Unlike Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Primetime, Monday Night Countdown and NFL Live, NFL Matchup gives fans an in-depth look at the NFL by breaking down the strategy and tactics—the "X's and O's", after the symbols commonly used by coaches to diagram plays—of every pro football game. The program's analysts do this through the exclusive use of team-supplied coaching footage, the same video coaches and players use each week to prepare game plans and strategy.
Hoge joined ESPN in 1996, where he serves as an analyst on NFL Live and ESPNewsFootball Friday, as well as NFL Matchup. He is a former fullback and an eight-year veteran, serving five of those years as a starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Television tape was used until 1994, when game film was used.
The program converted to a high definition presentation for the 2011 season, though some game footage camera angles (which are mainly used by coaching staffs, and rarely by television networks during game broadcasts except in a few circumstances) remain provided to ESPN by the NFL in 480istandard definition. With Jim Rome is Burning, which ended at the end of January 2012 never converting to HD, NFL Matchup was both the final ESPN program to convert to HD and the only one still utilizing some SD presentation outside of SD SportsCenter highlights.