The suspense-filled and entertaining 2022 NFL Playoffs will see its finale take place on Sunday, February 13 when the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI. 

The Rams advanced after narrowly defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship, 20-17, coming back from a 10-point deficit. The Bengals did one better by coming back from a 21-3 deficit to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime.

Both teams seemed unlikely to make it, although the Rams less so with their team featuring a lot of talent. However, trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford and Von Miller while signing Odell Beckham has paid off for this team. 

After going last season at 4-11-1, not many who were sports betting in New Jersey would have thought the Bengals would make the Super Bowl, let alone the playoffs. Led by Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase, Cincy is now on the map. 

Both teams were fourth seeds entering the postseason, so it definitely makes this Super Bowl matchup even more interesting. The Bengals have not been in the Super Bowl since the 1980s, and they are still seeking their first-ever championship victory. 

Meanwhile, the Rams have never won a Super Bowl while being in Los Angeles, though they appeared a few years with a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots. Sean McVay is seeking to avenge that loss, this time with a new QB at the helm with Stafford instead of Jared Goff. 

The Rams are currently the favorites for this matchup, and it will likely stay that way on game day. Looking at the roster, history, and experience, many would pick the Rams to defeat the Bengals. However, the statistical breakdown makes it a bit closer than it may seem. 

QB Comparison

M. Stafford (LAR): 4,886 yards, 41 TDs, 17 INTs, 67.2% Comp.

J. Burrow (CIN): 4,611 yards, 34 TDs, 14 INTs, 70.4% Comp. 

Yards (Offense)

Rams: 372.1 yards per game (9th)

Bengals: 365.1 yards per game (15th)

Scoring (Offense)

Rams: 27.1 points per game (8th)

Bengals: 27.1 points per game (7th)

Yards Allowed (Defense)

Rams: 344.9 yards per game (17th)

Bengals: 350.8 yards per game (18th)

Points Allowed (Defense)

Rams: 21.9 points per game (15th)

Bengals: 22.1 points per game (17th)

The Rams may have Donald, Miller, Jalen Ramsey, and other stars on defense, but the Bengals do as well with Trey Hendrickson and Jessie Bates. The Rams may have a slightly better offense based on the numbers, but it could be closer than you think.

While Los Angeles has Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Beckham, Tyler Higbee, and Cam Akers on offense, the Bengals are not shabby either. 

There's obviously Burrow and Chase, but you can't forget Joe Mixon at running back. Tee Higgins is a great secondary weapon and is coming off a 1,091-yard receiving season. Tyler Boyd is also another great weapon for Burrow. 

The Rams also have an interesting advantage in this game, as they get to play in SoFi Stadium. Though they have to be considered a "road" team based on NFL rules, it could still be that way. I would not be surprised, since 49ers fans took over SoFi in the NFC Championship. 

McVay is seeking to become the youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl. At 36 years old, he could break the record held by Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin, who won at 37. 

Bengals coach Zac Taylor and McVay combine for the youngest coach duo in the Super Bowl as well. Taylor, who many thought should be fired for a while, is now in the Super Bowl, looking to help completely change around the Bengals franchise. 

The Bengals had not won a playoff game in over 30 years until this playoff run. It is a special story if they can win it. 

It would be monumental for the young career of Burrow, who is seeking the first QB triple crown of winning the Heisman, National Championship, and Super Bowl. He would be able to complete this in just a few short years as well. 

The Bengals were led by Burrow and Chase, both products of LSU who helped win the title game a few years ago. 

Odell Beckham, also an LSU grad, is looking to reframe his narrative after being blamed for the Cleveland Browns' struggles and chemistry with Baker Mayfield. Since joining LA, he's shown many signs of the old OBJ on the New York Giants. 

Stafford also has a redemption story after being criticized for the lack of winning with the Detroit Lions, although he put the team on his back all those years. Now his skills are being recognized with a team that is more complete, better coached, and more talented. 

Ramsey joined the Rams after leaving the Jaguars a while ago. Ramsey was a pivotal part of Jacksonville's run to the AFC Championship several years ago. Now he has a chance to get his first ring and be considered the top cornerback in the league. 

Von Miller is coming off several tough years with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have not been the same since their last Super Bowl win, where Von won MVP, and after legendary quarterback Peyton Manning retired. They have been inconsistent at QB since then. 

Miller is now on a star-studded Rams defense led by Donald. With Miller and Donald on the defensive line, that could be trouble for Burrow. While he was barely sacked against the Chiefs, he endured nine against the Titans and a ton overall this season. 

However, Cincy has shown that they can battle that with victories in the playoffs, such as defeating No. 1 seed Tennessee despite Burrow getting sacked nine times. It helps that they also have a respectable defense. 

They have seen high-powered offenses like the Rams before, such as stopping the Chiefs twice this season. The Bengals also have enough weapons if they shut out certain players like Chase. 

However, you can say the same about LA. Though teams will try to stop Kupp, he is hard to contain based on his performances this postseason. 

I feel like these teams may be more evenly matched or closely matched up than people think. In a battle of two No. 1 overall pick quarterbacks, young coaches, star offenses, and statistically similar defenses, I see this being a competitive and entertaining game. 

It definitely should not be the dud that was a few years ago with the Rams against the Patriots. This game will be higher scoring, but I would be surprised if it's a shootout like the Philadelphia Eagles victory over the Patriots. 

Right now, my heart says the Bengals but my head says the Rams. You could argue the Rams had tougher teams to face on their road to the Super Bowl. They did defeat the defending champions and were the last team Tom Brady faced before retirement. 

However, Cincy did beat Kansas City, who have been championship contenders for the past four years, Super Bowl favorites, and also have the best quarterback/player in the league in Patrick Mahomes. They defeated them

I think the Bengals can definitely handle the Rams, but it won't be easy. I think Miller and Donald will have several chances to sack Burrow in this game. 

I would not be surprised if the Bengals look like how they did at the beginning of the AFC Championship down 21-3. They've shown they can get out of that, but they do not want to get into that hole again either.  

The Rams have also shown they can blow those types of leads as well, blowing a 27-3 one to the Buccaneers. They almost practically beat themselves, and McVay sometimes does that by outsmarting himself as well. 

I can't really see the Bengals blowing out the Rams, but I can definitely see the Rams winning in a blowout. 

The Bengals are definitely prone to falling into that hole they were in against Kansas City, and I fear it could happen in this game if the Rams defense and offense are really clicking. But Cincy has so far shown that you cannot bet against them. 

With that, I need to go with my gut instinct right now and pick the Bengals to win, 31-27. I definitely would not be surprised if I am wrong though. 

This game is a real tough one to pick for me. Let me know who you got winning. 


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