Super Bowl LVI Predictions

The 2021-22 NFL season has been one of, if not the most exciting seasons in the league’s long history. The inaugural 18-week season was headlined by the emergence of elite rookie players, wild injuries, huge trades and signings, miraculous endings, and so much more. However, the only feat that will be universally remembered about this season lies not in any minor statistic, but in which team hoists the precious Lombardi Trophy come season’s end. This year’s edition of the big game will be an unconventional bout between two teams that place outside of the top-three seeds within their respective conferences, the first-ever Super Bowl in that regard. Super Bowl LVI will take place this Sunday, February 13, at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Representing the AFC will be Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals; while, Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams will fill the spot for the NFC. Overall, this should be a pretty exciting matchup, as both teams are filled with some of the league’s premier talent.

The Bengals’ offensive power and Joe Burrow’s ability to execute in the clutch will be too much for the Rams to overcome. When looking at the Rams, one cannot help but notice that they are absolutely stacked to the brink with talent, more so than any other team in football. The Rams’ defense, anchored by generational talents like Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, has looked borderline unstoppable at times. They have guys at every spot on the field who can make plays on the ball, stop the run, and get to the quarterback, allowing for the defense to be very well-rounded in their craft. While their offense, under new quarterback Matthew Stafford, has looked just as good. The driving force behind the Rams’ offensive success is the connection between Stafford and star wide receiver Cooper Kupp. The mutual connection and chemistry between the two has not only been unmatched, but historic. When combined with a dominant power running game, the offensive genius that is Head Coach Sean McVay, and a resurging wide receiver option in Odell Beckham, Jr., the Rams’ offense can be quite scary. However, the Rams’ offense has had a clear kryptonite all season long, this being turnovers. Stafford has been pretty consistent in passing the ball to opposing defenders for most of the season. Typically, the Rams’ defense and rushing attack would make up for any errors on behalf of Stafford and the passing game, but against a team like the Cincinnati Bengals, the same cannot be expected.

The Bengals’ defense has been a consistent, stellar force, that has flown under the radar for much of the season. Turning the ball over to Cincinnati’s offensive unit is like feeding baby trout to a hungry bear. The Bengals’ high-flying offense is ultimately what should win them this game. The Rams’ defense feeds off of pure will and physicality, their ability to run over opposing lineman. The Bengals have the worst offensive line in football. One would think that this works in the Rams’ favor, but do not be so sure about that. The Bengals’ offense has been the best in the league against the blitz. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow knows how to get the ball out quickly and where to put it. The Rams have a very aggressive defense, and if they rely too heavily on pressuring and sacking Burrow instead of dropping back in coverage, they will get burnt.

The Bengals may be the only team in the league with better offensive weaponry than the Rams. Receiving outlets like Jamarr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins, make it easy for Burrow to air the ball out for gains of 30-plus yards on a relatively consistent basis. To complement the Bengals’ extraordinary air-raid-styled passing attack, runningback Joe Mixon has been great. He is one of the better runningbacks in all the league, particularly in running outside the tackles on zone-running plays. If the Rams decide to drop their defenders back with the intent of stopping the Bengals’ explosive passing plays, they run the risk of Mixon getting chunks of yards from the backfield.

To go with the monster that is the Cincinnati Bengals offense, the Bengals have a teamwide chemistry and an “it-factor” that is not often seen in other teams. Whether it be fighting for extra yards on short throws and runs, or the ability of Bengals payers to simply not go down when hit by opposing defenders, something about this Bengals team, and particularly in quarterback Burrow, emblemizes the idea of “Just win games.” This swagger, the energy that surrounds this Bengals roster, and the way in which they play just screams “Super Bowl Champions.”

Come Super Bowl Sunday, the Rams’ offense should not have any problem scoring, but, ultimately, they will not be able to put away  Burrow and the Bengals’ superpower offense. In the end, the Bengals will secure a 37-34 victory within the final two minutes of the game and bring a ring home to Cincinnati for the first time ever, ultimately beginning a dynasty.