ESPN NFL Content – Divisional Playoffs Weekend


ESPN NFL Content – Divisional Playoffs Weekend

ESPN’s Studio Programming Surrounds the NFL Divisional Playoffs

ESPN’s studio programming will surround this weekend’s NFL Divisional Playoffs, highlighted by two editions of Postseason NFL Countdown, which lead into Saturday’s and Sunday’s games. Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson will preview the 2015 NFL Divisional Playoffs with editions of the Postseason NFL Countdown on Saturday, Jan. 10, from 10 a.m. – 12 noon and Sunday, Jan. 11, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The programs will feature NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reporting news from around the league, and Wendi Nix as host for select segments. On Sunday’s show, Ron Jaworski will also provide analysis and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will contribute as a guest.

Saturday Postseason NFL Countdown:
Chris Berman Conversation with Tom Brady
: Berman sits for a one-on-one conversation with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

  • Berman’s Conversation with Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith Sr.: Chris Berman visits with Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. for an interview in advance of their Divisional Playoff game in Foxboro against the Patriots.
  • Marshawn Lynch – The Handshake: Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch celebrates every trip to the opponent’s end zone with a handshake. A simple business-form handshake with his teammates. Countdown travelled to Seattle to find out from the team’s offensive linemen what is behind Lynch’s handshake celebration.

Sunday Postseason NFL Countdown:
The Ice Bowl Revisited
: While the Dallas Cowboys have faced the Green Bay Packers six times in the postseason, Sunday’s Divisional Playoff matchup will be the team’s first postseason game at Lambeau Field since the legendary “Ice Bowl” on December 31, 1967. ESPN’s Emmy award-winning journalist Jeremy Schaap reports.

  • Aaron Rodgers’ Touchdown Celebration:’s Greg Garber travels to Green Bay to find out the secrets to quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ fist-pump touchdown celebrations.
  • Chuck Pagano: Countdown’s Ray Lewis profiles Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, who was Lewis’ former defensive coach at the University of Miami and with the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Ray Lewis Conversation with Reggie Wayne: Lewis sits for a one-on-one conversation with Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne on playing against his former quarterback Peyton Manning and a third shot at a Super Bowl ring as the window begins to close on his career.
  • J. Anderson – The Philosopher: SportsCenter’s Jade McCarthy reports on how C.J. Anderson’s studies in philosophy have helped the Denver Broncos running back find a renewed purpose in life.

NFL Matchup with host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge will preview the weekend’s playoff games via film room Xs and Os analysis on Saturday, Jan. 10, at 8:30 a.m. and Sunday, Jan.11, at 7:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Saturday at 4 a.m. and Sunday at 3 a.m., respectively).  Highlights:

NFL Matchup (Saturday):

  • Jaws Playbook – Patriots Play Action Passing Game: Jaworski shows how the Ravens defense plans to contend with the precision passing of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
  • Blitz Breakdown – Getting Pressure on Brady: Hoge examines how the Ravens can get pressure on Brady, something they have done successfully as the defense with the second most sacks in the NFL this season.
  • Game within the Game – Ravens Passing Targets: Jaworski explains the traits of two reliable receiving targets – Owen Daniels and Steve Smith Sr. – who must step up for the Ravens on Saturday,
  • Coaches Clicker – Justin Forsett Zone Run: Hoge shows the foundation of Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s offense, the zone run with Forsett.
  • X and O Files – Panthers Defense against Seahawks Zone Read: Hoge shows how the Panthers limited the Seahawks’ run game earlier this season, a performance they must repeat to have success.
  • Between the Lines – Newton’s Accuracy Issues: Jaworski highlights one flaw in Cam Newton’s game that must be improved against the Seahawks defense – the inability of the Panthers quarterback to make accurate throws in crucial situations.
  • Hoge Breakdown – Seahawks and Panthers Run Game: Hoge digs deeper into the dynamics of the rushing attacks for the two teams and highlights key elements of the rushers for each team.
  • Red Zone – Russell Wilson: Jaworski uses the game-clinching touchdown pass from their week 8 matchup to explain how the Seahawks need similar throws on Saturday.
  • Money Down – Newton to Olsen Connection: Hoge shows how important tight end Greg Olsen is to the Panthers offense, not only as a credible blocker but as a receiving threat.

NFL Matchup (Sunday):

  • Jaws Playbook – Rodgers to Cobb: Jaworski explains why the chemistry and communication between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his receivers is a crucial element to the Packers passing attack.
  • Let’s See it Hoge – Rodgers Audible to Run: Hoge explains that along with a prolific passing game, the Packers will have to stay balanced and keep the Cowboys honest by running the football with Eddie Lacy.
  • X and O files – Romo Sacked by Lions Blitz: Hoge shows how the Lions were able to get consistent pressure on Tony Romo, and contends it is something the Cowboys will have to correct against a creative pass rush designed by Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
  • Money Down – Romo to Witten on 4th Down: Jaworski highlights the complete trust Tony Romo has in tight end Jason Witten, evidenced by their fourth down conversion against Detroit.
  • Jaws Shot Play – Manning to Julius Thomas: The Broncos designed the perfect play to beat the Colts coverage in their week 1 matchup, highlighting the nuanced chess match between quarterback Peyton Manning and the Colts defense.
  • Between the Lines – Moncrief Touchdown vs. Bengals: Jaworski discusses the big play capabilities of Donte Moncrief and shows how the Colts rookie creates problems for opposing defenses.
  • Coaches Clicker – C.J. Anderson Runs: Hoge explains a successful run by the Broncos with C.J. Anderson from a formation of six offensive linemen.
  • Blitz Breakdown – Colts Sack Manning: Hoge shows a blitz the Colts used to successfully get pressure on Broncos’ Peyton Manning and says it is something they should do to keep the quarterback off-balance.

Additionally, the following ESPN reporters will provide updates from game sites:

Saturday, January 10

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots: Josina Anderson

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks: Britt McHenry

Sunday, January 11

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers: Ed Werder

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos: Sal Paolantonio

ESPN NFL Programming Schedule:

Day Time (ET) Show Network
Sat, Jan 10 4-4:30 a.m. NFL Matchup ESPN
  6:30-7 a.m. NFL Matchup (re-air)     ESPN
  8:30-9 a.m. NFL Matchup (re-air)     ESPN2
  10 a.m.-12 p.m. Postseason NFL Countdown ESPN
Sun, Jan 11 12-1 a.m. NFL Primetime (recapping Saturday’s games) ESPN
  1:30-3 a.m. NFL’s Greatest Games: The Ice Bowl ESPN2
  3-3:30 a.m. NFL Matchup ESPN
  3:30-4:30 a.m. NFL Primetime (re-air) ESPN
  6:30-7 a.m. NFL Matchup (re-air) ESPN
  7-8 a.m. NFL Primetime (re-air) ESPN
  7:30-8 a.m. NFL Matchup (re-air) ESPN2
  9-10 a.m. Colin’s Football Show ESPN2
  10 a.m.-1p.m. Postseason NFL Countdown ESPN
  8-9 p.m. NFL Primetime (recapping Sunday’s games) ESPN
  9-10 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN
  10-11 p.m. SportsCenter Special ESPN

Todd McShay on Jameis Winston

ESPN college football and NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay was available for a media conference call on Tuesday, Jan. 6, to discuss the College Football Playoff National Championship (Monday, Jan. 12, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) and the 2015 NFL Draft. Excerpts about Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, who declared for the NFL Draft yesterday, are available on ESPN MediaZone. Full audio replay.


On ESPN Audio’s Capital Games, an “ESPN Perspectives” podcast that examines the crossroads of sports and politics, hosts Andy Katz (ESPN) and Rick Klein (ABC News) delve into Gov. Chris Christie’s relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones with Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-NJ), Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey and ESPN senior writer Don Van Natta. Listen. “Hot Read” on What Keyed the Seahawks Turnaround

In this week’s “Hot Read,” senior writer Elizabeth Merrill explores the turning point for the Seattle Seahawks season after the defending Super Bowl champions had a 6-4 record entering week 12, and three games behind the then-NFC West leaders Arizona Cardinals.

  • Brady, Belichick – a Perfect Match: Writer/reporter Greg Garber profiles the relationship between quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, who, outwardly may seem like an odd couple, are made for each other.

ESPN The Magazine: That’s Deep, Man

ESPN The Magazine’s “Championship Drive” issue, currently on newsstands, features a unique, illustrative profile that shows how the NFL’s most efficient long-ball thrower, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, practices his long ball.


Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
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