The Super Bowl or what some refer to as the final Football game for some months. This game features the AFC champion the Cincinnati Bengals and NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams. On social media, some have even referred to this matchup as a sort of meme as users have equated it to a “Year 8 Madden franchise simulation”, or just an overall random matchup of teams.
We start with the champions of the NFC, the LA Rams. They feature a rejuvenated quarterback Matthew Stafford and offensive play-caller Sean McVay. On the other side of the ball, the defense features one of if not the best talents on the defensive line Aaron Donald. He will have help as Von Miller and Leonard Floyd. The Rams enter this game coming off a 13 point outburst in the fourth quarter, which helped bring them back from the brink of being eliminated on their “home” (there was a lot of red in SoFi this past Sunday.)
According to bookmakers, the Rams are seen as 4 point favorites going into the Super Bowl, so all fingers point toward a Rams victory correct? No. Look, the Rams have now used two comeback victories to even earn this spot into the Super Bowl. The offensive performance in the NFC title game has to be somewhat concerning if you’re a fan of the blue and gold. The Rams were shut out for multiple quarters in that NFC title game. Matthew Stafford, the quarterback for the Rams, was also sacked twice by that 49ers line and he did turn the ball over via an interception as well.
This game will simply come down to the Rams offense, to be honest. This unit has been their own kryptonite. How do you come to this conclusion? We can use situational football from the divisional round versus the Buccaneers as an example. Fourth-quarter Running Back for the Rams Cam Akers is given a hand-off and fumbles the football, which leads to a Bucs touchdown. Next possession Stafford finds a wide-open Cooper Kupp, which leads to a Matt Gay FG, which ended Tom Brady’s career. Before we get off topic I am using this small sample as an example of how the Rams offense is their own worst enemy. One moment they are staring at a loss from a mistake they’re running back made, to coming back and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat by Stafford hitting Kupp. This Super Bowl will depend on what Rams offense shows up. Will it be the one who put up 20 points in the first half on the road, or will it be the one who needed an outburst in the fourth to beat an offensively challenged 49ers team?
This leads me to the Cincinnati Bengals. A team that also used a Comeback versus the Kansas City Chiefs. In fact, if this author can be honest for a moment this game was turned off in the second quarter and the phrase “yeah this over” was uttered. Then the third quarter happened. The Bengals would put 11 points on the board, the defense would only give up 3 points the rest of the way to the Chiefs. While the Rams are technically the favorites and are at home, you can easily make the argument the Bengals aren’t your usual underdog in fact they come into this game as the country’s champs (see almost any social media and see how some if not most of the country views Jackson Mahomes).
The way the Bengals leave L.A. with the Lombardi Trophy is easy as well. Contain the Rams offense and the rest will fall into place. Joe Burrow and the offense just keep finding ways to put points onto the board. You hear all the time about “Peaking at the right time and the right moment.” The Bengals are doing just that. The one weak spot would have to be the Bengals offensive line, and if you look back at the stats from the AFC championship game they only gave up one sack. This leads me to this, my prediction. Bengals 31- Rams 27. Bonus Coverage: expect an A+ Halftime performance.