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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 2007 NFL Playoffs

NFC Championship Game in HDTV on FOX

New Orleans Saints (10-6 NFC South Division Champion) at Chicago Bears (13-3 NFC North Division Champion)

Live from Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

January 21, 2007

3:30pm ET



Today's game will be broadcast in 720p HDTV and Dolby Digital 5.1. Thanks in advance for posting all related comments here. Please include all pertinent info; source and provider, cities, station call letters, DBS, Cable, OTA.


Quote:
From NFL.com


For the New Orleans Saints to continue their dream season and reach the Super Bowl, they'll have to defeat the Chicago Bears and their ferocious defense at what's likely to be a cold and raucous Soldier Field on Jan. 21.


The Saints and NFL Coach of the Year Sean Payton, however, will appreciate every moment of the opportunity.


New Orleans looks to earn its first trip to the Super Bowl when it takes on Chicago in the 2006 NFC Championship Game.


Payton and the Saints' magical run has come in a year in which no one expected them to be more than a rebuilding team. One trying season removed from being displaced from their home city and watching the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina unfold before them, the Saints have rebounded from a 3-13 record in 2005 to go 11-6 and reach the conference title game with a 27-24 victory against Philadelphia last week.


The Saints became the first team in NFL history to make a conference championship after losing 13 or more games the previous season -- and doing it in New Orleans, a city still trying to recover from Katrina, was especially gratifying.


"It means everything," rookie running back Reggie Bush said. "All that stuff we went through as a team, these are the type of games we live for. And this game is even bigger for the city."


The Saints are a team with unique perspective, having helped provide relief to desperate residents following the hurricane, and witnessing death and chaos in the city while trying to concentrate on football after being forced from the Superdome during the 2005 season.


Having gone through that, the Saints appreciate what they've accomplished more.


"You understand and appreciate that there are a lot of things that go on to get to this point," said Payton, the former New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys assistant. "It's important to take advantage of the opportunities and to understand that when it's in front of you, it's hard to get here and hard to be in these games. ... That's what probably makes it so gratifying."


Prognosticators universally picked the Saints to finish at the bottom of the NFC South, putting little stock in the Heisman Trophy winner Bush's ability to make a difference in his first season, or the signing of free-agent quarterback Drew Brees, who was coming off shoulder surgery.


Brees turned out to make the biggest difference, throwing for an NFL-best 4,418 yards, 26 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. He finished third in the league in passer rating (96.2) and touchdowns.


Brees was 20-for-32 for 243 yards, one TD and no interceptions against the Eagles, and Bush turned in several flashy plays as he continued to complement workhorse back Deuce McAllister, who pounded Philadelphia for two scores and a team playoff-record 143 yards rushing.


New Orleans had never reached the NFC title game, and was 1-5 in the playoffs coming into last week. The city is known for playing host to the Super Bowl -- not sending its own team to it.


"There's still a lot of work to be done," Payton said. "We just hope we can put a little kick in (the fans') step Monday and Tuesday, and give them something to look forward to next weekend."


For the party to continue in New Orleans, however, the Saints will have to produce more magic when they face the Bears, also a hungry team that's looking to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since winning it in January 1986. Chicago reached the NFC title game for the first time in 17 years with a 27-24 overtime victory against Seattle on Jan. 14.


Robbie Gould's 49-yard field goal in the extra period followed his tying 41-yarder with a little under 6 minutes left in regulation as Chicago (14-3), the NFC's top seed, survived to defeat the Seahawks.


"It's been fun," said Gould, who was undrafted out of Penn State and waived by two teams before making the Pro Bowl this season. "I think it's been great for everybody. It's been great for the city."


Chicago's hard-hitting and speedy defense wasn't at its best, allowing Shaun Alexander to rush for 108 yards, but it stopped the star running back on third and fourth downs late in the fourth quarter as the Seahawks were driving for a potential go-ahead score.


It's possible, though, that no player enjoyed the victory more than quarterback Rex Grossman, who overcame a season of criticism from Chicago's demanding fans to produce the best game of his career. He went 21-for-38 for 282 yards, and set up Gould's winning kick with a third-down pass of 30 yards to Rashied Davis that moved Chicago to the Seattle 36.


"We win one game and we're in the Super Bowl," said Grossman, who also had an interception and a fumble, "two wins away from having a ring on my finger for the rest of my life."


Grossman was sacked three times under heavy pressure from Seattle, and he's likely to see more of it from New Orleans. Led by Will Smith (10½ sacks), Charles Grant (6.0), Brian Young (5½) and Scott Shanle (4.0), the Saints are sure to try and get to Grossman whenever they can.


Stopping the opposing quarterback will be an even bigger priority for Chicago, although it remains to be seen whether Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman and the rest of the Bears' third-ranked defense will come after Brees or play back more in coverage to try and disrupt the accurate quarterback's rhythm.


The Bears will have to account for the running and pass-catching ability of Bush out of the backfield, as well as McAllister's bruising work between the tackles.


Temperatures aren't expected to rise above the mid-30s, with possible snow in the forecast, but those conditions might not necessarily give the Bears an advantage even though they're facing a dome team. The Saints have won three of their past four visits to Soldier Field, and five of the past seven overall. Chicago, though, took the last matchup 20-17 at Baton Rouge on Nov. 6, 2005.


New Orleans and Chicago have met once in the playoffs, a 16-6 Bears victory on Jan. 6, 1991, in the wild-card round at Soldier Field.

The Bears have the weather on their side, do the Saints have fate on theirs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Game day forecast:


30°F

Feels Like 22°F

Few Snow Showers

Humidity 78%

Probability of Precipitation: 30%

Wind: From the East Southeast at 8 mph
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
WJBK-DT FOX Detroit, via Comcast. Looks very good and sounds great.


Saints are lucky not to be down a lot more than 6.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehman /forum/post/0


Can anyone comment in the states how the PQ on this is? Here in Canada we have to suffer with simsubbing via GlobalHD. And the PQ is just awful. Pixelation, and no 5.1 sound.

I wonder if Global is taking the Fox fronthaul. Also, is Global 1080i? That would also require a cross-conversion.
 

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comcast in the chicago burbs here, with the 6412 moto box... set the dvr to record and was going to start watching about an hour late, no big deal. Turn the tv on, check for the recording and it's not there. Flip to the channel menu, and the little red dot is on the game indicating it should be recording. Turn to the channel the game is on, and I can't rewind, pause, etc... anyone else having this trouble? Have I been locked out of dvr abilities in an effort to force me to watch the commercials? What is going on here? Sucks I missed the majority of the first half, but even more worried about what this could mean for future recordings.


edit: hmm... so I stopped the 'recording', and then it started acting normally again, pause and rewind work now. Hit record again, and sure enough now this new recording does show up in the recorded shows list. WTF? This box sucks, I see why some people still use the trusty old vcr, at least you know that's going to record, short of a power outage. Who knows when this will happen again? Anyone have this happen with this box before?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD /forum/post/0


I wonder if Global is taking the Fox fronthaul. Also, is Global 1080i? That would also require a cross-conversion.


Yes globalHD is 1080i. This is Globals first simsub of FOX (well, they simsubbed the east feeds, but left the west feeds alone, today they are simsubbing both feeds), so I cant really compare to previous weeks, as most people I would watch the unaltered west feed.


To be honest, Globals simsubs of CBSHDs previous games (they simsub over both east and west) has been "OK" video wise. This is the first time Ive seen the picture quality really degraded by a simsub.


Global has never gotten their 5.1 correct. (still astonishes me they are allowed to even simsub).


Note I dont want to take over the thread with simsubs and other Canadian stuff.


So we'll just leave it at this. GlobalHD sucks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sievers /forum/post/0


comcast in the chicago burbs here, with the 6412 moto box... set the dvr to record and was going to start watching about an hour late, no big deal. Turn the tv on, check for the recording and it's not there. Flip to the channel menu, and the little red dot is on the game indicating it should be recording. Turn to the channel the game is on, and I can't rewind, pause, etc... anyone else having this trouble? Have I been locked out of dvr abilities in an effort to force me to watch the commercials? What is going on here? Sucks I missed the majority of the first half, but even more worried about what this could mean for future recordings.


edit: hmm... so I stopped the 'recording', and then it started acting normally again, pause and rewind work now. Hit record again, and sure enough now this new recording does show up in the recorded shows list. WTF? This box sucks, I see why some people still use the trusty old vcr, at least you know that's going to record, short of a power outage. Who knows when this will happen again? Anyone have this happen with this box before?

Pull the plug and reboot the box. You'll lose all the guide data for awhile, but I'd bet it will fix the other problems.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehman /forum/post/0


Yes globalHD is 1080i. This is Globals first simsub of FOX (well, they simsubbed the east feeds, but left the west feeds alone, today they are simsubbing both feeds), so I cant really compare to previous weeks, as most people I would watch the unaltered west feed.


To be honest, Globals simsubs of CBSHDs previous games (they simsub over both east and west) has been "OK" video wise. This is the first time Ive seen the picture quality really degraded by a simsub.

CBS is also 1080i so no cross conversion is required. CBS (and ABC) use high bitrate network distribution. Fox splicer system uses ATSC bitrates, so the already lower bitrate is cross-converted and then re-encoded at ATSC bitrates for simsub re-transmission. If they were able to get the backhaul it would probably look alot better, but that may not be possible as Fox may be adding elements at the LA TOC. From a technical standpoint it's possible for them to get a high bitrate feed from Fox TOC, but that would probably be alot more expensive and hard to justify for just the HD feed.
 

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Lots of null packets here on WJW Cleveland. Is it possible Fox network stuffs something like 4.5Mbps of null packets in the stream so that multicasting affiliates can just strip them out, insert their subchannels and not re-encode the network feed? (BTW, no subchannels here on WJW)

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sievers /forum/post/0


comcast in the chicago burbs here, with the 6412 moto box...

Take the unrelated technical issues to the appropriate forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Although that was a great play, Reggie seems a little over the top on the calibration. I'd bet the Bears don't take kindly to that....
 
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