Here is the NFL on FOX Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes release for this weekend's 2010 NFC Divisional Playoffs as issued by FOX Sports. Broadcast and production assignments for all of this weekend's games are also available here.
FOX SPORTS NOTES, QUOTES & ANECDOTES
NFC Divisional Playoff Doubleheader Weekend on FOX
Cardinals & Saints Square-Off at Superdome Saturday
Cowboys/Vikings Duel in Minneapolis Sunday
Aikman and Johnson Talk Favre, Romo & Dissect Divisional Playoff Showdowns
NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS: OFFENSE FIREWORKS DISPLAY – Coming off of a record-setting regular season for ratings and viewership, followed by airing the highest-rated Wild Card game in a decade, the NFL on FOX rolls into divisional playoff weekend with two exciting matchups. On Saturday Jan. 16 (4:30 PM ET) Kurt Warner and the high-flying Cardinals invade the Louisiana Superdome to face Drew Brees and the Saints in what is sure to be an explosive offensive affair. Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa call the action from Louisiana Superdome.
On Sunday, Jan. 17 (1:00 PM ET), NFL on FOX’s playoff coverage shifts to Minnesota as Brett Favre and the Vikings host Tony Romo and the Cowboys, who come into the Metrodome riding a four-game winning streak. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver & Chris Myers call this playoff match-up.
FOX NFL SUNDAY – NFC DIVISION PLAYOFF EDITIONS
Coverage begins on Saturday at 3:30 PM ET and Sunday 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. The crew is joined by NFL Insider Jay Glazer who presents the latest league news and scoops in the FOX NFL SUNDAY studio and comedic prognosticator Frank Caliendo contributes his playoff “Frank’s Picks” segment.
Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010
FOX NFL SPECIAL 3:30 PM ET
Terry Bradshaw sits down for a 1-on-1 with Kurt Warner to discuss his remarkable career.
Insider Jay Glazer explores the special relationship between the Saints and the City of New Orleans.
The guys are on the field to break down how to defend the zone blitz.
Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010
FOX NFL SPECIAL 12:00 PM ET
Michael Strahan is on a mission to find out what makes the Vikings defensive linemen so successful.
The Cowboys won a playoff game. Reporter Pam Oliver finds out if they are finally over the hump.
John Lynch sits down with Chargers QB Philip Rivers.
For instant updates during the week and games from the entire NFL on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NFLONFOX. Fans can gain more access to exclusive FOX Sports content by logging on to www.facebook.com/foxsports and www.myspace.com/foxsports.
AIKMAN, JOHNSON & GOREN PREVIEW 2010 PLAYOFF SEASON – NFL on FOX lead analyst and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson and FOX Sports President Ed Goren previewed the Divisional Playoff weekend. Topics include what players need to step up to win, which of the quarterback playing this weekend has been the most valuable to his team and how playing in domes will change the game.
Aikman on whether Favre has more pressure to perform in the playoffs: “I don’t know that there could be more pressure on Brett as he goes into Sunday’s game than what there was at the beginning of the season with the expectations that were out there for him. He obviously surpassed what anyone thought he would be able to do. Because he has accomplished so much, if the Vikings fail to win the Super Bowl I don’t know that Brett walks away feeling as if he left something on the table.”
Johnson on the remaining games being played in domed stadiums: “Since we’re going to be doing FOX NFL SUNDAY at the site of the NFC Championship, I’m happy that it’s going to be in a dome. It does make it a level playing field and it takes away a little bit of a home field advantage for some of these teams.”
Johnson on the Favre and Peterson: “I think the Vikings had the idea that they have this great running attack with Adrian Peterson and they’re going to be able to bring in Brett Favre and it’s going to basically be Peterson running the ball and Favre throwing it. But it doesn’t work like that in the NFL. They have opened it up throwing so much more than what they did in previous years. I think that probably the running game has suffered just a little bit.”
Aikman on which quarterback in the playoffs has surprised him the most with their performance: “The biggest surprise to me would be Brett. Not that I didn’t anticipate that he would come back and play well, I thought that he would. The bigger surprise is the lack of interceptions. Coming into this season, he’s averaged 17 interceptions a year over his 18-year career. Yet, here he is this year, he’s only thrown seven. That’s remarkable. I kept waiting for a four or five interception game. I’ve joked about it. I’ve said if the Vikings don’t have a game like that prior the postseason, I’d get a little nervous. We’ve always seen Brett have one of those types of games and you hope it doesn’t happen in a game like this weekend.”
Johnson on Tony Romo: “The jump that Tony Romo has made in protecting the ball so much better than he has in previous years. He’s gotten over the hump, especially in winning the last couple of Philadelphia games.”
Aikman on whether the Cowboys have gotten over ’the hump’ with last week’s playoff victory: “I was booed out of the stadium after I won three Super Bowls. There’s no resting your laurels. The first win is the hardest and it has been for this club and Tony. He’s handled himself extremely well. I’ve always disagreed with those who have questioned his ability to rise to the occasion or his ability to compete in pressure-packed situations. Not to say that he’s always played well in those situations, because he hasn’t. But it’s not because he doesn’t look forward to being in those moments. Until you go out and get it done people will constantly question it. To finally have them stop talking about the lack of playoff success for the last 13 years is big but if that’s it, I can tell you there’s an owner in Dallas that’s not going to be real thrilled.”
MOOSE: SEAN PAYTON WINS WITH DESIGN & EXECUTION – NFL on FOX game analyst for Saturday’s Cardinals vs. Saints matchup, Daryl Johnston, points to in-game adjustments by head coach Sean Payton as a main ingredient to the Saints success this season. “What separates good coordinators from great coordinators is how they implement their plan during the game. Sean is one of those great guys. Obviously, the preparation during the week is very important,” said Johnston. The former Super Bowl-winning fullback predicts that Payton will have some interesting play designs come Saturday. “This weekend, Sean is going to find something wrong with the Arizona Cardinals. Once he finds a weakness or a matchup the Saints feel they can exploit, they’re going to go after it until Arizona proves they can stop it. If Arizona puts a stop to that it, he’s going to have to go in a different direction and will make you stop that one. Those adjustments will decide the game.”