Thursday, January 20, 2011

ESPN previews NFL Championship Sunday

From ESPN -

Sunday NFL Countdown: Championship Sunday


Chris Berman, Mike Ditka, Cris Carter, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Mortensen and NFL Insider Adam Schefter will preview the NFC and AFC Championship games Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. ET.  Highlights:
  • Dennis Byrd’s Impact – The New York Jets talked a lot leading up to their upset win last Sunday, but the most impactful words for the week came from Dennis Byrd, a former Jets defensive end.  On the eve of their game, Byrd walked into the team meeting and passionately discussed the Nov. 29, 1992, play when a broken neck ended his NFL career.  Tom Jackson reports.
  • Aaron Rodgers’ “The Belt” Celebration – Green Bay Packers quarterback celebrates big plays and touchdowns like pro wrestling champions, gesturing his hands over an imagined championship belt across his waist.  Reporter Chris Connelly reveals the origins of Rodgers’ belt celebration.
  • All Access with James Harrison –  In 2008, Steelers linebacker James Harrison won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and the interception he returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLII is the longest play in Super Bowl history.  Countdown gives fans an all-access pass to the linebacker.
  • Sport Science: Devin Hester Faster than a Bear? – Chicago’s Devin Hester set an NFL record this season with 14 punt and kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career.  John Brenkus puts the speedy Bears returner to test in the Sport Science lab to find out if he’s faster than a bear.
  • Film Room with Jon Gruden –  Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden goes into the film room to explain some of the key matchups in the AFC and NFC Championship games.
  • Mayne Event: It’s Personal vs. Pittsburgh – In the past two playoff weeks, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said it was “personal” against Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.  Heading into Pittsburgh, Kenny visits the Steel City to reveal who Ryan claims makes this week’s matchup personal.


  NFL Matchup’s X’s and O’s: Championship Sunday Matchups


Host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview the X’s and O’s in the four key games of the NFC and AFC Championship games Sunday (ESPN at 3 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., and ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.).  Highlights:
  • Packers at Bears Defense – Chicago Bears defense disguises its coverage as close to a snap as possible.  But Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ is quick at recognizing any coverage.  Jaworski goes ‘Inside the Matchup’ to delve into the on-the-field chess match between the Packers and Bears.
  • Reviewing Packers Offense vs. the Falcons – Hoge reviews last Sunday’s Packers win in Atlanta and shows key plays where the Falcons’ failure to control Rodgers’ movement led to very successful plays for the Packers.
  • Chicago Bears Offense vs. Packers – Hoge illustrates a successful play for the Chicago Bears offense; an off-tackle run by center Olin Kreutz for a 21-yard gain by running back Matt Forte.
  • Jets at Steelers – Jaworski opens his Playbook to show Jets running back Shonn Greene executing the “wind back” run that resulted in a 20-yard gain.

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