Super Bowl Sunday: Where LA Rams v Cincinnati Bengals will be won and lost

It's Super Bowl Sunday and tonight, the LA Rams and Cincinnati Bengals face off as the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference champions, respectively.

Helmets of the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals sit in front of the Lombardi Trophy.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Helmets of the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals sit in front of the Lombardi Trophy. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Los Angeles, hosts the event, the $5billion stadium is the jewel of the NFL crown and the centrepiece of the league's new push to conquer the notoriously tough LA market, as well as home to the LA Rams.

The LA Rams have been peddling an "all in" mentality since they acquired experience quarterback Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions a year ago. On top of that, they added former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and Superstar Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr in mid-season acquisitions.

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The Rams strategy led General Manager Les Snead to regularly trade away high draft picks, believing that a proven player is better value than a potential player and a second Super Bowl appearance in four years shows it's working.

Joe Burrow's form at quarterback has been a key feature of Cincinnati Bengals success. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Rams were predicted to be in the playoffs, even coming through one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.

The Cincinnati Bengals were not after just four wins last season.

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Cincinnati to have picked the Bengals at the start of the season, and yet here they are.


Matthew Stafford is the record-setting quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Bengals have second-year quarterback Joe Burrow to thank for being here, a year removed from a dual ACL/MCL tear. Burrow's recovery has been key to the Bengals season as he passed for 4600 yards and 34 touchdowns.

The Bengals deserved their place and proved that by beating the number 1 seeded Tennessee Titans and then the Kansas City Chiefs on their way to the Super Bowl, both times as underdogs away from home.

Both teams have quarterbacks drafted first overall. Both have strong arms and are willing to stand in the pocket and take a hit to get the right pass and both are also appearing in their first Super Bowl.

But the difference in experience is vast. The Bengals drafted Joe Burrow two years ago and since being paired with college teammate and pass catcher Ja'Marr Chase, he has moved up a level, helping Chase to a record-breaking first season.

The SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California will host Superbowl LVI. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Hollywood Park Management Company)

Matthew Stafford is in his 13th season in the NFL, although this is his first in LA. Stafford after 12 seasons as the darling of the Detroit Lions before his trade in the offseason.

Stafford is the fastest quarterback to reach 20, 30, 40 and 50 thousand yards. His first season in LA has also been record-breaking as he has thrown passes to Cooper Kupp, who had the most receptions and receiving touchdowns in a single season, and the second-most receiving yards ever.


Both teams have more than one receiving threat too. The Bengals have Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, who have both had outstanding seasons, while Joe Mixon at running back also managed 1200 yards rushing this season.

While on the Rams offense, since his acquisition mid-season Odell Beckham Jr has proven to be a threat on the other side of the field. Beckham Jr has come into his own since the playoffs started, and as teams focused on Kupp, he's found himself open, especially in the redzone - the last 20 yards of the field.

But while the offense showed they have lots of weapons, there is another side to consider, the defense.


When one team's offense are on the field, they face off against the other defense, and this is where this game will be won or lost.

The Rams have a fierce pass rush, and they face off against an offensive line that has allowed Joe Burrow to be sacked -tackled for a loss while trying to pass - 51 times. If the offensive line doesn't get their blocking assignments right, it could be a feast for superstars Aaron Donald, Von Miller and the rest of the pass rushers.

If the Rams apply pressure and rush Joe Burrow, it could also set up the Rams defensive backs. The Rams have the third-most interceptions in the league and the defense led by Eric Weddle, fresh out of a two-year retirement and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Of course, the Bengals have their own defensive star pass rusher in Trey Hendrickson, who finished the season with 14 sacks.

Both teams have given up a similar amount of yards as an overall defence, but the real difference is in the touchdowns allowed. The Bengals have allowed 26 compared to the Rams 17.

Head coaches

The final match up to consider is the head coaches. Sean McVay is the youngest head coach in the league, despite being the head coach in LA for five years already. In McVay's first year, he brought a new coach with him to the team, the now Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor.

Two years after his start in LA, Taylor took over the Bengals and has overseen a turnaround in the team's fortunes in his three years.

These two coaches know each other well and are close friends, so a match-up of their shared football philosophy should be an entertaining 60 minute game of chess.

Of course, no Super Bowl is complete without a much-famed half-time show, which this year is to be hosted by Rap icon and producer extraordinaire Dr Dre. As with most shows, he won't be alone and will be accompanied by Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamar.

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