Super Bowl LVI: Rams and Bengals Ready For Battle


Peyton Markel, Staff Writer

Football has invaded American culture. There is no fighting this fact. It is a facet of American culture that it has spawned rivalries, friendships, and legends of its own. With Super Bowl LVI this weekend, two teams are coming together for a clash that seems set to put on a show: the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals go to clash in Inglewood, California, the home of SoFi Stadium. 

The NFC champion Rams (15-5) are seeking their second championship in franchise history and first since 2000. Their last appearance came three years ago and resulted in a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots. It’s been an even longer drought for the AFC champion Bengals (13-7), who are still in search of their first Super Bowl victory, having not been to a Super Bowl since 1989.  

With it being the Bengals first Super Bowl appearance in three decades, what has turned them around into a contender? According to EHS teacher Mr. Ryan Wixon, it’s Bengals Quarterback Joe Burrow. “He’s just amazing!” says Wixon. “It’s his second year in the league, he’s a Top-4 Quarterback in the league, and he’s managed to turn that franchise into a real contender.” And, it’s true! Joe Burrow is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, with 7,299 passing yards in his relatively short career. Beyond just Joe, though, their defense is excellent; they can run the ball and have a great coaching staff, as well. It’s these factors which have gotten them this far. Unfortunately, they do have one major weakness. Their offensive line lacks coordination, and while Joe Burrow is great at making plays while the defenders crash upon him, he could be even greater if there wasn’t as much pressure. 

Because it’s been so long since the Bengals have been to the Super Bowl, they are considered the underdog this year, and many people around the nation have actually rallied behind them because of this. The Bengals are not a traditionally popular team, such as the Patriots or the Bears used to be, but with this opportunity this year, they might gain some new fans across the country if they play right! 

The Bengals are sure to be a fighter on the field, but it’s impossible to discount their formidable opponents, the Rams, either. Matthew Stafford, their Quarterback, has played for both the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams–and has always been an amazing Quarterback, as well,  currently enjoying a record year. Now that he has the support of other great players–such as Odell Beckham Jr., Von Miller, and others–this is looking like a real contender for this Super Bowl, as well. Perhaps the greatest singular advantage on paper for the 2022 Super Bowl is the Rams’ pass rush against a fragile offensive line that has been a major liability for Cincinnati. The Bengals allowed an NFL-high 51 sacks in the regular season, and the shaky protection for quarterback Joe Burrow has remained an issue throughout the 2022 NFL playoffs.

Overall, this should be a close game down to the end. The predicted four-point spread is also big enough that there’s some backdoor cover potential if the Rams are up by 11 points or fewer with under five minutes to go. Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense should score enough points to keep Cincinnati from getting blown out.

For the first time in Super Bowl history, fans see two No. 4 seeds square off for the Lombardi Trophy. Who will win? Who will lose? Only one thing is certain: This will be a game to keep an eye on.