ESPN’s Weekend and Monday NFL Studio Features
Two reporters – Rachel Nichols and Ed Werder – to cover matchup of undefeated Giants and Saints
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.
ESPN will dispatch two reporters – Rachel Nichols (Giants) and Ed Werder (Saints) – to New Orleans for to cover the day’s only matchup of undefeated teams. Also, Sal Paolantonio will cover the Ravens – Vikings game and Bob Holtzman will be in Pittsburgh for the Browns at Steelers. Other highlights:
Eli Manning’s Homecoming: Giants quarterback Eli Manning, the son of legendary Saints signal-caller Archie Manning, has been nicknamed the “Easy E,” by his fans in the Big Easy. Countdown visits New Orleans to capture the fans’ affection for their native son on the verge of his first pro start in his hometown.
Darren Sharper – The Art Returning an Interception for a Touchdown: Werder goes into the film room with Darren Sharper as the Saints safety — who recently had his 10th interception returned for a touchdown against the Jets – breaks down the 99-yard run to the end zone.
Adrian Peterson’s Shoes: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who estimates he has spent about $200,000 on shoes in the last two and a half years, takes Nichols on a tour of his shoe closet while his fellow Vikings give their thoughts on their shoe-loving teammate.
Mayne Event – Justin Timberlake and NFL Rookies: In this week’s “Mayne Event,” Kenny Mayne reveals the secret mentor who has guided several first-year players through the rookie hazing experience by working with them through “Rookie Night” talent shows; none other than the six-time Grammy-winning artist Justin Timberlake.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook – Roddy White vs. Bears Defensive Backs: Cris Carter breaks down how the Falcons wide receiver, fresh off his 210 receiving yards vs. the 49ers, runs routes that create problems for opposing cornerbacks.
Ditka’s Doghouse: In his self-titled segment, the erstwhile mercurial NFL head coach Mike Ditka sends an NFL player to “Ditka’s Doghouse,” much like he did to erring players during his coaching career.
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 6 action. The list of game picks will be posted on www.espn.com/sundaycountdown after the show.
SportsCenter “Sunday Conversation” – Broncos Josh McDaniels
With his Denver Broncos off to a 5-0 start following an overtime win over his former team and mentor Bill Belichick, first year head coach Josh McDaniels sits down with Suzy Kolber for an extensive interview to be featured on SportsCenter “Sunday Conversation” at 11 p.m.
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 San Diego) will review Sunday’s games and preview Monday Night Football. The 90-minute, pre-game show will lead into the kickoff of the Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (8:30 p.m.) game, featuring Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski
Reporters Suzy Kolber (Broncos) and Michele Tafoya (Chargers) will cover the teams. Other highlights:
“Unmasked” – Philip Rivers: In his sixth season, Philip Rivers has developed into one of NFL’s top quarterbacks and a feisty competitor. Going into a matchup with the divisional rival Denver Broncos, Rivers gets “unmasked.”
Soundtracks – Josh McDaniels: After an unsettling off-season, the first-year Broncos head coach has led his team to a 5-0 start. In “Soundtracks,” McDaniels, wired for sound, gives viewers a listen from the Broncos’ home win over the Cowboys.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook – Broncos Running Game vs. Chargers Defense: Jackson takes viewers on the field to preview how Knoshown Moreno and the Broncos running game will fare against the Chargers.
ESPN The Magazine’s “For Love or the Game” – Brandon Marshall: Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall is paired with his girlfriend, Michi, and teammate Elvis Dumervil to see who really knows Marshall 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 6.
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:
Beyond The Film Room: Carson Palmer – With quarterback Carson Palmer off to his best start since 2005, Jaworski goes ‘Beyond The Film Room’ and onto the field to dissect the game-winning touchdown pass from Palmer to Andre Caldwell last week vs. the Ravens.
Texans @ Bengals – Hoge shows Cedric Benson became the first player in 40 games to rush for more than 100 yards against the Ravens.
Broncos @ Chargers – Jaworski reveals how Denver can use combination coverage concepts and stunts on the defensive line to make Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers uncomfortable.
Ravens @ Vikings – Hoge pulls out his ‘Coachers Clicker’ and highlights how the Vikings struggle in pass protection against certain blitz concepts.
Giants @ Saints: Giants Offense – Hoge uncovers how the Giants’ use of an extra offensive tackle can catch the Saints’ defense off guard against the pass.
Giants @ Saints: Saints Offense – While it is easy to throw your remote at the television when your team’s defense leaves a linebacker covering Reggie Bush one on one, a more wise reaction might be to praise head coach Sean Payton’s schemes and tactics, says Jaworski, who opens up his ‘Playbook’ to show how Payton creates mismatches through formation, alignment, and movement before the snap.
Bears @ Falcons – Jaworski, with coaching tapes from the Falcons-49ers game, illustrates how the Falcons put defenses in a run-pass conflict better than any offense in the league.
Titans @ Patriots – Hoge explains how quarterback Tom Brady has been staring down his receivers and leaving big plays on the field.
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