NFL Bad Lip Reading 2016: Part II

“He’s weird, he’s weird, and HE’S WEIRD!”

 

Three days after “Part I” hit the interweb, Bad Lip Reading struck again with plenty of things Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, John Fox and others probably didn’t say…but we can imagine now.

Keep this in mind when you watch Peyton Manning and Cam Newton go at it this weekend in Super Bowl 50.

For more, follow along on Facebook or Twitter

All The Super Bowl 50 Storylines, So Far…

Conference Championship Sunday featured the #1 seeds from both the AFC and NFC showing exactly how they got to where they are now. The Broncos defense beat the crap of Tom Brady, hitting him more than any other quarterback was all season, and their quarterback did enough to pull off the win. While the Panthers were also stellar on defense, their offense continued to shred another opposing top defense. Cam Newton became the 3rd quarterback to rush for 2 touchdowns and throw 2 as well in the playoffs (after Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick).

For the next two weeks, we’re going to wait way too long for what can be very good game…or an absolute blowout (I believe it will be the former). What you can expect is a plethora of storylines because both these teams aren’t lacking at all for them. You may get a new one every 12 hours until kickoff.

Here are ALL the storylines I could think of so far.

 

1. Cam’s Arrival

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Cam Newton has fun. After yesterday’s 49-15 decimation of the Arizona Cardinals, Newton had compiled 50 total touchdowns for 2015-16 (regular season and post season combined). Newton has a patented pointing mechanic on first downs, dances after touchdowns, and hands the ball to a kid in the stands when he’s done. You may not like it, but you’re going to have to get used to it. The league has become his video game and everyone else looks like they’re on “Easy Mode” for him.

Newton came into the league as a Heisman Trophy winner with a bad rap. He was arrested at Florida for stealing a laptop. His time at Auburn was scrutinized due to an investigation into his recruitment, which the NCAA came away with nothing. He was still drafted #1 overall and now has a chance to win a Super Bowl after 5 seasons, very likely with an MVP trophy on his mantle as well. What’s scary is that he’s done it without his #1 receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, all season.

Football fans without a stick up their asses are loving it. Others will choose to be miserable, and you’ll hear plenty from them for the next 2 weeks.

Some people just can’t have nice things, and that’s fine. Newton fans, on the other hand, can keep enjoying the best player in the league right now. In his last 10 games, Newton has scored 31 touchdowns (24 passing, 7 rushing). Who else from Newton’s “generation” comes even close to his level of play? Maybe Russell Wilson, but that’s it.

2. Peyton’s Last Stand

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Of the 4 quarterbacks facing off on Championship Sunday, Peyton Manning had the most on the line in terms of legacy. A win would help change his narrative that he’s just the best “regular season” quarterback. Now he’s won more games against 4-time champion Tom Brady than lost (3-2), and could join an elite group of only 11 quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl rings.

While the Broncos didn’t necessarily win because of Manning (we’ll get to that in a minute), they weren’t going to lose because of him either. When the running game couldn’t get going, Manning made key 3rd down conversions with both his arm and even his legs.

Manning run

When Peyton Manning is successfully running boot plays on your defense, you might not deserve to go to the Super Bowl. In his 4th trip, Manning can do something that the president of the Denver Broncos, John Elway, accomplished before retiring…go out on top.

3. Defense Wins Championships

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Super Bowl 50 is going to feature the league’s 2 best defenses who clearly proved that on Championship Sunday. The Broncos halted the #1 passing team in the NFL (New England) and the Panthers did the same with the #2 passing team (Arizona).

As mentioned earlier, the Broncos defense just manhandled Tom Brady and Von Miller led the way with 2.5 sacks and an interception. Miller’s presence was the certainly felt but so Derek Wolfe and DeMarcus Ware’s, only allowing Brady to finish 7/23 for 73 yards and a passer rating of 37.0 when pressured. The most impressive part of the Broncos defense dominating a fully healthy Patriots offense was that they were able to do so blitzing Brady a season low 17.2% of the time.

Throwing to Rob Growkowski against the Broncos, Brady was 8/15 for 144 and 1 touchdown. Throwing to everyone else, he was 19/41, 166 yards and 0 TDs. Heads up, Greg Olsen.

The Panthers ranked 2nd in defensive efficiency in 2015 (according to ESPN), just behind Denver. While the Broncos pressure the quarterback like crazy, the Panthers defense is racking up points off turnovers. On top Newton’s insane scoring rate, the Panthers have added 9.5 points per game to their net margin of victory as a result of takeaways, 1.7 points more than anyone else. They forced 7 turnovers, 6 from Carson Palmer, on Sunday.

 

4. Coaches Have A Lot In Common

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Both Ron Rivera and Gary Kubiak played on teams that went to the Super Bowl. Rivera won as a linebacker with the 1985 Chicago Bears. Kubiak went to 3, all as backup quarterback to John Elway, and lost them too.

Both Rivera and Kubiak went to the Super Bowl as coordinators. Rivera was the Bears’ defensive coordinator in 2006-07, losing to Peyton Manning’s Colts. Kubiak won three after his playing career, once as an assistant for the 49ers (1994) and twice more as Broncos offensive coordinator (1997 & 1998).

Now both Rivera and Kubiak will be standing on opposite sidelines of the sport’s biggest stage. They were also both successors for current Bears head coach John Fox.

5. Poor John Fox

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Actually, good new Bears fans!

John Fox went to the Super Bowl in each of his second seasons with the Panthers and Broncos. He didn’t win, but going is a nice improvement.

 

6. Other Bears Connections

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A few more former Bears you can root for in the Super Bowl, if you feel so inclined:

1. Greg, Son of Olsen.

Greg son of Olsen

2. Jared Allen (meh)

3. Charles “Peanut” Tillman (although on IR, but still a great dude)

Panthers Tillman

 

7. Unsung Heroes

Broncos Bench

The Broncos “Other” Defensive Linemen (above)

While Miller, Ware and Wolfe get all the sack glory, defensive ends Malik Jackson and Antonio Smith and nose tackle Sylvester Williams are teeing them up and destroying opposing running backs.

Ted Ginn Jr.

I love that Ted Ginn Jr. went from being the guy who drops everything to a 10 touchdown WR. A lot of that may be thanks to his quarterback, but somebody has to take the top off defenses and burn opposing safeties like Ginn has.

Emmanuel Sanders

Something I may have left out of Peyton Manning’s storyline was how Emmanuel Sanders made some of the BIGGEST plays on 3rd down for his quarterback. While Damaryius Thomas was off and on during the season, Sanders had 4 games of 8+ receptions. With Manning throwing more underneath and Josh Norman covering Thomas, Sanders will be a huge key against the Broncos nickel coverage.

 

The Panthers Team Picture Game

Exhibit A

Stay Tuned For More Super Bowl 50 Coverage on MichaelPiff.com. There will be more on the Halftime Show, Commercials, Media Day, and the annual “Everything But Football” piece as well. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter

 

5 Potential Bears OC Candidates To Replace Adam Gase

After winning 4 of their last 6 games, the hottest topic regarding the Chicago Bears this week seems to be “Can they keep Adam Gase?” It’s a fair conversation to have as Gase is presumed to be one of the top head coaching candidates to fill any of a number NFL openings for next season. In 9 games, Gase has the Bears offense looking as respectable as any with Jay Cutler playing his best football since coming to Chicago. He was also very close to being the 49ers head coach after last season, had San Francisco’s higher-ups not been so sold on this guy…

Daisy Tomsula

Vacancies across the league already include Tennessee and Miami, unless Dan Campbell continues to work wonders. Other teams that are expected or rumored to be looking for a new head coach include the Colts, Saints, Lions, Browns, Chargers, Rams, and the aforementioned 49ers. I wouldn’t anticipate this to be appealing to Gase, but there are several major conference openings in college football as well. The point is, there are plenty of options for Gase to move up in the football world and Bears fans shouldn’t be shocked to see Cutler working with yet another offensive coordinator next season.

Is it possible the Bears will do everything in their power to keep Gase? Sure. They could make Gase an offer similar to the Cowboys’ Jason Garrett deal, making him the highest paid coordinator in football with assurances he’ll be the next head coach after John Fox is done. In 2008, Garrett was making $3 million as an assistant waiting in the wings behind then Cowobys coach Wade Phillips. League rules prevented Jerry Jones to name Garrett as an heir to take over for Phillips, but it was the worst kept secret in football.

The likelihood of Gase staying in Chicago after this season isn’t particularly probable, but one could be confident Fox will have a strong candidate in place to fill the opening. After all, Fox did bring the best two available coordinators with him after taking the Bears job, Gase and Vic Fangio.

What do Fox’s OC options look like for the 2016 season?

 

Mike McCoy

Current Chargers Head Coach

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With the team’s likely move to Los Angeles and another underwhelming season, the Chargers organization could be looking for a fresh face and a new voice in the locker room. The Bears interviewed Mike McCoy in 2013 before he took the Chargers job. McCoy had just reshaped the Broncos offense from accommodating Tim Tebow in 2011 to Peyton Manning in 2012, with Fox as his boss and Gase as QB coach. Fox and McCoy are already very familiar with each other. Gase has also credited McCoy on multiple occasions for being one of the better influences on his coaching style.

 

Dowell Loggains

Current Bears Quarterbacks Coach

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The transition for Dowell Loggains to offensive coordinator, on paper, looks seamless. Loggains is already working closely with Cutler on a daily basis and would essential continue using Gase’s playbook. He isn’t inexperienced when it comes to play-calling either, as he served as Titans OC in 2012-2013 under Mike Munchak. The concern, however, is that Loggains could leave with Gase if he’s hired elsewhere.

 

Ken Whisenhunt

Former Titans Head Coach

Ken Whisenhunt

Ken Whisenhunt keeps getting head coaching jobs because he continuously gets it done as an offensive coordinator. Before his 1 and a half year Titans tenure, Whisenhunt called plays as McCoy’s OC in San Diego in 2013. The Chargers had improved from 31st in total offense to 5th with Whisenhunt on the sidelines. The Chargers also ranked 4th in touchdowns and 5th in passing yards that season as Ryan Matthews had his best year rushing with 1,255 yards.

 

Bill Lazor

Current Dolphins Offensive Coordinator

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This really depends on what the Miami Dolphins chooses to do about their head coaching situation. If Campbell drops the interim tag, I would expect Bill Lazor to either stay put or leave for a head coaching position (although unlikely). Lazor has said that he let down former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin before his dismissal in October. Since then, the Dolphins have played like the high powered offensive team they were expected to be. Lazor runs a quick-hitting read offense works similarly to Gase’s current system. It operates best when the running backs are the central focus. Case in point, Lamar Miller: 124 total yards per game and and 9 touchdowns since Philbin’s firing with a 3-2 record.

 

Rob Chudzinski

Current Colts Offensive Coordinator

Rob Chudzinski

Chuck Pagano’s fate in Indianapolis has felt all but sealed as his Colts team has gone from predicted Super Bowl contenders to a playoff battle with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rob Chudzinski has run up and down the ranks of offensive coaching staffs since coming into the league in 2004. “Chud” is best known for innovating the original 2-TE system and helping Cam Newton breakout during his rookie season with the most passing yards of his career so far in 2011. Chudzinski has recently taken over as Colts OC following Pep Hamilton’s scapegoat dismissal in October. He’s a play-caller with head coaching chops but probably a little out-of-the-box in terms of schemes for the Bears and their current path. You can’t help but notice though, how good the Bears offense has looked when utilizing both Martellus Bennett and Zach Miller in recent weeks.

 

Have another potential Offensive Coordinator candidate in mind for the Bears? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter