We have our usual press releases from the NFL TV partners on what they’ll air this weekend. Let’s take a look at what we’ll see on the pregame shows and what the networks are saying about the games they’ll air.
Starting with Fox Sports and what it’s saying about its regional coverage this Sunday.
FOX SPORTS NOTES, QUOTES & ANECDOTESNFL on FOX Action Features Dome Clash between Undefeated Giants & Saints
BREES & ELI MATCH WITS IN HIGH-FLYING BATTLE OF UNDEFEATEDS IN NEW ORLEANS The 2009 NFL on FOX campaign rolls into Week 6 on Sunday, Oct. 18 with singleheader coverage of six exciting matchups—each presented in crystal clear HD. At 1:00 PM ET, Eli Manning plays is first NFL game in his hometown but that’s not the No. 1 story. Rather, Manning leads the 5-0 Giants against Drew Brees’ 4-0 Saints. Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver call all the action live from what is sure to be a raucous Louisiana Superdome. In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers come off their bye week to host the Detroit Lions. Also in the 1:00 PM window, the Panthers travel to Tampa to take on the Bucs and the Jaguars welcome the Rams to northern Florida. The 4:00 PM window features Donovan McNabb and the Eagles heading into the “Black Hole” to face the Raiders. Also, Larry Fitzgerald and the pass-happy Cardinals head up to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seahawks.
Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET with America’s most-watched pregame show, FOX NFL SUNDAY. Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee co-host the Emmy Award-winning program and are joined by analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson. The crew is joined by NFL Insider Jay Glazer who presents the latest league news and scoops in the FOX NFL SUNDAY studio and comedic prognosticator Frank Caliendo contributes his weekly “Frank’s Picks” segment. In this week’s show, reporter Pam Oliver looks into what makes Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints offense so dangerous. For instant updates during the week and games from the entire NFL on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NFLONFOX.
To ESPN and its features for the NFL studio shows.
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 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 highlig
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.
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 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.
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.
On the NFL Today, CBS’ Shannon Sharpe will head to Cincinnati to talk with several members of the surging Bengals.
“THE NFL TODAY’S” SHANNON SHARPE TALKS WITH CINCINNATI’S CARSON PALMER, CHAD OCHOCINCO AND HEAD COACH MARVIN LEWIS FOR WEEK 6 OF “THE NFL TODAY” ON SUNDAY, OCT. 18
THE NFL ON CBS, home of Super Bowl XLIV and broadcasting its Golden Anniversary 50th year of the NFL, continues its 2009 NFL season on Sunday, Oct. 18 (1:00-7:00 PM, ET) beginning with THE NFL TODAY (12:00 Noon-1:00 PM, ET).
THE NFL TODAY’s Shannon Sharpe sits down with members of the Cincinnati Bengals including quarterback Carson Palmer, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and head coach Marvin Lewis to talk about their season after five weeks. In 2008 the Bengals were 4-11-1. This season the Bengals suffered a last-second loss to Denver
in Week 1. Since then, Cincinnati has won four straight in dramatic fashion, including three straight wins by three points over AFC North foes. This past Sunday, it was a very emotional win for the Bengals team, as they were mourning the loss of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s wife who passed away suddenly on Thursday. Deb Gelman is the producer.
James Brown hosts THE NFL TODAY along with analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Sharpe and Bill Cowher, NFL TODAY “General Manager” Charley Casserly, as well as Lesley Visser and Sam Ryan reporting.
And Phil Simms and Dan Dierdorf talk about what’s up for this week.
THE NFL ON CBS: WEEK 6 (SUNDAY, OCT. 18)
AUDIBLES WITH LEAD “NFL ON CBS” ANALYST PHIL SIMMS AND DAN DIERDORF
The CBS Television Network, home of Super Bowl XLIV, continues its Golden Anniversary 50th year broadcasting the NFL with THE NFL ON CBS on Sunday, Oct. 18 (1:00-7:00 PM, ET) beginning with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s one-hour studio show (12:00 NOON-1:00 PM, ET), live from THE NFL TODAY studio in New York City.
THE NFL ON CBS lead announce team of Jim Nantz, who this year is marking his 25th with CBS Sports, and Phil Simms call the action from the Tennessee Titans-New England Patriots game live from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer and lead game producer and Mike Arnold is the lead game director.
Throughout the 2009 season, THE NFL ON CBS will broadcast all of its games each week in HDTV, the highest definition television format – 1080i lines of picture resolution – along with 5.1 digital audio.
Sean McManus is President, CBS News and Sports, and serves as executive producer of CBS Sports’ coverage of THE NFL ON CBS. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
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(On Tennessee with 0-5 record): I don’t have time to list all the reasons why they’re 0-5. But just one little aspect of any team can affect the whole team. It’s from the coordinator, to Albert Haynesworth, to guys who are a year older, which affects their defense, and affects their offense. And they lost a couple games that they probably shouldn’t have. There’s a fine line between 2-3, 3-2 and 0-5. Tennessee has found ways to be 0-5.
(On Tennessee’s chances against New England): Tennessee always has a shot, but it’s not great because of confidence. And now there is five weeks on tape so everybody sees what has caused them to be 0-5. Teams are going to keep attacking until they can fix it and make them do something else. The game interests me because New England, like most teams in the NFL, just keep fighting until they find what they are on both sides of the football. With the Patriots, the running back situation would be a concern of mine just looking at them. And the passing game is still not what everybody expects – razor sharp. It’s definitely way too early to panic.
(On Cincinnati Bengals Turnaround this Year with Four Straight Wins): There are a lot of reasons. Cedric Benson found an offense that really fits him, so he’s running it well. When teams run it well, it seems to just automatically toughen up their defense because they practice against each other. Their defense played tough all last year. Cincinnati is actually one of the few teams that is getting some carry over from last year. The toughness, and how physical they were for most of the year on defense has carried over to this year and they’ve been rewarded. Carson Palmer being healthy, Chad Ochocinco – it’s worked out well.
(On Baltimore-Minnesota): This game is all about marquee match-ups. You have Adrian Peterson running the ball and Ray Lewis trying to stop him. And you have Brett Favre trying to throw the ball against one of the best safeties the NFL has seen in quite some time, Ed Reed, trying to stop him. There is a lot of star power in this game. On top of it all, is there a defensive player in the league having a better start to the season than Jared Allen?
(On Brett Favre): He started off last season playing really well, then had the injury. That’s the big question right now, what is he going to look like in December? And can he stay healthy? He just turned 40, so he is in uncharted territory right now. He is doing everything he can do to take care of himself, but this is the National Football League and this game was not intended to be played by 40-year-olds, unless you’re a kicker. He is defying nature and everything we know about this game.
(On Minnesota): This is a big test for both teams. It’s the start of a three-game run for Minnesota before their bye that is really going to be critical. They have Baltimore at home, then go to Pittsburgh, then to Green Bay. So this is a tough three-game run. We’ll know a lot more about the Minnesota Vikings after the next three weeks.
(On Baltimore): With the success that they had last year, I don’t think we were expecting to see them lose two in a row, especially getting beat like they did in their division to Cincinnati. They’re heading into a bye after this game, so this would be a monstrous win for Baltimore if they could win on the road in an extremely noisy environment inside the Metrodome.
Anytime you lose a guy like Rex Ryan, there are going to be questions about the defense. They are really giving up a lot of passing yardage, which is really unusual. It’s going to be interesting to see what Brett Favre can do against these guys.
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TRIP IN THE NFL ON CBS WAY BACK MACHINE…
In commemoration of THE NFL ON CBS celebrating its 50th year broadcasting the NFL, footage from historic highlights will be featured during each game. Included among the clips this week during the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game is Lynn Swann’s acrobatic 53-yard reception against Mark Washington in the Steelers’ 21-17 win over Dallas in Super Bowl X; and the Browns’ first victory in their return as a franchise to the NFL in 1999, a 21-16 win over New Orleans.
Finally, this is NBC Sports talking about a pretty good matchup on paper for Sunday Night Football, Chicago at Atlanta.
GUNSLINGING QUARTERBACKS CLASH IN ATLANTA AS CUTLER LEADS THE BEARS AGAINST RYAN AND THE FALCONS ON "SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
"A rematch of the single-most exciting regular-season matchup from last season." -- Collinsworth
"He's going to be a great player in this league." -- Dungy on Matt Ryan
NEW YORK -- Oct. 15, 2009 -- Jay Cutler leads the 3-1 Bears against Matt Ryan and the 3-1 Falcons this Sunday in a rematch of one of 2008's most exciting games on "NBC Sunday Night Football."
Coverage begins with "Football Night in America," Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Bob Costas hosting live from inside the stadium. Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) call the action from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga.
Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will co-host "Football Night" from NBC's 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios joined by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Sports Illustrated's Peter King. "Football Night's" Tiki Barber will report from the Bills-Jets game at the Meadowlands.
COLLINSWORTH ON THE MATCHUP: "A rematch of the single-most exciting regular-season matchup from last season. That game propelled the Falcons, legitimized Matt Ryan and was a blow to the guts of the Bears."
DUNGY ON MATT RYAN NOW IN HIS SECOND YEAR: "He can start thinking about the defenses rather than just think about his plays. Matt Ryan has improved and he's going to be a great player in this league."
DUNGY ON THE BEARS: "Chicago is playing very good offensively and putting a lot of points on the board. After that first game they have played very good football. They are on a roll."
BEARS VS. FALCONS: The Bears lead the all-time series 12-11 and have won eight of the last 10. The Falcons, however, won last year's memorable meet ing in Atlanta, 22-20. With time running out, Ryan completed a 25-yard pass to set up a game-winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. Four of the last six meetings have been decided by seven points or less.
BEARS-FALCONS IN PRIMETIME: This is the second SNF appearance for the Bears this year. They were defeated, 21-15, by the Green Bay Packers on the road in Week 1. The team has since won three straight. Chicago is 4-4 since the NFL's premier primetime package (SNF 2006-Present, MNF 1970-2005) moved to NBC Sports in 2006. The Bears are also scheduled to host the Eagles on Sunday, November 22. This is the Falcons first ever SNF appearance on NBC and only scheduled appearance this season.
SUNDAY NIGHT IS 300-YARD NIGHT: For the first time in Sunday Night Football history, winning quarterbacks have passed for 300-or-more yards in four consecutive weeks. Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning has accomplished the feat twice -- in Weeks 3 & 5. Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner also surpassed 300 yards in a losing effort in Week 3, giving SNF five total 300-yard passers for the season. Following are the QBs who have passed for more than 300 yards this season on SNF:
Week 2 Eli Manning, Giants, 330 yards vs. Cowboys -- W 33-31
Week 3 Peyton Manning, Colts, 379 yards vs. Cardinals -- W 31-10
Week 3 Kurt Warner, Cardinals, 332 yards vs. Colts -- L 31-10
Week 4 Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, 333 vs. Chargers -- W 38-28
Week 5 Peyton Manning, Colts, 309 yards vs. Titans -- W 31-9
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL IS 5 FOR 5: SNF has been the No. 1 program across all of primetime television for five straight Sundays. After winning 9 of 16 Sunday nights in 2006, 11 of 16 in 2007 and 13 of 16 in 2008, "Sunday Night Football" is a perfect 5 for 5 this season.
The "Sunday Night Football" season-to-date average of 20.0 million viewers is the best start to a season in SNF history.
"SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" VIEWERSHIP THROUGH WEEK 5:
2009: 20.0 million
2008: 17.8 million
2007: 17.1 million
2006: 18.6 million
"SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL EXTRA": For the second straight season, the 17-game Sunday Night Football schedule will be available to fans on NBC Sports as well as streamed live on NBCSports.com and NFL.com. The live coverage on NBCSports.com and NFL.com will once again come from NBC Sports' broadcast of Sunday Night Football plus four additional camera angles and several new interactive features. Sunday Night Football Extra will employ a full HD-quality player using Microsoft Silverlight and Smooth Streaming that will help set new benchmarks for live streaming video cross-platform. The video player, the highest quality yet, will include full DVR and functionality allowing the user to pause and scroll back-and-forth -- even review plays in "slo-mo" -- all while watching live video.
ROTOWORLD.COM'S WEEK 6 FANTASY SLEEPER PICKS: Rotoworld.com managing editor Gregg Rosenthal, who was named Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, picks his fantasy sleepers for Week 6.
- Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks QB vs. Cardinals: The Cardinals give up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in the league, and Hasselbeck is clearly over his rib injury.
- Jonathan Stewart, Panthers RB vs. Bucs: The Panthers finally have found a team they can score on! Stewart is quietly looking just as strong as DeAngelo Williams lately, and Carolina's offensive line is ready to run-block like it's 2008.
- Jamaal Charles, Chiefs RB vs. Redskins: The Chiefs are slowly realizing that what fantasy owners did three years ago: that Larry Johnson is done.
- Sidney Rice, Vikings WR vs. Ravens: Baltimore's dirty secret is that their secondary isn't very good anymore. The Vikings will take advantage; Percy Harvin would also fit on this list.
- Eddie Royal, Broncos WR vs. Chargers: He's not dead yet! Look for Royal to be active on underneath routes against San Diego.
That’s it for the NFL previews.