Thursday, December 30, 2010

NFL on Fox Week 17 Preview

From Fox Sports -


Billick: Starters Should Play to Keep Themselves Sharp for Postseason

NFC No. 1 Seed and Final Wild Card on the Line in NFL on FOX Week 17 Doubleheader Action

– The ultimate weekend of the 2010-11 NFL on FOX regular commences Sunday, Jan. 2 with doubleheader coverage of seven matchups. The action kicks off in New Orleans as Drew Brees and the Saints host Josh Freeman and the Bucs, who remain in the NFC playoff picture. Despite their loss to the Saints, Matt Ryan and the Falcons can wrap up the No. 1 seed and home field advantage in the playoffs with a victory over the Panthers. Also, the Vikings face the Lions in Detroit. Following their convincing win over the Giants, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers can lock up a playoff spot with victory over the Bears in America’s Game of the Week at 4:00 PM ET. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver call the action from Lambeau Field. Eli Manning and the Giants still have a chance to secure a playoff berth and a win in Washington over the Redskins is a must. In Philadelphia, Michael Vick and the Eagles aim to go into the playoffs with a full head of steam as they face the Cowboys. Out west, the Cardinals visit the 49ers.

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. NFL Insider Jay Glazer presents the latest league news and scoops and comedic prognosticator Frank Caliendo contributes his weekly “Frank’s Picks” segment. NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira is also on hand to go over any impactful officiating issues from the last week. This week, Bradshaw hands out his annual Terry Awards.

Tampa Bay Bucs at New Orleans Saints 1pm (70% of nation)
Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick & Charissa Thompson
New Orleans Superdome – New Orleans, LA
MARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Austin, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Fort Myers, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Tulsa, Washington, West Palm Beach

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons 1pm (11%)
Dick Stockton, Charles Davis & Jaime Maggio
Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA
MARKETS INCLUDE: Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Raleigh

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions 1pm (7%)
Ron Pitts, John Lynch & Jennifer Hammond
Ford Field – Detroit, MI
MARKETS INCLUDE: Detroit, Minneapolis

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers 4:15pm (56%)
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman & Pam Oliver
Lambeau Field – Green Bay, WI
MARKETS INCLUDE: Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa

New York Giants at Washington Redskins 4:15pm (18%)
Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan & Laura Okmin
FedEx Field – Landover, MD
MARKETS INCLUDE: Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, Miami, New York, Norfolk, Providence, Richmond, Washington, West Palm Beach

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles 4:15pm (14%)
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston & Tony Siragusa
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA
MARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Tulsa

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers 4:15pm (7%)
Chris Myers, Jim Mora & Nischelle Turner
Candlestick Park – San Francisco, CA
MARKETS INCLUDE: Phoenix, Sacramento, San Francisco

BILLICK PONDERS - SHOULD PLAYOFF BOUND TEAMS START OR SIT? – Each year as the NFL heads in the final week of the season a familiar debate ensures? Should playoff-bound teams rest their starters to avoid injury or play them to remain sharp? NFL on FOX analyst Brian Billick doesn’t agree with teams who sit their starters in Week 17. “I have two issues with putting a player down,” said Billick. “One, if he knows he’s not going to play that last game and you have a bye week, that means it’s going to be three weeks before he has any substantial snaps. I think that’s too much time off. Secondly, I struggle with the issue of going to one player and saying, ‘you’re so important to this team that we’re going rest you but we’re going to make that guy standing next to you take double the reps and cover for you.’ I don’t know what kind of message that sends to a team. Teams can do it and be successful. Indianapolis did it last year and went on the Super Bowl. But they lost. I like the idea of playing your team through that final phase and not lose that continuity that you have earned going into the playoffs.”

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