In his very first year away from the terrible Detroit Lions, Quarterback Matthew Stafford is going to the Super Bowl.
Wow, that sentence felt REALLY weird to write.
Even weirder to write:
The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals (?!) are going to face off in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, February 13, 2022.
This game already defies all conventional logic.
First of all: there isn't a Brady, Mahomes, Rodgers, or Manning playing in it. (Which would account for the last 7 Super Bowls).
Second: Though this didn't happened in the first 52 Super Bowls, The Rams will continue the now-two-year streak of a team playing in the Big Game and also in their home stadium. (... Except they'll officially be "visitors," because of the alternating NFC/AFC schedule. That's still a little weird, right?)
And third: At the end of this game, either Matt Stafford or Joe Burrow (in only his 30th pro football start ever), will come out as a victor.
Sure, they were both #1 picks overall in their respective classes (cough 11 years apart) but we still bet you didn't foresee this whole thing coming, did you?
The Odds-Makers Sure Didn't
The Bengals had the fourth-worst odds to make the Big Game at the beginning of the season (+15000). That's the same as the New York Jets. Woof.
The only other teams to have worse odds: The aforementioned terrible Detroit Lions (+25000) and very terrible Houston Texas (+30000).
The Rams, on the other hand, were the fourth-most-likely pick to make the Big Game at +1200 odds, only behind the Chiefs (+450), Bucs (+750) and Bills (+1100). And if you change those to "odds of losing in a heartbreaker in the playoffs" well by gum you woulda had yourself quite the winning ticket.
Now onto the good stuff:
The Stats Breakdown
Provided by our buddies over at TeamRankings.com.
What you'll end up seeing as you comb through the stats of the regular season is a remarkably equally matched pair of teams here.
The Rams have a bit of an edge in most offense-based categories, while the Bengals have an edge in turnover margin and time of possession, which we hear is very important. Both teams are known for their running game (surprising to us considering on one side, ya know, is Joe Mixon).
Let's look at ten important metrics below.
Points Per Game:
Rams: 27.2 (#6 ranked)
Bengals: 26.6. (#8 ranked)
Average Scoring Margin:
Rams: +5.9 (#6)
Bengals: +4.9 (#8)
Points Per Play:
Rams: .431 (#5)
Bengals: .430 (#7)
Yards Per Game:
Rams: 376.2 yards (#7)
Bengals: 357.9 yards (#14)
First Downs Per Game:
Rams: 21.0 (#10)
Bengals: 19.7 (#18)
Rushing Yards Per Game:
Bengals: 100.3 (#23)
Rams: 98.3 (#25)
Passing Yards Per Game:
Rams: 277.9 (#5)
Bengals: 257.6 (#8)
Average Time of Possession:
Bengals: 30:48 (#10)
Rams: 29:55 (#20)
Turnover Margin Per Game:
Bengals: +.3 (#11)
Rams: +.1 (#14)
Penalties Per Game:
Rams: 4.4 (#2)
Bengals 4.5 (#3)
See? Pretty evenly matched. Which really pumps us up because the last thing we want is another Seattle-Denver game.
In the End It Might Just Come Down To Who Wants It More
The City of Cincinnati is hungrier than a jungle cat when it comes to the desire for this win (they have already cancelled school for the day after the big game).
This team has only been in this position twice in their franchise history but lost both games to the red-hot San Francisco 49ers in 1982 and 1989.
Even crazier? Only five players on the Bengals' roster were even alive the last time the team won a playoff game.
The Rams have had similar luck, but have at least been able to put a Lombardi trophy in their offices once. They've been to the big show 4 times, and won with "The Greatest Show on Turf" back in 1999 in a very memorable nail-biter against the Tennessee Titans.
Man are we pumped for this game!
(Oh, and if you're similarly excited and want to play something with your friends or family during the game: Super Bowl Squares are amazing and Super Bowl Prop Bets are great fun too!)
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