Super Bowl LVI Prediction
By Christopher G. Hetu
Super Bowl LVI
(4) Los Angeles Rams (12-5) vs. (6) Cincinnati Bengals (10-7)
Location: So-Fi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Kickoff: 2/13 6:30PM EST
Spread: -4.0 Rams
C/O to sportingnews.com
The Time Has Come
At long last, the final showdown, the king of all kings is about to be crowned this Sunday. Super Bowl LVI is nearly here and the stage is officially set between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams. Both crowned conference title champions, both winning in thrilling and swift performances and both ready to be enshrined in NFL History. But only one will come out on top of it all, so let's dive into both teams performances this postseason and decide who will be taking the Lombardi Trophy in this year's Super Bowl!
Cincinnati Bengals (AFC Conference Champions)
C/O to Rob Carr/Getty Images
It's been nothing short of a stellar postseason for the most favored team in the NFL right now. If you had to pick between the two, the Cincinnati Bengals are the fan favorite to win it all and it's not a bold statement to make. This team truly belongs on this stage, this all started with hosting the Las Vegas Raiders on Wildcard weekend.
AFC Wildcard Round
C/O to en.as.com
The Raiders put up a big fight, but the Bengals had this game in the bag from the start. Joe Burrow looked like the field general he was born to be, throwing a dot in the back of the end zone to Tyler Boyd as he just barely stayed in bounds to get the pass off. This truly was the first sign of this teams ultimate destiny to travel the distance in the playoffs. Although the run game wasn't very effective, but it didn't need to be. Burrow threw for over 200 passing yards and Ja'Marr Chase had himself a nine catch day for over 100 yards. The defense forced Derek Carr to turn over the ball twice, once on a fumble and once on an interception. They looked so confident throughout these four quarters and when it came time to head on the road, that's where a true test came.
AFC Divisional Round
C/O to Getty Images
The Titans really put Joe Burrow and the Bengals to the test on divisional round weekend. The number one seed in the AFC came ready to play but could never truly pull away from the Bengals entirely. Even despite Joe Burrow getting sacked nine times in the effort, he still managed to throw for over 300 yards once again. Constantly setting up Evan McPherson in good range to kick the three and then rely on the defense to make big stops.
They did just that, matching the nine sacks with one sack of their ownh plus three interceptions off Ryan Tannehill. And although the Bengals let up over 100 yards rushing, they held Derrick Henry under 70 yards and the longest run allowed off him was for 9 yards. The key to this one was the battle of adversity, and despite being stopped plenty of times, the Bengals stayed persistent and setup Evan McPherson to hit the game winning field goal and send them off to the AFC Title game.
C/O to pantherswire.usatoday.com
Out of all the tests in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs have proven to be the tallest task for any team to face for the last four seasons. The Bengals however, defeated this team back in Week 17 in Cincinnati with a final score of 34-31. However, being in Arrowhead proved to be a different story, the Chiefs dominated the first half going into halftime up 21-10. But on the last play before halftime, they decided to test this Bengals defense, trying to score a touchdown with just seconds left instead of kicking the field goal. The Bengals stood them up and momentum completely shifted in their favor come second half.
The Bengals run game came alive as Joe Mixon rushed for 88 yards and even Burrow ran for 25 yards while facing pocket pressure. Tee Higgins was the true MVP in the Bengals receiving game as he caught 6 passes for 108 yards, he came up big on several of the Bengals drives. The defense took the ball away from Mahomes twice in the effort and Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson combined for 3.5 sacks of the four times Mahomes was brought down. One of those interceptions came in overtime which set the Bengals up to drive down the field and once again called upon Evan McPherson. He delivered once again and here we are in present day, the Bengals are headed to Super Bowl LVI!
Los Angeles Rams (NFC Conference Champions)
C/O to Tommy Gilligan - USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Rams, back when the season first started were run away favorites for the Super Bowl with the trade for Matthew Stafford that sent Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions. This team came out looking like that favorite but suffered three tough losses in a row to the Titans, 49ers, and Packers. People began to step back and scratch their heads wondering if this team still had what it took. The Rams put all thoughts aside and went into Wild Card Weekend with quite a show.
NFC Wildcard Round
C/O to Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times
Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals came into So-Fi Stadium battered, Murray had an injury midseason and DeAndre Hopkins was hurt for most of the second half of the season. The Rams took full advantage of this matchup against their division rivals, although the defense only sacked Murray twice they managed to pick him off twice and take one of those interceptions back for six!
The run game had a steady showing from Sony Michel and Cam Akers each combining for over 100 yards. Stafford threw for 202 yards and threw two touchdowns, one to Cooper Kupp and the other to Odell Beckham Jr. while rushing for one on the ground. The Rams walked out looking like the super bowl caliber team people were talking about, crushing the Cardinals 34-11 and headed to Tampa Bay to face the all time great, Tom Brady.