ESPN’s Weekend and Monday NFL Studio Features
ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM will preview the day’s matchups Sunday at 11 a.m. ET with Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson. ESPN senior analyst Chris Mortensen and NFL insider Adam Schefter will provide headlines and league news.
The two-hour program will include reports from Rachel Nichols covering the Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers, Ed Werder at the Cowboys – Packers game, and Sal Paolantonio in San Diego for the Eagles at Chargers. Other highlights:
Cedric Benson: When he was selected with the No. 4 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, many projected Cedric Benson as the next great Bears running back. After three seasons marked by on- and off-the-field problems, the Bears released him. Tom Jackson profiles Benson’s road to redemption as the NFL’s second-leading rusher and a key member of the Bengals’ 6-2 season.
Patriots/Colts – Rivalry Remembered: The Patriots and Colts were division rivals in the old AFC East, and it feels that way again with the seventh straight regular season game between the two teams Sunday. Greg Garber visits with former Patriots and Colts for their insight on the rivalry.
Mayne Event – Kim-Il Zong 8: In the past, Kenny Mayne has told seven cautionary tales of the mythical Kim-Il Zong, the most expensive bust in Seahawks history. In this week’s Mayne Event, Mayne presents what happened when Seattle finally cut ties with Zong.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook – Carson Palmer vs. Troy Polamalu: Using the Virtual Playbook, Jackson previews the matchup of former University of Southern California teammates – Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.
NostraDitka – Predicting a Perfect Season for the Saints: Legendary coach and player Mike Ditka channels his alter ego – NostraDitka – as he predicts whether the Saints are en-route a perfect season.
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em with Matthew Berry and Merril Hoge: ESPN’s fantasy football guru Matthew Berry and NFL analyst Merril Hoge debate which players to start or sit this weekend.
Berman, Carter, Ditka, Jackson and Johnson will pick the biggest games of the day and tell fans which players will make the biggest impact in NFL’s Week 10 action. The list of game picks will be posted on www.espn.com/sundaycountdown after the show.
MONDAY NIGHT COUNTDOWN, 7 P.M. ON ESPN
Monday Night Countdown Served by Applebee’s with Berman, Carter, Ditka, Jackson, Johnson, Mortensen and Schefter (in Bristol) and Stuart Scott, Matt Millen and Steve Young (at the MNF game in Cleveland) will review Sunday’s games and preview Monday Night Football. The 90-minute, pre-game show will lead into the kickoff of the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (8:30 p.m.) game, featuring Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski.
Reporters Suzy Kolber (Ravens) and Michele Tafoya (Browns) will cover the teams. Other highlights:
Soundtracks – Best of Ray Lewis: For the past decade, Ray Lewis has been the fiery leader of one of the NFL’s best defenses. In this week’s “Soundtracks,” Countdown relives some of the best in-game audio by one of the league’s fiercest defensive leaders.
Unmasked – Terrell Suggs: One of NFL’s best pass rushers, Terrell Suggs commands the attention of an entire offense. Countdown takes viewers under the helmet to reveal what motivates Suggs.
WEEKLY MONDAY NIGHT COUNTDOWN SEGMENTS
TEAMS AT 20 – Every 20 minutes reporters Tafoya and Kolber will update news from the teams in their preparations for the game, beginning with NFL Live at 3:30 p.m.
FIELD PASS – Countdown offers an all-access look at pre-game preparations as the players get ready for kickoff. Analysts will also breakdown the important storylines and key players before the game.
C’MON MAN – Countdown personalities share their head-scratching plays from Week 10.
In addition, Monday Night Football’s Tirico, Jaworski and Gruden will preview the night’s match-up, with Mortensen and Schefter covering breaking news from around the league, and the Countdown analysts offering their “Lead Pipe Lock” predictions for the game.
NFL MATCHUP, SUNDAY 3 A.M. AND 7:30 A.M. ON ESPN
NFL Matchup with host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview the weekend’s games by bringing viewers inside the film room for the Xs and Os analysis of the matchups. The 30-minute program – taped each week at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey – highlights team strategy and game planning. This week’s features:
Patriots @ Colts: Communication in the Secondary – Hoge illustrates how the Colts’ inexperience at the cornerback position will hurt their chances against the Patriots.
Patriots @ Colts: Colts Offense vs. Patriots Defense – Jaworski demonstrates how the Colts offense will rely on precise execution Sunday in Indianapolis.
Eagles @ Chargers – Jaworski reveals how the Chargers have attacked defenses with route combinations.
Bengals @ Steelers – Hoge shows how the Bengals must keep Ben Roethlisberger in the pocket and maintain coverage responsibilities if the Steelers quarterback breaks contain and scrambles.
Cowboys @ Packers – Jaworski unveils how the Packers defense must recognize double moves by quarterback Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense to be successful.
Lions @ Vikings – Hoge displays how the Vikings put opposing defenses in a pass-run bind, making it more difficult for third level defenders to help out against the run.
Ravens @ Browns – Jaworski highlights how Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco struggled to recognize disguised defensive plays last Sunday against the Bengals, and how he will have similar problems against the Browns defense.
Saints @ Rams – Hoge pulls out his ‘Coaches Clicker ‘and spotlights how the Saints left guard Carl Nicks has been a catalyst for the top-ranked offense in the league.
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