BALTIMORE AT DENVER ON SATURDAY, JAN. 12; AND HOUSTON AT NEW ENGLAND ON SUNDAY, JAN. 13
AUDIBLES WITH LEAD NFL ON CBS ANALYST PHIL SIMMS AND DAN DIERDORF
THE NFL ON CBS, home of Super Bowl XLVII, continues its 53rd year broadcasting the NFL with coverage of the 2013 American Football Conference Playoffs with the national broadcasts of the Divisional Playoff games on Saturday, Jan. 12 (4:30 PM, ET) and Sunday, Jan. 13 (4:30 PM, ET) live on the CBS Television Network. The AFC North Champions and No. 4-seeded BALTIMORE RAVENS (11-6) travel to play the AFC West Champions and No. 1-seeded DENVER BRONCOS (13-3) on Saturday, while the AFC South Champions and No. 3-seeded Houston Texans (13-4) visit the AFC East Champions and No. 2-seeded NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4) on Sunday.
THE NFL ON CBS’s coverage begins with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s studio show, at 3:30-4:30 PM, ET on Saturday, and 4:00-4:30 PM, ET on Sunday, live from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City.
THE NFL ON CBSlead announce team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the action, along with Steve Tasker serving as reporter, live from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Sunday. Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer and lead game producer and Mike Arnold is the lead game director. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf call the action, along with Solomon Wilcots serving as reporter, live from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. on Saturday. Mark Wolff produces and Bob Fishman directs.
Sean McManus is Chairman, CBS Sports, and serves as executive producer of CBS Sports’ coverage of THE NFL ON CBS. Harold Bryant is Executive Producer and Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
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(On Houston-New England): The intriguing part of this game is the way the last game was played and how it worked against Houston so much. That’s a tremendous motivating factor for the team. It’s just human nature. Can the New England Patriots still take the Houston Texans as seriously as they did the first time because of that? Those are parts of the game that we can’t quantify but know they’re there. Vince Wilfork was a tremendous problem for Houston in the first game. What will Houston’s plan be this week to maybe change Vince Wilfork’s production? What will Houston do on the defensive side? When you give up 42 points, you have to try something different. Because whatever they did last time, it didn’t work. That’s what NFL coaching is about. And that is why coaches are so important in the NFL. They have to change game plans in order to change the performance and thought process of all the athletes they’re asking to do these things.
(On Baltimore): The number one storyline coming into this game is how Baltimore reacts to: a) a short week; b) a travel week; c) the amount of emotional energy they spent last week; d) the amount of physical energy their defense spent last week because Indianapolis ran 87 plays against the Baltimore defense. By NFL standards, that is a lot of football. Ray Lewis was on the field for all 87 of those plays for the Ravens. And, e) you factor in that they will be playing at 5,200 feet. You talk about a game that involves physical and mental toughness, this is going to be a real test of that for the Baltimore Ravens.
(On Denver): This team was in the playoffs last year and won a game. And of course Peyton Manning has certainly been there before. From a health standpoint, the bye really helped Denver get the couple of guys that were banged up feeling healthy again. In fact, both of these teams are very healthy going into this game. Denver has great balance. They have good special teams play. They are very good defensively at all three levels. They have quality lineman, good linebackers and Champ Bailey is leading a secondary that is playing very, very well. And of course offensively they have Peyton Manning. That is what Baltimore is going to have to overcome, an extremely balanced Denver team.
(On Baltimore-Denver): These teams played on December 16 and Denver won pretty handily. But the one thing you have to remember is that four-of-the-five leading tacklers for Baltimore did not play in that game. They are a different team now. Bernard Pollard is playing. Ray Lewis is playing. Dannell Ellerbe is back. Terrell Suggs was just working his way back. It’s a much better defensive team for Baltimore that is going to play Denver this time than played them a little less than a month ago.
Following are THE NFL ON CBS assignments for the AFC Playoffs (subject to change).
AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAME #1 – Saturday, Jan. 12
4:30 PM, ET starts:
Baltimore @ Denver Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf// Mark Wolff/Bob Fishman
AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAME #2 – Sunday, Jan. 13
4:30 PM, ET start:
Houston @ New England Jim Nantz/Phil Simms// Lance Barrow/Mike Arnold
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – Sunday, Jan. 20
6:30 PM, ET start:
SUPER BOWL XLVII – February 3
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