Super Bowl LVI: Rams vs. Bengals


Joey Macro, Staff Writer

The NFL season ends with a clash between the L.A. Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. This is the first Super Bowl matchup between 2 four seed or lower teams. This is also only the second Super Bowl ever to have a team playing in their home stadium (L.A.). However, they will be the away team.

The Rams offseason started with a bang when trading for superstar QB Matthew Stafford. They continued to add to their team throughout the season by trading for Von Miller and signing Odell Beckham Jr. The Bengals came out of nowhere after finishing last year with a 4-11-1 record after their star rookie QB Joe Burrow tore his ACL. That record earned them the 6th overall pick, where they landed Joe Burrow’s former LSU teammate, Ja’Marr Chase.

In the preseason, Chase started off slow, dropping several passes, but Joe Burrow promised that Chase would figure it out. The now Rookie of the Year not only figured it out, but he also put on a show. The connection between him and Joe Burrow from the prolific 2020 LSU Tigers team where they won a national championship was now on display in the NFL. 

This Super Bowl is very similar to last year’s. It will most likely come down to the Bengals’ offensive line stopping the Rams’ relentless pass rush. Stephen A. Smith when talking about the Bengals before the AFC Championship game explained how he viewed the way the Bengals’ superstars play similar to basketball stars. In football, a team’s scheme and playing calling greatly affects the outcome of a game whereas in basketball, one guy can will his team to victory, no matter what the other team does to try to stop them. 

The Joe Burrow- Ja’Marr Chase connection that dates back to LSU where they won a national championship together is like that. No matter what teams do to stop the second-year QB and the Rookie wide receiver, they have played at an elite level and willed their team to victory through the entire regular season and playoffs.  The Rams’ All-Pro, Elite corner Jalen Ramsey who they traded for three years ago will be the man in charge of covering Ja’Marr Chase all night. 

Offensively for the Rams, if they can play a good football game, they will put their team in a good spot to win. They can match the Bengals offensively. For the Bengals, the main job on offense is to protect Joe Burrow; they can not allow the Rams to get the same amount of pressure that the Titans put on Joe Burrow in the Divisional round where they allowed 9 sacks (Playoff Record) and 19 QB pressures from just the D-Line. If that happens, Evan McPherson will not be able to come in to save the game like in the Divisional round. And it will be just like the last Super Bowl but instead of Patrick Mahomes running around for his life, it will be Joe Burrow.

I think the game will come down to the last possession. The Bengals will have the ball, and it will come down to Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase making a play; on the other side of the ball, the Rams’ All-Pro pass rushers, Aaron Donald and Von Miller will have to pin their ears back and get to the QB. I think Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase will make a play to set up Rookie Evan “Money Mac” McPherson to kick the game-winning field goal to give the Bengals their first Super Bowl in franchise history.

With the Bengals’ win, Mathew Stafford will go home one win away from accomplishing his one goal to win a Super Bowl when requesting a trade from the Detroit Lions, the team that drafted him with the first overall pick in 2009. As a side note, the Simpsons did predict the Bengals to win the Super Bowl against a team from L.A., and based on the show’s track record with predictions, I would say I would be pretty happy if I was a Bengals fan.