Super Bowl 56


On Feb 13, 2022 the Cincinnati Bengals will come to SoFi Stadium to face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 56. This matchup was certainly not the most expected because both these teams started the playoffs in the number 4 seed, but the beauty of the NFL is that anything can happen. 


The Bengals:

After finishing the 2020 – 2021 NFL season with a 4-11-1 record (bottom five in the league) the Bengals were viewed as anything but a Super Bowl team. With a lowly defense and a terrible offensive line, the Bengals were predicted by experts to remain at the bottom of their division again in 2021. The only new player that made a large impact this year was Ja’Marr Chase, and even though the team as a whole did not show amazing statistics, the 10-7 Bengals still ended up atop the AFC North. Even so, the Bengals were not viewed as a team that could possibly make the Super Bowl. Yet, they defied all odds by beating the Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and Kansas City Chiefs to make way to the most highly viewed sporting event in America. This rare sequence of events in which the underdog wins out is in large part due to the defense magically stepping up (it is difficult to tell how) and to Joe Burrow delivering excellent quarterback play. 

Overall, this postseason has had a level of fluke involved, because there are WAY more talented teams in the AFC than the Bengals. The Bengals are a good team, but they lack a talented secondary, linebackers, defensive linemen, and offensive lineman. The talent they do have is mostly displayed in offensive skill positions, where Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins shine. Regardless, Burrow has not shown the breathtaking playmaking skills that Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert have shown. There can be an argument made that the Bengals were led by good coaching, but that same coaching was there last year and it reflected unsuccessfully. While making it to the Super Bowl always requires luck, the Bengals had a little more luck than other teams have had in the past. I truly believe the Chiefs grew overconfident, which led to them falling apart in the second half of the AFC championship game

Even after all this information, the Bengals have shown perseverance, a lot of heart, and determination to win all three AFC playoff matches, and I will always have respect for underdogs that battle through to win. 


The Rams:

The story of the Los Angeles Rams this year is much more simple than that of the Bengals, because they just have the most well balanced and perfected roster in the NFL. The only piece that was lacking in years past was quarterback and they easily solved that issue this past year. On offense, the Rams highlight Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, who is coming off of one of the best WR seasons of all time, Odell Beckham Jr, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee, Cam Akers, Sony Michel, Darrell Henderson, Andrew Whitworth, and Rob Havenstein. All of the above are very incredible players. Defensively, the Rams have Aaron Donald, the best defensive lineman of all time, Von Miller, Leonard Floyd, Jalen Ramsey, Eric Weddle, and Darious Williams. Most of all these players were acquired from other teams. The Rams being all-in in so many ways has allowed them to beat Kyler Murray, Tom Brady, and Deebo Samuel which allowed them to make it back to SoFi for a home Super Bowl. 


The Result:

Even though the Rams are a much better team than the Bengals, this will be a closer matchup than expected. When my favorite team (The Seattle Seahawks) are not in the Super Bowl, I will always root for the underdog, which is the Bengals, but in my honest opinion, the Rams will win. This does not mean that Bengals don’t have a fair chance at winning, but it is so hard to ignore the fact that the Rams’ are a much better team, and their biggest strength (defensive line) will obliterate the Bengals largest weakness (offensive line). Sean McVay has been to the Super Bowl, while Zac Taylor and the rest of the Bengals are still too under-experienced.