NFL Network pregame, halftime and postgame analysts Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk will change roles, joining Bryant Gumbel in the broadcast booth for a pair of December Thursday and Saturday Night Football game telecasts, it was announced today.
Sanders and Faulk, in their debuts as regular game analysts, will work the December 15 Cincinnati-San Francisco and December 20 Pittsburgh-St. Louis contests in place of Cris Collinsworth (scheduling conflicts), who will be paired with Gumbel on six NFL Network games.
Sterling Sharpe, co-host of NFL Network's "chalkboard" show Playbook, will substitute for Sanders and Faulk on those dates joining Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci and Adam Schefter for the pregame, halftime and postgame shows.
Sanders and Faulk filled in for Dick Vermeil (sore throat) at halftime of last year's Dallas-Atlanta game on NFL Network and earned the following postseason review on SI.com from Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman: "They were just terrific…everything just seemed so easy to them, so obvious."
NFL Network's eight-game "Run to the Playoffs" package begins on Thanksgiving night when the Indianapolis Colts visit the Atlanta Falcons in the nightcap of a Thanksgiving NFL tripleheader and will consist of primetime games kicking off at 8:15 PM ET from Weeks 12-17 of the NFL season. The schedule is as follows:
Week 12: Thursday, November 22 at 8:15 PM ET (Live)
Week 13: Thursday, November 29 at 8:15 PM ET (Live)
Week 14: Thursday, December 6 at 8:15 PM ET (Live)
Week 15: Thursday, December 13 at 8:15 PM ET (Live)
Week 15: Saturday, December 15 at 8:15 PM ET (Live)
Week 16: Thursday, December 20 at 8:15 PM ET (Live)
Week 16: Saturday, December 22 at 8:15 PM ET (Live)
Week 17: Saturday, December 29 at 8:15 PM ET (Live)
Each NFL Network telecast will feature the live, two-hour Total Access on Location presented by Sears pregame show from the host city, providing a unique feel for the atmosphere surrounding the event. In addition, NFL Network will present the Wendy's Halftime Show and The Home Depot Postgame Show on-location.
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In 2007, NFL Network will air nearly 200 football games, including eight regular season NFL games, 52 preseason games, 98 game replays, Super Bowl and NFL Classics, plus the Insight Bowl, Texas Bowl and Senior Bowl. NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the first television network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football. For more information, log onto www.nfl.com/nflnetwork.