Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL Matchup Features for NFL Conference Championship Sunday
Sunday NFL Countdown featuring Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson will preview the AFC and NFC Championship games Sunday at 11 a.m. ET. Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will provide headlines and league news.
Sunday’s pre-game show will offer team reports from Sal Paolantonio (Jets) and Suzy Kolber (Colts) at the AFC Championship in Indianapolis, as well as Ed Werder (Vikings) and Rachel Nichols (Saints) at the NFC Championship in New Orleans. Planned features:
Rex Ryan – The Press Conference: In his first press conference as Jets head coach, Rex Ryan said his team would be meeting President Obama soon as a Super Bowl champion. Since then, Ryan has been a walking sound bite, a New York tabloid headline writer’s dream, and has filled reporters’ notebooks while raising the ire of some of his opponents. Greg Garber reports on the experience of a Rex Ryan press conference.
Sidney Rice’s Ball Drills: Countdown’s Cris Carter, a former Vikings receiver, joins Sidney Rice in a training session where the current Viking addresses how he improved his craft with unique ball drills, transforming his career from a virtual unknown to Pro Bowl player.
Saints – The Soul of New Orleans: New Orleans is jazz music playing in the French Quarter, feasting on beignets at Café du Monde, and a rebuilding city post-Hurricane Katrina. But the soul of New Orleans rests in its football team. ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine senior writer Wright Thompson, a Gulf Coast native, reports on how New Orleans and its residents are handling the excitement of hosting their first NFC Championship game – one game away from the team’s first Super Bowl.
Mayne Event: Ada, Oklahoma & J-E-T-S: In the small Southern town of Ada, Okla., it has become an urban legend that one can get arrested and tossed into jail for wearing a New York Jets jersey. In this week’s “Mayne Event,” Kenny Mayne tries to get Ada and its residents onto the Jets’ bandwagon.
EA Sports Virtual Playbook: Brett Favre vs. Saints Safety Darren Sharper: Favre and Sharper were teammates in Green Bay for eight seasons, facing each other in practices. In EA Sports Virtual Playbook, Tom Jackson analyzes how the impending on-the-field chess match between the Vikings quarterback and Saints safety will be one of the key matchups in the NFC Championship.
Berman, Carter, Ditka, Jackson and Johnson will pick the conference championship games, preview the key players and matchups in their “Championship Game X Factors,” and offer tale-of-the-tape insight about the games.
NFL MATCHUP SUNDAY 3 A.M. AND 7:30 A.M.
NFL Matchup (Sunday at 3 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.) with host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge will preview the NFL Conference Championship games. Sunday’s features:
Jets “D” vs. Colts “O” –
- Hoge reveals how the Colts offense can attack the Jets’ vulnerabilities on defense with the running game.
- Jaworski shows how late movement before the snap and quick inside pressure can break down the Indianapolis offensive line and disrupt their offense.
Jets “O” vs. Colts “D”
- Jaworski illustrates how New York must take some shots downfield in predominantly running situations for big plays.
- Hoge highlights how the Colts defense can exploit Mark Sanchez’s inability to account for free rushers.
Vikings “O” vs. Saints “D”
- The Saints defense uses late movements and disguises. Jaworski points out how the Vikings offense Sunday exploited the Cowboys defense that resembles the Saints.
- At 40 years old, Brett Favre continues to make plays outside the pocket and as Hoge shows, the Saints must be wary of Favre’s ability to improvise.
Vikings “D” vs. Saints “O”
- Jaworski goes back to game film from Week 5 of the 2008 season to explain how New Orleans successfully attacked Minnesota’s linebackers in pass coverage, a key matchup Sunday.
- Hoge pulls out his ‘Coaches Clicker’ to show how Minnesota can get free rushers to the Saints quarterback without sacrificing players in coverage.
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