Super Bowl LVI: 3 reasons why the Bengals will upset the Rams
Following a pair of thrilling conference championship games, the stage is set for Super Bowl LVI.
The Cincinnati Bengals shocked the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium thanks to a dominant second half, while the Los Angeles Rams came up clutch in the fourth quarter on both sides of the ball against the San Francisco 49ers, ending a six-game losing streak against that opponent.
THE PRESSURE! THE PICK!— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 31, 2022
📺 @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/dqUUexZEIn
For the third straight game, the Bengals have opened up as an underdog. Anyone willing to take Cincinnati against the spread will get four points for their trouble.
But the Bengals have thrived in the underdog role so far in these playoffs; here are three reasons why they can win Super Bowl LVI.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Sun, February 13 2022, 11:30 PM
1. Joe Burrow is "Joe Cool"
The Rams have the better offense line, but Joe Burrow may win the quarterback battle over Matt Stafford anyway.
Burrow survived a nine-sack game against the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago, throwing for 348 yards. He then went into a hostile environment against the Chiefs on Sunday and produced 250 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Joe Burrow's Bengals make it to the Super Bowl in his second season 💨 pic.twitter.com/NlVQ9lmXqB— ESPN (@espn) January 30, 2022
The LSU product now has 15 touchdowns and only two interceptions over his last seven games. He’s also averaged 331.1 yards per tilt in that span.
It takes a special talent to stand and deliver with Aaron Donald breathing down your neck, but Burrow should be up to the task.
2. The Bengals Have a deep group of wide receivers
Cincinnati’s strong group of wide receivers begins with Ja’Marr Chase, the sensational rookie who was fourth in receiving yards during the regular season (1,455), and set a rookie record with 266 receiving yards in Week 17 against the Chiefs.
Chase went for over 100 yards in each of his first two playoff games before Kansas City adjusted and held him to 54 yards (and a touchdown) in the AFC Championship Game.
#Bengals Ja'Marr Chase says Les Miles told him he couldn't play receiver when he was coming out of high school.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 26, 2022
But when Chase was kept in check, Tee Higgins was able to bail Burrow out. Higgins had 103 receiving yards on Sunday, marking the fifth game in his last nine outings he reached the century mark. The Clemson product also had 96 receiving yards in the Divisional Round against the Titans.
The Bengals have not needed Tyler Boyd to have a big game thus far this postseason, but it feels as though he’s ready to break out. He had a strong final five regular season games, amassing 357 yards and three touchdowns on 21 catches.
3. Cincinnati has a stingy rush defense
The Bengals have a good chance of frustrating L.A. on the ground and making their offense one-dimensional in Super Bowl LVI.
Cincinnati was fifth in the regular season is rushing yards allowed per game at 102.5. Sony Michel’s touches have evaporated in favor of Cam Akers, whose 2.8 yards per attempt figure through three postseason games for the Rams does not inspire confidence.