ESPN’s Weekend and Monday NFL Studio Features
ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM will preview the weekend’s NFL matchups Sunday at 11 a.m. featuring host 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.
Sunday’s two-hour show will include reports from Rachel Nichols covering the New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings, Michael Smith covering the New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers, Mike Reiss covering the New England Patriots at Houston Texans, Bob Holtzman covering the Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders, Ed Werder covering the Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys and Sal Paolantonio at the Meadowlands for the Bengals-Jets.
Eagles – Cowboys Rivalry: The Eagles and Cowboys’ rivalry takes another turn as they battle for the NFC East crown. Whether it’s the past or more recent moments like T.O.’s return to Philly as a Cowboy or McNabb’s 14-second scramble, the memories of this rivalry are vivid to those who played in it. Jeremy Schaap reports.
Philip Rivers Unmasked: The Chargers are one the hottest teams in the NFL on a 10-game win streak, led by quarterback Philip Rivers. Like all quarterbacks, Rivers doubles as a translator with a good portion of his work being done before the snap. This week’s Unmasked goes under the helmet as Rivers takes viewers through his thought process.
Mayne Event Awards: In this week’s Mayne Event, Kenny Mayne looks back at some of the best and brightest Mayne Event performances of the year in the Mayne Event Awards, with help from seven-time Grammy winner John Mayer, who will host and help hand out the hardware in categories like Best Famous Person, Best Actor and Best Story.
Jets’ Good Fortunes: Rex Ryan made a Christmas wish that came true, when the Colts sat many starters in the third quarter last week, which helped propel a Jets win. If the Jets’ produce a win versus the Bengals Sunday, they are in the postseason party. How do the Jets’ feel about their good fortune and the perception that they’re backing into the playoffs?
Saints and Vikings: Panic or Patience?: Two of the NFC powers for most of this season are now limping toward the postseason – the Saints losing two straight after a 13-0 start and the Vikings losing three of their last four. Is it time for New Orleans and Minnesota fans to panic or show patience? The Countdown crew has the answers.
No Huddle Awards: With the 2009 regular season coming to a close the Sunday NFL Countdown crew declares some award winners for the season. MVP? Coach of the Year? Rookie of the Year? Defensive Player of the Year? Find out who the crew feels deserves some hardware.
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em ESPN’s fantasy football: ESPN’s NFL experts will tell viewers 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 17 action. The list of game picks will be posted on www.espn.com/sundaycountdown after the show.
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:
Eagles @ Cowboys: Cowboys Offense – Hoge reveals how Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense can attack the Eagles’ blitz.
Eagles @ Cowboys: Eagles Offense – Jaworski displays how the Cowboys used a defender to spy McNabb in their previous matchup, and how having one less defender rushing the passer or dropping into coverage can only help the Eagles’ explosive passing game.
Giants @ Vikings: Vikings Offense – Ideologies collide when Jaworski and Hoge debate about what the correct approach should be for the Vikings Offense as they head into the playoffs.
Giants @ Vikings: Vikings Defense – Hoge exposes how Vikings linebacker E. J. Henderson’s replacement, Jasper Brinkley, can be exploited in the passing game.
Bengals @ Jets – Hoge highlights how the Jets must break their tendencies to run the ball and throw the ball out of big personnel sets on first down.
Ravens @ Raiders – Jaworski illustrates how Baltimore must continue to use run looks and play action to create favorable throwing situations.
Packers @ Cardinals – Hoge uncovers how the Cardinals have used disguise and a little bit of chaos to shut down some of the best passing teams.
Patriots @ Texans – For the Texans to have any shot of making the playoffs this season they’ll have to lean on their playmakers, namely Andre Johnson. Jaworski unveils how the Texans must continue to use great play design to get the ball into Johnson’s hands as often as possible.
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