Archive for September, 2011

NFL TV Maps for Pittsburgh Youngstown Wheeling Week 4

September 27, 2011

*UPDATE* As I suspected the Fox Wheeling situation has been changed for the 2nd week in a row.  They are now scheduled to show Washington @ St. Louis with Chris Meyers and Tim Ryan.

The Sunday afternoon maps for the tri-state area are bit more complicated than usual.  CBS has the doubleheader and at 1pm all local affiliates are showing Pittsburgh @ Houston with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf.  This will make the 2nd time in 4 weeks that WKBN Youngstown is not permitted by NFL broadcast rules to show the Browns game.  Youngstown is considered a secondary market of both Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and rules dictate that when both teams are on the same network in the same timeslot with one team at home and one team on the road, the station must show the team that is on the road, which is the Steelers.  They have no choice in the matter.

The Fox map is varied with the 3 local stations showing 3 different games.  Youngstown is showing at 1pm Detroit @ Dallas with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.  For reasons I don’t completely understand, Wheeling is also showing a 1pm game but its Minnesota @ Kansas City with Gus Johnson and Charles Davis.  There is no strong draws on the schedule for northern West Virginia so I’m surprised they’re not doing the “main” game in one of the timeslots.  With the Steelers playing at 1pm Fox Pittsburgh will wait until 4:05 to show a game and its the “main” game in that slot of the NY Giants @ Arizona with Kenny Albert, Moose, & Goose.

Even the CBS doubleheader game at 4:15p is a fractured map.  CBS has chosen to showcase the defending champion Green Bay Packers as being from the NFC they get at most 2 chances to show them despite a matchup at Denver doesn’t appear scintillating on its face.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the call and its the game that will be seen in Youngstown and Wheeling.  However Pittsburgh will show New England @ Oakland instead with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots.  As per usual those with access to the NFL Red Zone Channel will be able to enjoy its customary continuous live whip around the league all afternoon Sunday.

The Sunday Night game on NBC is the NY Jets @ Baltimore with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth and the Monday Night game on ESPN is Indianapolis @ Tampa Bay with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden.  As usual this information from the506.com and subject to revision.  I would not be surprised if this map does get revised, especially the Fox Wheeling component, which would be the 2nd week in a row.  I’ll update as warranted.

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NFL TV Maps for Pittsburgh Youngstown Wheeling Week 3

September 20, 2011

The action starts  Sunday with all 3 local CBS affiliates showing a 1pm game.  Pittsburgh will show New England @ Buffalo with Marv Albert and Rich Gannon while Youngstown and Wheeling is slated to show Miami @ Cleveland with Don Criqui and Randy Cross.  All local Fox affiliates are showing the same game in both broadcast windows of the doubleheader, and its the game most featured nationally both times.  At 1pm* its the NY Giants @ Philadelphia with Kenny Albert, Moose, and Goose and at 4:15pm its Green Bay @ Chicago with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.  Its a full schedule of games (8 early and an unusually high number {for not being Week 17} of 6 late games) as no one is on bye week and there are no special primetime games, so customers with access to the NFL Red Zone Channel can take full advantage of its customary continuous live whip around the league all afternoon.  The Sunday Night game on NBC is Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth as the Steelers begin their 4 week tour of the AFC South.  The Monday Night game on ESPN is Washington @ Dallas with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden.  As always this info was gleaned from the506.com and subject to change.  Enjoy the games!

*UPDATE* There has been a change to the local Fox schedule at 1pm.  The Wheeling market is now slated to get San Francisco @ Cincinnati with Ron Pitts and Jim Mora, Jr.

NFL Coverage Maps Week 2 Pittsburgh Youngstown Wheeling

September 13, 2011

All local Fox affiliates will show the same game at 1pm; Seattle @ Pittsburgh with Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa on the call.  CBS has the doubleheader; however KDKA Pittsburgh is barred from showing a 1pm game because the Steelers are at home on the opposite network in that timeslot.  At 4pm sharp they will come on the air and be routed to the conclusion of an early game by the network.  Youngstown and Wheeling will both show Cleveland @ Indianapolis with Marv Albert and Rich Gannon.  CBS at 4:15pm is also a split situation in the tri-state area with Pittsburgh showing the main doubleheader game San Diego @ New England with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms while Youngstown and Wheeling show Cincinnati @ Denver with Spero Dedes and Steve Beurlein.  Also, the NFL Red Zone Channel will offer its customary continuous live whip around the league all afternoon Sunday.  The Sunday night game on NBC is Philadelphia @ Atlanta (the return of Vick) with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth while the Monday night game on ESPN is St. Louis @ New York Giants with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden.  As always this information was gleaned from the506.com and subject to change.  Enjoy the games!

NFL TV Maps for Pittsburgh/Youngstown/Wheeling Markets for Week 1

September 6, 2011

Joyously it is time for NFL action!  Here is the TV situation for the tri-state area for Week 1:

The action starts on Thursday night with the traditional kickoff game featuring the defending champions as Green Bay hosts New Orleans at 8:30pm on NBC with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth on the call.  Sunday afternoon due to US Open tennis all CBS games start at 1pm and all local affiliates will show Pittsburgh at Baltimore with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.  Apologies to any Browns fans that read this but WKBN Youngstown is barred from showing Bengals/Browns by NFL broadcast rules.  Youngstown is considered a secondary market of both Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and broadcast rules dictate if a market is secondary for two or more clubs, and those clubs are playing at the same time slot on the same network and that one team is at home while the other is on the road, the network affiliate in that market must show the team that is on the road.  Therefor, as the Steelers are on the road and the Browns are at home, WKBN is contractually obligated to show the Steelers game.

Fox at 1pm is a divided map with Pittsburgh showing Philadelphia @ St. Louis with Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick while Youngstown and Wheeling show Atlanta @ Chicago with Kenny Albert, Darryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa.  At 4:15pm all local Fox affiliates are showing the main doubleheader game which is the New York Giants @ Washington with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call.  Also, customers with the NFL Red Zone Channel will be able to watch a continuous live whip around the league all afternoon.

The Sunday Night game on NBC is Dallas @ the New York Jets, again with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.  On Monday Night ESPN will have a doubleheader; at 7pm New England @ Miami with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden and at 10:15pm Oakland @ Denver with Brad Nessler and Trent Dilfer.  As usual this information gleaned from the506.com and subject to change.  Enjoy the games!

NFL Predictions 2011

September 4, 2011

I just spent a good solid 40 minutes with the NFL schedule & predicted the outcome for each game.  Below are the results, starting in the AFC (number in parenthesis indicates playoff seeding):

AFC East

1. New England Patriots (1) 13-3.  The Patriots of recent vintage have tended to be great regular season teams, and with the addition of Chad 8-5 I see no reason that will change.  Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger, but I think he still has prime or near-prime football in him, and I look for Ochocinco to have a renaissance season playing for a winning organization.  As for the Albert Haynesworth acquisition, I can see him being very good, and I can see him being beyond useless.  They may need the former for postseason success, but I doubt it matters much in the regular season.

2. New York Jets (6) 10-6.  I look for a bit of a shaky start as Mark Sanchez has some growing pains as he tries to develop into a top shelf NFL quarterback and out of the role of a game manager.  But a split with the Patriots and a strong finish sneaks them into the playoffs.

3. Buffalo Bills 6-10.  Another unremarkable campaign in Orchard Park.

4. Miami Dolphins 5-11.  Not sold on Chad Henne, combined with the lack of faith shown in Tony Sporano when Dolphins management publicly courted Jim Harbaugh in the offseason cause me to think this will be a down season in South Beach.

AFC North:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (2) 12-4.  I look for a bit of a shift in identity for the Steelers this season.  I look for the team to pass roughly 60% of the time and put points on the board, while the defense, while still good, is too old in the front 7 and too ordinary in the defensive backfield, to be dominant.

2. Baltimore Ravens (5) 11-5.  I might be a bit optimistic on their record, but the schedule for AFC North teams (AFC South, NFC West) doesn’t figure to be brutal.  I’m not sure about the Ravens as an offense taking the next step, not because of Flacco, but because of the losses of Derrick Mason and Todd Heap.  And I can see their defense, like Pittsburgh’s, taking a step back.  But this is still a good football team.

3. Cleveland Browns 9-7.  Before I sat down with the schedule I was thinking more like 6-8 wins for the Browns.  But the Browns are moving in the right direction; I am a fan of Colt McCoy in that offense.  Also, I have them doing what they should against the Bengals and being good enough to beat the Steelers in Week 17 when Pittsburgh enters locked into the #2 seed.

4. Cincinnati Bengals 2-14.  Apologies to any Bengals fans that read this, but this looks like a trainwreck of a team.  Andy Dalton might be good in the NFL, but where’s his help?

AFC South:

1. Indianapolis Colts (3) 11-5.  After a 2-2 start as Peyton Manning gets back in game rhythm, the Colts play like the Colts the last 3/4 of the season.

2. Houston Texans 10-6.  A very good offense, and they figure to be improved on defense, but not quite enough to get over the hump.  I rate them in the dreaded 7th spot, so I wouldn’t have to be off by much on, say, the Jets for them to sneak in.

3. Tennessee Titans 5-11.  Growing pains for the rookie quarterback and 8 men in the box will frustrate the well-paid Chris Johnson.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11.  Time to move the franchise to Los Angeles.

AFC West:

1. San Diego Chargers (4) 9-7.  Typical San Diego regular season; statistically good but a couple dumbfounding losses kill any chances at a bye seed.

2. Kansas City Chiefs 8-8.  A bit of a reality check for the Chiefs who played above their heads to win the division last season.

3. Oakland Raiders 5-11.  I think they should’ve kept Bruce Gradkowski and made him the starter, as much as it pains the BGSU alum to say that about a Toledo man.  Time to move the franchise back to Los Angeles?

4. Denver Broncos 5-11.  It don’t matter much if they play Orton or Quinn or Tebow; the McDaniels era was a catastrophe and it will take a few years to return glory to Mile High.

AFC Overview:

I am concerned by how much this playoff picture looks like last season’s; the NFL is never that static.  San Diego in the #4 spot instead of Kansas City is the only deviation.  But I’m just not seeing much change.  Outside the playoffs I do have some movement with teams like Cleveland improving and several teams sliding back.

NFC East:

1. Philadelphia Eagles (2) 11-5.  I see a bit of a slow start for the Eagles, and I am concerned that in their rush to spend money on glamor positions they forgot to put together an offensive line.  Then again, the Steelers made two of the last three Super Bowls without an offensive line.

2. Dallas Cowboys (5) 10-6.  Not much preseason love for Big D that I have seen from the national figures, but I liked most of what I saw late last season under Jason Garrett, and this team still have a ton of weapons on offense.

3. New York Giants 8-8.  I think this team failed to get better; in fact you could sell me on their record being a game or two worse than this.

4. Washington Redskins 8-8.  I like Mike Shanahan as a coach I think he has the team moving in the right direction.  But there is a limit to how many wins I am going to predict for a team led by John Beck or Rex Grossman.

NFC North:

1. Green Bay Packers (3) 10-6.  It feels like I’m dissing the defending champs, but that’s actually the record they had last regular season.  I think the rest of the division is too strong to let them pile up a gaudy win total, but its a good team.

2. Detroit Lions (6) 10-6.  I hope I didn’t stun any Lions fans that read this too badly, and I would feel more confident in this pick if it weren’t for the Lions being the sexy national pick for improved team.  But they weren’t far removed from a much better record last season.  If they can just keep Stafford healthy.  By my math its actually a Week 17 loss at Lambeau that keeps them from winning the division.

3. Minnesota Vikings 9-7.  I look for Donovan McNabb to have a bit of a rejuvenation and they have Adrian Peterson.  In a weaker division they would be a playoff team; as it is they’re not far off and it wouldn’t take much to sneak ahead of Detroit.

4. Chicago Bears 6-10.  The Bears of the past 20 years are never good two years in a row.  That doesn’t change now.  They played above their heads to win the division last season and then got the incredible fortune of drawing a losing record team in the divisional playoffs.  They get shuffled out by a strong division and the Jay Cutler situation could implode on them if they’re not careful.

NFC South:

1. Atlanta Falcons (1) 11-5.  I liked the move to trade way up in the 1st round of the Draft to get Julio Jones, although rookie wide receivers often struggle to make much of an impact.  Regardless, this was a good team last season particularly on offense, so even with pulling out a couple fewer teams than last season they still have a strong record.

2. New Orleans Saints 10-6.  They still have Drew Brees and so figure to put points on the scoreboard.  But I have them just missing the playoffs in the division and wildcard races.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-7.  Overall I think this franchise has things heading in the right direction, but I think they’ll have some growing pains after over-achieving last season.

4. Carolina Panthers 2-14.  Cam Newton will have growing pains and he doesn’t have much help.

NFC West:

1. St. Louis Rams (4) 10-6.  Being in the playoff race to the bitter end was a valuable experience for Sam Bradford and the rest of the team that squads that mediocre don’t usually get.  While I don’t expect them to be good enough to be a serious Super Bowl contender this season, I look for them to be good enough to control this division.

2. Seattle Seahawks 6-10.  They don’t have an NFL caliber quarterback, and that makes it hard to win on a consistent basis.  A schedule of NFC East and AFC North doesn’t help either.

3. San Francisco 49ers 5-11.  I am a Jim Harbaugh fan, though like Pete Carroll he might be better suited to the college game.  Also, I’m not at this point sold on Alex Smith.

4. Arizona Cardinals 5-11.  I might’ve had them a couple games better if not for their schedule, but not a ton better.

NFC Overview:

Three playoff newcomers and three holdovers is the NFL average of recent years; only time will tell if I have the right holdovers and the right newbies!  Whereas the AFC came out a bit top-heavy, the NFC came out with a lot of teams between 8-11 wins with a few weaker teams.  And that kind of crapshoot is pretty much how I view the conference.

PLAYOFFS:

Wildcard weekend I look for San Diego and Indianapolis to win home games against Baltimore and New York as the Jets and Ravens struggle to mount yet another road warriors campaign.  In the NFC Dallas wins as a road favorite against St. Louis while Green Bay handles Detroit at Lambeau for the second week in a row.  In the divisional round Roethlisberger outduels Manning and Brady outduels Rivers.  In the NFC Romo finally gets a signature playoff win at Atlanta while Green Bay overwhelms the Eagles in Philly.  In the conference championship games, both to avoid jinxing my team and because its a horrible matchup for them, I’ll take New England to beat the Steelers while Green Bay wins the Ice Bowl redo against Dallas.

SUPER BOWL XLVI:  The Packers defense forces a couple turnovers from Brady while Aaron Rogers is able to consistently move the ball against New England’s unremarkable defense.  Packers win 34-24 to repeat as champs.