Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson (on the main set) and Suzy Kolber, Bill Parcells and Merril Hoge (on the second set), will preview the NFL’s week 13 games on Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM on December 4 at 10 a.m. NFL Insider Adam Schefter and senior analyst Chris Mortensen will provide the day’s headlines and league news. In addition, reporting from key games: Bob Holtzman – Falcons at Texans; Josina Anderson – Bengals at Steelers; George Smith – Broncos at Vikings; Hank Goldberg – Raiders at Dolphins; and Rachel Nichols – Packers at Giants. Highlights:
· The Road to Perfection: The Green Bay Packers are unbeaten heading into week 13. The only team to register a perfect season is the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Since then several teams have come close. The 1998 Broncos were 13-0 when they lost to the Giants. However the Broncos repeated as Super Bowl champions. The 2007 Patriots completed a perfect regular season (16-0) and playoffs, but lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. In 2009, the Colts were undefeated entering week 15 vs. the Jets. The Colts rested their star players and lost to the Jets before losing in the Super Bowl to the Saints. Garber reports on the best approach to a perfect season.
· “Playoffs?”: Ten years after a memorable and honest post-game moment following a loss to the 49ers, the words of Jim Mora Sr., then head coach of the Indianapolis Colts — “Playoffs? Don’t talk about Playoffs. Are you kidding me? Playoffs?” — still resonate today. ESPN.com senior writer Greg Garber joins the Indianapolis journalists present that day to revisit the moment. Also, Mora sits down with Garber to watch the entire press conference for the first time.
· Haloti Ngata’s Strength: Haloti Ngata was so coveted coming out of Oregon that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis went into GM Ozzie Newsome’s office to lobby for Baltimore to draft the 300-pound defensive lineman. Rachel Nichols reports on the two tragedies the 27-year-old Ngata has endured.
· Mayne Event: All season, Tennessee’s rookie quarterback Jake Locker has learned the ropes from veteran Matt Hasselbeck, an opportunity he treasures greatly. In this week’s Mayne Event, Kenny Mayne catches up with Hasselbeck and Locker to talk about their unique bond and some of Hasselbeck’s unorthodox teaching methods.
NFL Matchup: Ron Jaworski on Jets’ Mark Sanchez in the Red Zone and Packers Offense
Analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge will preview Sunday’s key games on NFL Matchup. Each NFL Sunday morning ESPN2 – 8:30 a.m.), the trio brings viewers inside the film room for the Xs and Os of the matchups. Highlights:
· Sanchez in the Red Zone: An effective pass game in the red zone requires a quarterback who can quickly read the coverage and make crucial adjustments at game speed. Currently ranked second in the league in red zone efficiency with 15 touchdowns and only one interception, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is proving he can be an effective signal caller in the NFL.
· Creating Mismatches: The Green Bay Packers offense exemplifies a team that looks to create and exploit matchups. Jaworski shows how the Packers offense uses designed formations and personnel to dictate where and how opposing defenders are aligned to create opportunity for big plays.