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 Baltimore Ravens, Sal Paolantonio at the Raiders – Giants game, Michael Smith in Kansas City for the Cowboys at Chiefs, and Ed Werder covering the Patriots at Broncos game. Other highlights:
Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick: Josh McDaniels’ is off to a 4-0 start as head coach of the Denver Broncos. Before this season, he was a Patriots assistant for eight seasons under Bill Belichick, where they won three Super Bowls together. Werder explores the relationship between McDaniels and Belichick.
“Unmasked” – Jared Allen: Following his four-and-one-half-sack performance against the Packers on Monday night, the Viking defensive end Jared Allen takes off the helmet to reveal his personality and his celebration style in “Unmasked.”
First Quarter Report Cards: With the completion of the season’s first quarter last weekend, Countdown will hand out report cards to the best players and teams as well as some headed to detention.
Mayne Event: NFL to L.A.?: Kenny Mayne goes to Los Angeles to report an NFL story, only to find out there is no team in the city. But as Mayne finds out in this week’s “Mayne Event,” the absence of an NFL team in the city is not for the lack of effort by loyal Los Angeles residents.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook: Overprotecting the Quarterback: Jackson breaks down the difference between protecting and over-protecting NFL quarterbacks.
“The Band That Wouldn’t Die” Preview: Countdown will feature a preview of ESPN Film’s “30 for 30” documentary by Academy-award winning filmmaker Barry Levinson about the Baltimore Colts marching band – a group that never disbanded, even after the team left for Indianapolis in 1984.
Top 10 Plays of the First 1st Quarter: Berman presents the top-10 plays of the season’s first quarter.
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 5 action. The list of game picks will be posted on www.espn.com/sundaycountdown after the show.
Keyshawn Johnson to Interview Mark Sanchez for SportsCenter “Sunday Conversation”
New York Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has led a revived Jets offense to a 3-1 start, sits down with fellow USC alum Johnson for an extensive interview to be featured on SportsCenter “Sunday Conversation” at 11 p.m., and Monday Night Countdown (7 p.m.), leading into the rookie’s first regular-season Monday Night Football appearance.
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 Miami) will review Sunday’s games and preview Monday Night Football. The 90-minute, pre-game show will lead into the kickoff of the New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (8:30 p.m.) game, featuring Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski
Reporters Michele Tafoya (Jets) and Suzy Kolber (Dolphins) will cover the teams. Other highlights:
Mark Sanchez’s Hispanic Heritage: In a sit-down interview with Johnson, the Jets rookie quarterback speaks of his Hispanic heritage and his role as a role model for Latinos interested in pursuing careers in the NFL.
Soundtracks – Rex Ryan: The first-year Jets head coach has been a huge hit in the nation’s top media market. In this rare “Soundtracks,” viewers get a listen inside an NFL locker room as Ryan delivers victory speeches after the Jets’ wins over the Patriots and Titans.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook – The Wildcat: Jackson takes viewers on the field to show why the Dolphins “Wildcat” offense is so difficult to defend.
ESPN The Magazine’s “For Love or the Game” – Kerry Rhodes: New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes is paired with his mother, Jubrella Rhodes, and teammate Jerricho Cotchery to see who really knows Rhodes better.
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 5.
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:
Colts @ Titans – Hoge displays how the Colts are utilizing the team’s talent with formations and alignment in order to confuse opposing defenses, and how this might level a Titans secondary that lacks discipline.
Jets @ Dolphins – Jaworski focuses on the evolution of the Dolphins’ “Wildcat” and reveals how this polarizing style of offense attacks defenses.
Vikings @ Rams – Jaworski opens up his ‘Playbook’ and illustrates how Favre was able to manipulate defenders and make unbelievably accurate off-balanced throws, reminiscent of his MVP days in Green Bay.
Falcons @ 49ers – Hoge reveals how the San Francisco 49ers will attack the Falcons offense and cause uncertainty in their offensive line this Sunday.
Bengals @ Ravens – Hoge spotlights how the Bengals precise route combinations create big plays in their passing game.
Steelers @ Lions – Jaworski goes ‘Beyond the Film Room’ to show how great pass concepts and precise execution have resulted in a confident and dangerous aerial attack in Pittsburgh.
Patriots @ Broncos – The Broncos defense is for real, says Hoge, who pulls out the “Coaches Clicker” to illustrate the speed of the team’s defense.
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