Liverpool can secure a firm place in the league’s top-half, while Aston Villa looks to move farther away from the relegation zone. The Reds will rely on Uruguayan Luis Suarez to build on his 10 goals this season, while Aston Villa and American goalkeeper Brad Guzan hopes to win for the first time since late-November.

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