Super Bowl LVI between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams is now less than a week away. Both teams are getting in their last few days of preparation before the classic matchup.
Bengals Hope Third Time is a Charm
The Cincinnati Bengals are making their third trip to the Super Bowl and are hoping this time things turn out differently. But, unfortunately, they'll also be playing a road game as the Rams are the second NFC team in a row to play the big game at their home stadium.
The Bengals' recent success has been on the shoulders of QB Joe Burrow, who threw for 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in the regular season with a 108.3 QB rating. Burrow will need to remain versatile and get rid of the ball quickly as he will get a lot of pressure from the Rams' defensive line.
One of the key matchups in this game will be between the Bengals' Ja'Maar Chase and the Rams' Jalen Ramsey. The Chiefs had success against Chase for much of the game in last week's AFC Championship game, holding him to just six receptions for 54 yards.
However, they couldn't stop him from making an impact on the game's outcome as he scored a game-tying touchdown in the third quarter. Tee Higgins must also be contained by the Rams if they hope to win this game, as he had six receptions for 103 yards against the Chiefs.
Rams Defense Must Dominate
The Los Angeles Rams must continue their dominance on the defensive side of the ball if they have any hope of winning this game. The team was third in the NFL with 50 sacks on the season and is looking to get a few more against Joe Burrow, who was sacked more than any QB in the league this season.
The Bengals' defense will have their own problems dealing with the league's leading receiver, Cooper Kupp. He had 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 17 touchdowns, all ranking number one in the league. He has also had 140+ receiving yards in back-to-back games this postseason. WR Odell Beckham Jr. also had over 100 yards receiving in their last victory against the Niners in the NFC Championship.
The Rams must also better protect QB Matthew Stafford, who was pressured all day and was hit nine times in the last game, throwing two interceptions. However, he did finish with over 330 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Stafford is the key to this game. Cincinnati already knows the general rule around the NFL of not blitzing against this quarterback. When he plays well, the Rams win as they are 11-0 this season when he has a QB rating over 100.
In the early odds for the Super Bowl, the Rams are 4.5-point favorites as the Bengals are once again the underdog, with +170 odds on the moneyline to beat the Rams at their home stadium.
The over/under is currently 48.5 for Sunday's big game.