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 program will include reports from Rachel Nichols covering the Tennessee Titans at New York Jets, Sal Paolantonio at the Chiefs – Eagles game, and Michael Smith in Foxboro, Mass., for the Falcons at Patriots. Other highlights:
Rex and Buddy Ryan: Under new head coach Rex Ryan, son of former NFL coach and architect of the 1985 Bears’ “46” defense Buddy Ryan, the Jets defense has yet to allow a touchdown in two games. Rachel Nichols profiles the relationship between Rex and his father.
The Hill: The 2-0 start by the 49ers can be traced back to the off-season when new head coach Mike Singletary ordered 2,500 tons of dirt and had a 45-foot hill built as part of the team’s new conditioning program. Trent Dilfer visits with Singletary and his players as they discuss the benefit of what they call “Mount Pain” and “Hamstring Hill.”
Panic or Patience – 0-2 Teams: Countdown debates which 0-2 teams’ (Chiefs, Dolphins, Browns, Bucs, Jaguars, Lions, Panthers, Rams and Titans) fans should panic or be patient.
Tom Brady – Film Room: Dilfer goes in the film room to show what’s different this season about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and how he it can be fixed.
Mayne Event: The Catch: Some 49ers’ greats of the past still feel they have yet to get the credit they deserve for their roles in “The Catch” – the historic throw and catch from quarterback Joe Montana to Dwight Clark late in the fourth quarter of the 1982 NFC Championship (Cowboys at 49ers). In this week’s “Mayne Event,” Kenny Mayne tells the story of the catch through the eyes and memories of these 49ers’ greats.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook: Steelers Run Game: Through two games, the Super Bowl champion Steelers rank 28th in the league in rushing. Tom Jackson breaks down what happened to Pittsburgh’s running game.
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 3 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 Dallas) will review Sunday’s games and preview Monday Night Football. The 90-minute, pre-game show will lead into the kickoff of the Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys (8:30 p.m.) game, featuring Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski – the first for Monday Night Football at the new Cowboys Stadium.
Reporters Suzy Kolber (Panthers) and Michele Tafoya (Cowboys) will cover the teams. Other highlights:
Tony Romo Soundtracks: In-game audio and highlights from Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who was wired for sound in Dallas’ season-opening victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
ESPN The Magazine’s “For Love or the Game” – DeMarcus Ware: Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware’s wife, Taniqua, is paired with teammate Bradie James to find out which of them knows more about Ware in this week’s “For love or the Game.”
EA Sports Virtual Playbook – Delhomme’s Problems: Jackson takes viewers on the field to show why Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme and wide receiver Steve Smith are having problems getting on the same page.
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 3.
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:
Titans @ Jets – Identifying how the Texans successfully attacked Tennessee’s defense last week, Hoge projects how the Jets offense, with tight end Dustin Keller, can do the same Sunday.
Giants @ Buccaneers – Jaworski displays how Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham was able to draw coverage and open up the rest of the field for other receivers against Dallas.
Steelers @ Bengals – Hoge unveils how running back Cedric Benson and the Bengals offense should attack Pittsburgh on the ground.
Falcons @ Patriots – Hoge goes to the ‘Film Room’ and breaks down how Atlanta would create mismatches with tight end Tony Gonzalez against New England’s linebackers.
Panthers @ Cowboys – Jaworski illustrates how the Cowboys continue to transition to a run-based offense and how running back Felix Jones, a dynamic playmaker, needs more touches.
Colts @ Cardinals – Jaworski shows how Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has the uncanny ability to find and exploit mismatches in the passing game.
49ers @ Vikings – Hoge pulls out his ‘Coaches Clicker’ to show how the 49ers can attack the Vikings between the tackles.
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