After one of the best postseasons in NFL history, with amazing comebacks and shock victories galore, the stage is now set for Super Bowl LVI with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams set to go head-to-head at the SoFi Stadium in LA — meaning that one of the finalists will have home-field advantage in the final game for the second season in a row after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy on home soil at the Raymond James Stadium last February.
Of course, the stadium’s 70,240 seats will be generously split between the two franchise’s fanbases, but the Rams will still feel the benefits of playing in similar surroundings as they are being heavily tipped to win the final matchup for the first time since 1999 in the Super Bowl winner odds. The Bengals have exceeded all expectations to book their place in LA, but the Rams look set to put an end to their fairy-tale run.
So, without further ado, here are three reasons we believe the Rams will win Super Bowl LVI on February 13th. Read on to find out more!
Few would have expected Matthew Stafford’s first year in LA to be this successful. Arriving in the offseason from the Detroit Lions, who he reached the playoffs with on three occasions during his 11-year stint at Ford Field, but never won a postseason game, questions were asked of his nerve in the big games. But he has so far proved all his doubters wrong, especially with his performances in the playoffs.
The 33-year-old has thrown two touchdown passes in each of the Rams’ victories over the Arizona Cardinals, the Bucs and the San Francisco 49ers, while averaging around 302 passing yards a game and a completion rate of 73%. The Bengals’ defensive coordinator will be working out a way to stop the quarterback being so effective.
In-form wide receivers
Unfortunately for the Cincinnati defensive coaching staff, dealing with Stafford won’t be their only problem. The Rams’ offensive line have been in fine form throughout the postseason, especially their receivers. Cooper Kupp became the first wideout to break the 2,000 receiving-yard barrier during the postseason having just missed out on the record in the regular season. The 28-year-old had five receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals, nine receptions for 183 yards and a TD against the Bucs, but his most impressive performance was against the 49ers. The WR made 11 catches for 142yds and scored both of the Rams’ touchdowns.
The problem for the Bengals is that they can’t put two men on him because Odell Beckham Jr. is also in fine fettle. The 29-year-old, who joined the Rams as a free agent in November, scored his first playoff touchdown against the Cardinals on Wild Card Weekend and made nine catches for 113yds against the 49ers. So, he can’t be left exposed either. While the Cincinnati defence proved it can adjust after being run ragged by the Chiefs, who scored on all of their first three drives, they are certainly going to have their work cut out again.
The Rams have the advantage defensively as well
We’ve talked a lot about the Rams’ offence, but on the flip side of the line of scrimmage, the LA franchise are also stronger defensively. The Rams ranked first in pass rushing win rate during the regular season, which will be worrying for the Bengals’ offensive line as they had one of the worst pass block win rates during the newly-extended campaign. Burrow has proven he can perform under pressure, boasting a better-than-expected pass completion rate when in difficult situations, but he was sacked a huge nine times against the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round and the likes of Von Miller and Aaron Donald will be hoping, and are more than capable, of racking up similar figures and taming the Bengals offence.