ESPN’s Weekend and Monday NFL Studio Features
Ed Werder and Kenny Mayne to cover Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau Field
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 – Ed Werder and Kenny Mayne – to Green Bay to cover the Brett Favre’s first game against the Packers at Lambeau Field. Also, Rachel Nichols will cover the Broncos – Ravens game, Sal Paolantonio will handle the Giants – Eagles game and Bob Holtzman will be in Indianapolis for the 49ers at Colts. Other highlights:
Former Packers on Brett Favre’s Homecoming: Tom Rinaldi reports what legendary Packers (Willie Davis, Jerry Kramer, Fuzzy Thurston) and former teammates (Leroy Butler and Antonio Freeman) think of Favre’s return to Green Bay.
New York-Philadelphia – Tale of the Tape: With New York and Philadelphia teams facing off in the 2009 World Series and the Giants-Eagles NFC East matchup, Countdown compares the two cities – Tougher fans? Better landmark – Liberty Bell or Empire State Building? Philly cheese steaks vs. New York style cheesecake?
Best of Brett Favre on Mayne Event: In this week’s Mayne Event, Kenny Mayne, also in Green Bay reporting on Favre’s return to Lambeau Field, re-lives some of the most memorable Favre moments in his self-titled weekly series.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook – Brett Favre vs. Al Harris: Using the EA Virtual Playbook, Tom Jackson goes back to the first Vikings-Packers game to re-create a play where Favre took advantage of cornerback Al Harris for a 31-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian.
Soundtracks – Cardinals/Panthers Divisional Playoff: The 2008 Arizona Cardinals were criticized for never winning on the East Coast – that was until the Divisional Playoff game at Carolina where they won 33-13. Countdown relives the sights and sounds of that game in Soundtracks.
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 8 action. The list of game picks will be posted on www.espn.com/sundaycountdown after the show.
MNF’s Jon Gruden to Interview Drew Brees for SportsCenter “Sunday Conversation”
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who captains one of the league’s top offensive units, has led the Saints to a 6-0 start. On the cusp of this week’s Monday Night Football, the Saints’ signal caller sits down with Gruden for an extensive interview to be featured on SportsCenter “Sunday Conversation” at 11 p.m. and Monday Night Countdown (7 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 New Orleans, La.) will review Sunday’s games and preview Monday Night Football. The 90-minute, pre-game show will lead into the kickoff of the Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (8:30 p.m.) game, featuring Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski.
Reporters Suzy Kolber (Falcons) and Michele Tafoya (Saints) will cover the teams. Other highlights:
Soundtracks – Drew Brees and Sean Payton: In this week’s Soundtracks, fans hear Saints quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton communicate during a game.
ESPN The Magazine’s “For Love or the Game” – Tony Gonzalez: Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is paired with his wife, Tobie, and teammate Brian Finneran to see who really knows Gonzalez better.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook – Sharper to the House: Jackson takes viewers on the field to show how Darren Sharper has become a scoring machine for the Saints defense.
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 8.
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:
Vikings @ Packers: Packers Defense – Jaworski spotlights why and how the Packers must change their defensive approach against Minnesota if they plan to spoil Brett Favre’s homecoming.
Vikings @ Packers: Vikings Defense – Hoge shows how Minnesota’s coverage and play recognition in Week 4 played a huge role in their victory and why both will be vital in Green Bay Sunday.
Broncos @ Ravens – Hoge goes to the ‘Coaches Clicker’ to illustrate how Denver disrupts opposing pass protections with player alignment.
Giants @ Eagles – Hoge showcases how a visible tendency in the Giants’ pass coverage has allowed teams to take advantage of their defense through the air.
Falcons @ Saints – Jaworski goes to “The Film Room” to show exactly what the Saints are doing to run the ball so effectively.
Dolphins @ Jets – The Jets struggled to stop the Wildcat when they lost to the Dolphins in Week 5. Hoge reveals how head coach Rex Ryan and the Jets defense can shut down the Wildcat.
Seahawks @ Cowboys – Jaworski displays how formation and great play design have helped Dallas create favorable mismatches in their passing game, creating an explosive offense.
49ers @ Colts – The 49ers made the change at quarterback to Alex Smith this week. Jaworski shows how the 49ers can help their young signal-caller and make him more comfortable.
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