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Bengals and Rams prepare for Superbowl LVI

It’s that time of year. The Super Bowl is upon us and I’ve never been more excited for it. Although my Packers unfortunately lost in heart-breaking fashion during the Divisional round, I can put aside that pain and look towards this year’s Super Bowl.

For me just looking at this year’s playoffs I can honestly say they were the most competitive games I have seen in a few years. The two top seeded teams, the Titans and Packers, lost in the Divisional round, multiple game-winning field goals, and a game decided by a coin toss (Bills vs Chiefs). Because of these results on playoff weekend, I think this Super Bowl matchup of the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams, while slightly unexpected, will be thrilling. 

The Bengals had such an impressive run in the playoffs, knocking off the No. 1 seed in the Tennessee Titans and then going on the road again to beat the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. This team is the epitome of calm and collected, ignoring those that call them underdogs and trying to prove them wrong. I’ve never seen a young quarterback be so unfazeable and Burrows is just what Cincinnati needed in a franchise quarterback.

Before the playoffs the Bengals hadn’t won a playoff game in three decades and had five straight losing seasons before this year.  They knew when they should heat up and really hit their stride, which many teams strive for come playoff time.This team doesn’t feel like a fluke and whether or not they win next Sunday, I think Bengals fans should have a lot of optimism in future years. The ceiling and possibilities are limitless as long as the Bengals have Burrows and Ja’Marr Chase on their team.

As someone who has seen Matthew Stafford play in Detroit for 13 years, I feel like he deserves all of the success he has gotten in L.A. He’s suffered years of ineptitude in head-coaching (i.e. Matt Patricia), ownership and with the lack of talent around him. I’m happy that he has an opportunity to show people that he’s a genuinely good football player. I thought people were underestimating him because he played in Detroit. This Rams team on paper looks elite. They have one of the best defenses with Aaron Donald eating up offensive lines and Jalen Ramsey patrolling the secondary, but they have a high-powered offense with Stafford and Cooper Kupp creating an explosive duo. Not only that but the Rams have picked up some big name free agents during the season, most notably Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. who is showing maybe it is Baker’s fault for Cleveland’s lack of success.

Cincinnati DC Lou Anarumo surprised me when he showed off his football IQ. THe Bengals defense was able to befuddle Andy Reid and the Chiefs by not rushing Mahomes and prioritizing the pass defense. If they are able to figure out how to stop Sean Mcvay and force Stafford into making mistakes, the Rams can lose. But between these two teams it seems like the Rams have less weaknesses and their defensive line is crazy good. They have a good chance to dominate the Bengals O-line, which allowed nine sacks against the Titans.

Overall, this matchup is going to be a difference of which team can create mistakes and which team can capitalize on it. Games like this are won and lost on the smallest of margins so every detail is critical. 

Super Bowl LVI will take place on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. Central.

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