ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Johnson previewed the NFL’s week 11 games with Suzy Kolber, analyst Merril Hoge and NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. Some excerpts:
On Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers – will they run the table?
Ditka: “Yeah they have a chance, but history says no.”
Jackson: “He (Aaron Rodgers) is throwing at an 80 percent clip. It is unheard of in the National Football League.”
More on Aaron Rodgers…
Jackson: “What you have is a quarterback who is at his best and getting better.”
Ditka: “I think he’s got good receivers, but I think he makes them so much better.”
Johnson: “He’s Peyton Manning, he’s Tom Brady, and he’s Michael Vick all rolled up in one.”
On Bengals vs. Ravens and what to watch for…
Jackson: “I’m eyeing identity… What do they (the Ravens) want to be? A winning football team? Or do they want Joe Flacco to be an elite quarterback?”
Carter: “Leon Hall’s only problem is he plays in Cincinnati.”
Johnson: “Andy Dalton will get a dose of reality again with or without Ray (Lewis).”
Berman: “One is an accident, two is a trend, three is a problem. We’ve never seen this from the Ravens.”
On Tim Tebow’s performance…
Jackson: “At some point, you gotta give credit to what he’s doin’… The last time I looked, the ‘W’ was more important than anything else.”
On the Dallas Cowboys – are they erasing your doubts?
Johnson: “They can contend… you have to have two things on a good team: a quarterback that’s consistent and somebody to get the quarterback.”
Ditka: “They have the personnel to do it… they’re a much better football team than their record.”
Berman: “They’re the only team to beat the Niners. I mean, people forget that.”
On Matt Leinart – is he ready?
Johnson: “What did he have at USC? He had a complete team with a lot of talent and a West Coast system. So I’m lookin’ for him to really have success.”
Carter: “I think that the NFL’s a great place for a great story… I believe Matt Leinart can be more successful in Houston.”
On the Philadelphia Eagles – are they done?
Ditka: “It reminds me of that baseball announcer. He said, ‘It’s going, it’s going, it’s gone.’ And they are gone. They’re running out of time. They’re running out of excuses.”
Carter: “The way I like my meat is medium-well. So they’ve been done last week. But if you like your steak burnt, watch this week and watch the following seven games.”
On the San Francisco 49ers – can they play with the Packers?
Jackson: “The only place that you (Packers) are better is at the quarterback and the receiver position.”
On the San Diego Chargers – can Philip Rivers do it alone?
Johnson: “He’s been tryin’ to do it all year long, that’s why he has 19 turnovers.”
On Josh Freeman looking to Albert Haynesworth as a mentor…
Ditka: “Oh yeah, and I look to Howdy Doody as a mentor. Stop it!”