Saturday, January 31, 2015

What's on Super Bowl XLIX Pre-game? Here's what!

From NBC, here's what will be on the Super Bowl XLIX pregame show Sunday before the Patriots and Seahawks do battle:


NBC Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game Show Begins on NBC at Noon ET on Sunday, Feb. 1
Dan Patrick, Josh Elliott, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward, Mike Florio, Peter King, Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya Preview Super Bowl XLIX with Analysis and Commentary
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh Serves As Guest Analyst
NBC Sports Commentators Have Combined to Win 7 Super Bowls
NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie Interviews President Barack Obama
Josh Elliott Interviews Katy Perry
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Bob Costas will open NBC Sports’ six-hour Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game Show with a live report from Arizona at Noon ET on Sunday, Feb. 1, on NBC. In the hours leading up to the game, NBC Sports will surround the Super Bowl with live reports from the team hotels and the stadium, in-depth features and interviews with players and coaches from the Seahawks and Patriots, and X’s and O’s analysis from its roster of expert commentators.
In addition to Costas, NBC Sports’ Football Night in America team of Dan Patrick, Josh Elliott, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward, Mike Florio and Peter King, and NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya, will contribute to the pre-game coverage with interviews, features, and live on-site commentary and analysis. Liam McHugh will serve as an on-site host at the stadium, Carolyn Manno and Randy Moss will report from the team hotels, and Doug Flutie will appear in on-field segments.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will join NBC Sports’ Super Bowl XLIX coverage as a guest analyst. Harbaugh led the Ravens to a win in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, has reached the postseason in five of his six seasons as Baltimore’s head coach, including twice defeating the Patriots in postseason play.
NBC Sports’ Super Bowl XLIX commentator roster has combined to win seven Super Bowls (Dungy-2, Harbaugh-1, Harrison-2, Ward-2) and one Super Bowl MVP award (Ward, Super Bowl XL).
Coverage will also feature the events surrounding the Super Bowl, including an interview with halftime headliner Katy Perry; live musical performances from the NFL Experience; reports and interviews by NBC Sports’ popular figure skating analysts Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski with celebrities attending the game; reports from the festive atmosphere at the NFL Experience and Super Bowl XLIX Tailgate Party; and much more.
NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie will interview President Barack Obama as part of the Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game Show airing late Sunday afternoon.
Following is a summary of NBC Sports’ Super Bowl XLIX pre-game coverage:

Football America: Our Teams: Inspired by the season-long “Together We Make Football” campaign, NBC and NFL Films kick off the NBC Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game Show with Football America: Our Teams at Noon ET. The film will feature “Together We Make Football” winners Christian Osterhout and the Boron Bobcats High School Football Team, telling their stories of how football has played an integral role in their lives and communities.
Interviews: During the two weeks leading up to the game, NBC Sports conducted extensive interviews with Super Bowl XLIX players and coaches, including:
  • Bob Costas with Patriots QB Tom Brady
  • Dan Patrick with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
  • Josh Elliott with Seahawks WRs Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse
  • Tony Dungy with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, and with Seahawks CB Richard Sherman and FS Earl Thomas
  • Rodney Harrison interviews Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and DT Vince Wilfork, and conducts an on-field session with Patriots CB Darrelle Revis

Hotel & Arrival Reports: Randy Moss will provide updates from the Seahawks’ team hotel, while Carolyn Manno will report from the Patriots’ team hotel. They will also report on their respective teams’ arrivals at the stadium.
On-Field X’s and O’s: Hosted by Liam McHugh, former NFL QB Doug Flutie and Tony Dungy will be on-field at University of Phoenix Stadium to walk through different offensive plays, and demonstrate how those plays are executed.
Hometown Hero: How does a player get to the Super Bowl? NBC Sports will visit the hometowns of six of Sunday’s featured players – Tom Brady, Jamie Collins and Patrick Chung of the Patriots, and Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas and Jon Ryan of the Seahawks. The visits include the people who made an early impact on their lives, including former coaches, teachers and neighborhood friends.
Coach’s Clicker: Throughout the NBC Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game Show, John Harbaugh will join Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Dan Patrick for Coach’s Clicker segments, breaking down specific elements and schemes from both teams. Segments focus on Marshawn Lynch, and Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. In addition, Harbaugh will illustrate how he would attempt to stop New England as coach of the Seahawks, while Dungy will assume the role of Patriots head coach and discuss how to limit the Seattle offense.
Pat Tillman’s Legacy: NBC Sports presents a feature on the legacy of former Arizona Cardinals S Pat Tillman, who left the Cardinals to join the U.S. Army Rangers, and was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. Josh Elliott sits down with Ed Woodward, a recipient of the Pat Tillman Scholarship who was forced to retire from the Air Force due to a medical condition, but has persevered to live out his twin brother’s dream of becoming a doctor.
Great Super Bowl Moments: NBC Sports reviews some of the most memorable moments in recent Super Bowl history. Flashback segments will include a look back at Super Bowl XL with game MVP Hines Ward, a review of former Giants WR David Tyree’s miraculous catch in Super Bowl XLII with Rodney Harrison, which took place at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, and a conversation with Seahawks LB and Super Bowl XLVIII Malcolm Smith about what it will take to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Super Bowl Super Fans: NBC Sports’ Jimmy Roberts tells the story of the only three fans in the world known to have attended every Super Bowl to date. Patriots fan Don Crisman, San Francisco 49ers fan Larry Jacobson, and Pittsburgh Steelers fan Tom Henschel sit with Roberts to discuss their favorite Super Bowl memories and devotion to one of sports’ biggest spectacles.
Dude Perfect: NBC Sports Group has teamed with trick-shot experts and comedy stars Dude Perfect to create a trick-shot video that will debut during the pre-game show. Participating in the video will be Giants rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. and two-time Super Bowl winner, Super Bowl XL MVP, and NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward. The content will be pushed out on NBC Sports’ social media platforms, and the trick-shot video will be available on following its release.
Super Bowl Wives: Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will spend a day with wives of Patriots and Seahawks players during Super Bowl week to get a glimpse of spouses of Super Bowl players prepare for Super Bowl XLIX.
NASCAR Gridiron Challenge: NBC News anchor and NASCAR enthusiast Brian Williams and Hines Ward take fans behind the wheel by introducing them to a segment of the NASCAR Gridiron Challenge. The event paired NASCAR drivers, including Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, with former NFL greats, including Ward and Flutie, as they raced around Charlotte Motor Speedway at speeds upwards of 180 mph.

President Barack Obama: NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie will conduct a live interview with President Barack Obama from The White House late in the NBC Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game Show.
Thomas Bach: Bob Costas sits down for a one-on-one conversation with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, about the upcoming 2016 Summer Games in Rio, and Boston’s bid for the 2024 Games.
Katy Perry: Josh Elliott interviews global superstar Katy Perry, who will headline Sunday’s Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show. Perry cemented her status as a best-selling superstar with the global success of three multi-platinum studio albums. She is currently touring the world on the Prismatic World Tour, which continues to be a hugely successful global spectacle, with 17 sold out arenas in the UK, 66 sold out arenas in North America and 25 sold out arenas in Australia/New Zealand during this year. Click here for more information:

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon: Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon will present special Super Bowl editions of his “Superlatives” segment with Patriots and Seahawks players and NBC on-camera personalities, as well as his “Puppy Predictors” segment to predict the winner of Super Bowl XLIX.
Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski: “Johnny and Tara” will be based at the Super Bowl XLIX Tailgate Party, the official NFL pre-game party for VIP guests. They will be joined by Josh Elliott to interview celebrities who annually attend the NFL’s championship game and will also provide their own Super Bowl observations. Celebrity interviews will include:
  • Elizabeth Banks, who is starring in the upcoming NBCUniversal picture Pitch Perfect 2;
  • Chris Pratt of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, who is starring in the upcoming NBCUniversal film Jurassic World, and;
  • Adriana Lima, internationally recognized model and actress best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret

Men In Blazers and Premier League: Michael Davies and Roger Bennett of THE MEN IN BLAZERS SHOW on NBCSN will be featured in a segment of the Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game Show. In addition, Premier League host Rebecca Lowe will join Dan Patrick and Tony Dungy for a quick recap of scores and highlights from “football across the pond.”

Comcast SportsNet New England, part of the NBC Sports Group, will bring Patriots fans back home all the excitement of Super Bowl XLIX from Arizona with thirteen (13) of its shows originating from Phoenix beginning Sunday, Jan. 25, including: Sports Sunday, SportsNet Central, Early Edition, Sports Tonight, Felger & Mazz, Quick Slants, Patriots Wednesday Live, New England Tailgate, Patriots Football Weekly, Monday Night Patriots, Pre-Game and Post-Game Live, and signature hockey program Cross-Check with Felger & Milbury.
On-site commentators for Comcast SportsNet will include Ty Law, Troy Brown, Dan Koppen, Michael Felger, Tom E. Curran, Mike Giardi, Kevin Walsh, Kay Adams, Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie, who will bring regional viewers all the information in the week leading up to the game.

Super Bowl XLIX Predictions

We're going with 20-17 Patriots.  The defense that couldn't get a final stop in the past two Super Bowls against the Giants will get one here to give Bill Belichick and Tom Brady that elusive fourth Super Bowl ring!

Here's what the folks at SI are picking:

ESPN's expert picks below:

Picking the Seahawks:
John Anderson, SportsCenter anchor: 28-17. “Russell Wilson.”
Chris Berman, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown host: 23-20. “Against a Hall of Fame coach and a Hall of Fame quarterback, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, Seattle’s defense makes a case for being one of the best of all time.”
Cris Carter, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Sunday NFL Countdown analyst: 23-20. “Turnovers.”
John Clayton, longtime Seattle area resident and senior NFL writer: 24-20. “Almost a repeat of the 2012 meeting with Russell Wilson getting a fourth-quarter drive to win.”
Lindsay Czarniak, SportsCenter anchor: 24-17. “A fitting ending for Marshawn Lynch to be named MVP.”
Trent Dilfer, Monday Night Countdown analyst and Super Bowl XXXV champion quarterback: 26-23. “Tough to score touchdowns against the Seahawks defense. Russell Wilson wins it on a fourth quarter drive.”
Mike Golic, co-host of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike: 27-21. “Like last year, Seattle’s defense is too smothering, even more the multi-faceted Patriots offense.”
Mike Greenberg, co-host of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike: 23-16. “One of the great defenses of all time – and Marshawn Lynch."
Jon Gruden, Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl champion coach: 23-20. “Russell Wilson at crunch time makes the difference.”
Herm Edwards, NFL Live analyst: 27-24. “Until somebody beats the Super Bowl champs, they're still the champs.”
Tom Jackson, Sunday NFL Countdown analyst: 20-17. “Defense.”
Suzy Kolber, NFL Insiders host: 17-14. “Reminiscent of the Ravens of 2000 – the Seahawks are so tough for even the best offense to scheme against.”
Ray Lewis, Sunday NFL Countdown analyst and two-time Super Bowl champion: 34-17. “With a win, this Seattle defense has the chance to go down as one of the best in history.”
Kenny Mayne, SportsCenter anchor, who was born in Tacoma, grew up in Kent and now lives in Kirkland, Wash.: 23-13. “When 31-Seattle hits the first guy crossing, no one else will volunteer for the assignment.”
Bill Polian, NFL Insider and six-time NFL Executive of the Year: “Seahawks – by 1. Turnovers are critical. If Russell Wilson turns the ball over like he did against Green Bay, it will be a blowout. If you give the Patriots gifts, they don’t go to the local store, they go to Neiman Marcus.”
Hannah Storm, SportsCenter anchor: 21-14. “Top to bottom, the Seahawks defense is the best in the NFL. We’ve seen that wins titles, and Russell Wilson is unlike any quarterback the Patriots have faced this season.”
Scott Van Pelt, SportsCenter anchor and co-host of ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo: 23-20. “Always take defense, and my guess is Seattle got rid of its bad game.”
Trey Wingo, NFL Live and NFL PrimeTime host: 27-20. “Legion of Boom becomes legendary.”
Picking the Patriots:
Tedy Bruschi, NFL Live analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion: 23-20. “Stephen Gostkowski joins Adam Vinatieri in history, kicking the game-winning field goal for the Patriots as time expires.”
Frank Caliendo, comedian/impersonator and Sunday NFL Countdown contributor: 24-18. “I think the Patriots will score six more points than the Seahawks’ 18.”
Ryan Clark, guest NFL analyst and Super Bowl champion: 27-21. “New England’s defense is able to counter the Seahawks’ run game because of Browner and Revis.”
Colin Cowherd, Seattle native and host, ESPN Radio’s The Herd: 27-16. “The Patriots defense repeatedly keeps the Seahawks out of the end zone. Seattle settles for field goals and a Super Bowl appearance, instead of back to back wins.”
Jay Crawford, SportsCenter anchor: 27-24. “This game means as much to the Belichick-Brady legacy as any they have played, and they know that.”
Mike Ditka, Pro Football Hall of Famer, Super Bowl-winning coach and Sunday NFL Countdown analyst: 24-17. “Just think there’s more balance there. It’s not just Tom Brady.”
Merril Hoge, NFL Live and NFL Matchup analyst: 28-13. “May be the first time in Super Bowl history that a team can transform itself in two weeks. The changes on both sides of the ball that the Patriots can make are the difference.”
Ron Jaworski, NFL Live and NFL Matchup analyst: 31-20. “Seattle will have a tough time matching up with Rob Gronkowski.”
Keyshawn Johnson, Sunday NFL Countdown analyst and Super Bowl champion: 20-17. “Despite all the distractions over the past two weeks, Belichick will have this Patriots team ready to plan.”
Steve Levy, SportsCenter anchor: 24-21. “Belichick and Brady don't like being questioned and won't let the Seahawks off the mat the way the Packers did.”
Chris Mortensen, senior NFL analyst: 22-16. “The Seahawks don’t have the receivers to challenge New England and the Patriots’ diversity on offense gives them a slight edge.”
Wendi Nix, NFL host: 24-13. “New England is running the ball well which could be problematic for Seattle given the injuries to Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. And frankly, I just don't think Tom Brady loses this game.”
Ryen Russillo, co-host of ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo: 24-17. “I have no idea.”
Adam Schefter, NFL Insider: 24-21. “New England deflates Seattle’s hopes of repeating.”
Mark Schlereth, NFL Live analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion: 27-23. “The Patriots control the middle of the field with Blount, Edelman and Gronk.”
Mike Tirico, Monday Night Football play-by-play commentator: 23-19. “I truly have no earthly idea why. Every time I try to break the game down I'm convinced of a different outcome. Expecting a great game.”

Want even
more ESPN expert picks, visit by clicking here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

AFC/NFC Championship Game Picks

Don't forget to play CW28's Pro Football Picks Contest to win a trip to Hawaii, plus weekly prizes of a $20 gift card to Boneyard Barbecue and SaloonClick here to enter now, powered by Rhode Island Comic Con

NFC Championship
Packers at Seahawks (Sunday 3pm)

This time, Aaron Rodgers will throw to Richard Sherman's side of the field.  It may not matter.  The Packers are a different team away from Lambeau Field and the fact that Seattle's defense is playing as well as last year's Super Bowl Champs may be just enough.  Plus, add in that Russell Wilson is better now than a year ago and the repeat should still be alive in the great Northwest.
Winner: Seahawks

AFC Championship
Colts at Patriots (Sunday 6:40pm)

Andrew Luck is 0-3 against the Patriots with three blowouts. It probably will be closer this time, but the Colts will have to come up with a turnover edge or a special teams game changer to beat the Patriots.  Don't expect New England's defense to give up a couple of 14-point deficits this week like they did last Saturday against the Ravens. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick know these Super Bowl chances may be fleeting late in their careers.
Winner: Patriots

Friday, January 09, 2015

NFL Divisional Playoff Picks

Don't forget to play CW28's Pro Football Picks Contest to win a trip to Hawaii, plus weekly prizes of a $20 gift card to Boneyard Barbecue and SaloonClick here to enter now, powered by Rhode Island Comic Con

Ravens at Patriots (Saturday 4:35pm)

The popular pick is that the Ravens have the Pats number (2-1 in Foxboro in the playoffs vs. Brady).  The Ravens have the toughness and defensive line to beat New England.  Just remember, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis aren't walking through that door.  And oh yeah, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and a healthy Rob Gronkowski are playing for the Patriots.
Winner: Patriots

Panthers at Seahawks (Saturday 8:15pm)

Yes, the Panthers have played the Seahawks tough the past two seasons (12-7 loss last season / 13-9 loss this season), but can anyone see them scoring more than 14 points in this game?
Winner: Seahawks

Cowboys at Packers (Sunday 1pm)

Wither the health of Aaron Rodgers calf! It is a national emergency after all.  The Cowboys are 8-0 on the road this season and escaped a near fatal blow against the Lions last Sunday.  Sometimes, it's those team that just barely survive that go a long way. Just sayin'.
Winner: Cowboys

Colts at Broncos (Sunday 4:40pm)

Which offense will we get from Denver? The grind it out, run it offense or the throw it all costs offense? Either way, can the Colts pourous defense stop either?
Winner: Broncos

Friday, January 02, 2015

NFL Wild Card Picks

Don't forget to play CW28's Pro Football Picks Contest to win a trip to Hawaii, plus weekly prizes of a $20 gift card to Boneyard Barbecue and SaloonClick here to enter now, powered by Rhode Island Comic Con

Cardinals at Panthers (Saturday 4:35pm)

How are the Cardinals going to score? They might need a special teams or defensive TD just to stay close to a Panthers team, that despite being 7-8-1, is playing it's best football of the season.
Winner: Panthers

Ravens at Steelers (Saturday 8:15pm)

This is the trendy upset pick, especially with the Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell out (knee).  Even without Bell, the Steelers should hold up enough to riddle a rough Ravens secondary (18 catches for 234 yards in two games this season vs. Ravens).
Winner: Steelers

Bengals at Colts (Sunday 1pm)

The Colts shutout Cincy 27-0 earlier in the season (without AJ Green).  Green still has to clear the concussion protocol (listed as doubtful on Friday) in order to play Sunday.  If the Colts contain Jeremy Hill, they win.
Winner: Colts

Lions at Cowboys (Sunday 4:40pm)

This one is on Tony Romo's shoulders as the front 7 of Detroit should be able to contain, but not shut down, DeMarco Murray.  Can Matthew Stafford stay clear of turnovers?
Winner: Cowboys