This year’s game on Sunday should be good. The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams look even.
Both teams have excellent quarterbacks. The Bengals’ Joe Burrow was the second-highest rated passer in the National Football League (NFL) during the 2021 season. The Rams’ Matthew Stafford was rated No. 6. Stafford threw for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns. Burrow came close with 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Both Burrow and Stafford, however, throw interceptions. Stafford led the NFL in passing errors with 17, while Burrow was not far behind with 14. A key to Super Bowl LVI (56) may be which quarterback can prevent those turnovers.
Both teams have superstar receivers. The Rams’ Cooper Kupp caught an incredible 145 passes (second-most in NFL history) for 1,947 yards. But the Bengals have rookie sensation Ja’Marr Chase (who has a great last name for a wide receiver). Chase is a threat to go all the way every time he catches the ball. He had 13 touchdowns on 81 catches.
Teams also have reliable kickers. The Rams’ Matt Gay missed just two field goal attempts this season out of 34 attempts. The Bengals’ Evan McPherson missed five but was nine of 11 from 50-plus yards.
The Bengals and Rams offenses are so evenly matched that the teams scored the same number of points during the 2021 season: 460.
The defenses are also close. The Rams defense ranked 17th among the 32 NFL teams in yards allowed per game with 344.9. The Bengals ranked 18th with 350.8 yards.
The only category where I could find a big difference between the two teams is sacks (that’s when the quarterback is tackled for loss). The Bengals allowed opponents to sack Burrow a league-low 51 times. The Rams allowed teams to sack Stafford 30 times.
That can be a problem for the Bengals, because the Rams have Aaron Donald. The all-pro defensive tackle is a one-man wrecking crew that could make things very awkward for Burrow.
This year’s NFL playoffs have been super exciting. The final two minutes of the Buffalo-Kansas City matchup, in which the teams combined for 25 points, was the best ending to a football game I’ve ever seen.
Can Super Bowl LVI be another classic? The teams are certainly close.
I say the Rams win a close game: 27-24.
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Perspective | Based on the numbers, the Bengals and Rams seem like a perfect match.