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2022 NFL Super Bowl LVI Predictions
We have finally arrived at the final destination, and we are left with one more battle between the “Eye of the Tiger” Cincinnati Bengals and the “G.S.O.T.” (Greatest Show On Turf) L.A Rams.
With all jokes aside both these teams will need to put in work to earn the coveted Lombardi Trophy. But us fans should be proud, as we have traveled 18 weeks of regular football season and then another 3 weeks of playoff football and we are now in our final week of the NFL season– the 2022 Super Bowl LVI.
This is an epic tale of claiming victory, between the “star-studded” L.A Rams and the “underdog” Cincinnati Bengals led by the coolest man in the game Joey Burrow. Both teams have not won the chip in a few decades, so this is definitely an opportunity for them to break that downhill cycle and add some silverware to their cabinet.
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On Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will face off for the first time this season. The Bengals won the AFC crown with playoff wins over the Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs. The Rams triumphed over the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers to reach this year's big game. These are, albeit unlikely, well-matched teams with two of the best defenses in the league, and that will be very key in this game because the main battle will happen in the trenches of defense which will set the tone/rhythm for the offense. The Rams (15-5) held their opponents to just 54 yards rushing and 220.7 yards passing during the 2022 NFL playoffs. The defense played a huge part in knocking off the defending champs Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round, and are eyeing their first Super Bowl crown since ‘99.
The Bengals (13-7), who have limited three high-powered offenses to an average of 19.7 points and 371 total yards per game during the NFL playoffs 2022, will be gunning for their first-ever championship.
Bengals Super Bowl History
It took 33 years for the Bengals to return to the Super Bowl and now it finally feels like it's their due time to win the championship. Unfortunately for the Bengals, their Super Bowl history is not great. They are one of 12 teams that have never won the championship since they joined the NFL in 1970. It was during the ‘80s that the Bengals last went to Super Bowl, appearing in Super Bowl XVI in 1981 against the San Francisco 49ers.
The second time was in 1988, where they faced off once again with a Joe Montana-led San Francisco 49ers, and history repeated itself. Joe Burrow might be tired of the "underdog" narrative, but that may put a chip on his shoulder to ball out.
The Bengals will serve as the home team at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles against the Rams, who are the true owners of the stadium– but by the criteria of the NFL the champion of the AFC is the nominal host.
L.A Rams Super Bowl History
The Los Angeles Rams celebrated like Juvenile in 1999 when they won the franchise’s first Super Bowl title against the Tennessee Titans. Since that electrifying season, the Rams fell short in the big game both in 2001 and 2018. The LA Rams are heading to Super Bowl LVI this season and this is their second such occasion to compete for the Lombardi Trophy in the past five years. But to put this all in perspective, this will be just the fifth such time that the franchise has competed in the Super Bowl in the past 56 years.
Though the Rams recently played in Super Bowl LIII following the 2018 season, they have just four Super Bowl appearances in their history: 2018, 2001, 1999, 1979. The four appearances are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, and Indianapolis Colts for 11th on the NFL’s all-time list. In their four appearances, the Rams have posted a 1-3 record. The Rams, who were known as the St. Louis Rams from 1995 to 2015, made two Super Bowl appearances over the course of three years between 1999 and 2001, defeating the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV and then falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI in Tom Brady‘s first career Super Bowl appearance.
Why the Rams can cover
Los Angeles is giving up only 274.7 total yards per game in the postseason, an elite figure, and is leading the NFL in postseason rushing defense, allowing 54 yards per game on the ground. Los Angeles is set up well to limit Cincinnati's running game, giving up 4.0 yards per carry and 103.2 rushing yards per game during the regular season. Opponents are scoring on only 35.9 percent of possessions against the Rams, who allow only 5.2 yards per play.
The Rams are giving up a touchdown on only 51.8 percent of red zone trips, and could terrorize Cincinnati's passing game with pressure. The Rams are No. 3 in the NFL in sacks this season, while Cincinnati is No. 29 in the NFL in sacks allowed. The Bengals could have trouble protecting against Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and company.
Why the Bengals can cover
Cincinnati's defense earned well-deserved praise for a dynamic second-half showing against the Chiefs. The Bengals shut down Kansas City's offense in an urgent spot, and Cincinnati is allowing only 19.7 points per game during their playoff run. From there, Cincinnati is very impressive on offense, scoring more than 27 points per game and leading the NFL with 8.7 yards per pass attempt this season.
Joe Burrow captains a prolific passing attack, with the Bengals ranking in the top five in yards per play, passing plays of 20-plus yards and passing plays of 40-plus yards this season. Cincinnati uncorked only 14 interceptions and scored points on 42.6 percent of offensive possessions, an above-average figure.
I think this game ends in one of two ways, either the Rams win a close one in the fourth quarter or this turns into a replay of last year's Super Bowl where one team's quarterback gets so dominated by the other team's defense that it turns into a blowout.
SUPER BOWL LVI PICK: Rams 27-24 over Bengals.