Super Bowl LVI: An Analysis of the Big Game


As Super Bowl LVI (56) approaches, many questions loom about the big game. Many people want to know what to expect from individual players and the teams that will play for a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

Let’s Start with the Rams:

According to CBS Sports, the Rams, as of 2-7-22, are 4.5-point favorites. The Rams are in a good position going into the game, they are playing at their home field, and have leaps and bounds more experience than the Bengals. They have essentially made a super-team of veterans, signing the likes of elite wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and linebacker Von Miller just this year alone. They were able to add quarterback Matthew Stafford last off-season. They have a high-powered offense highlighted by wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who burst onto the scene this season, having a record-breaking year. They also have an incredible defense, highlighted by the best defensive tackle in the league, Aaron Donald, and featuring all-pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. It is easy to see why the Rams are favorites going into the game.

Now onto the Bengals:

While they are the under-dogs going in, they have the ability to use the under-dog mentality in their favor. They are led by quarterback Joe Burrow, aka Joe Sheisty, aka Joe Brrr, aka Joey Franchise, aka Joe Burreaux. They feature a high-powered offense, with star running back Joe Mixon and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Their defense is not as star-filled, but has been highly effective throughout the season and the playoffs, managing to silence the likes of Derrick Henry and Patrick Mahomes. It features players like defensive end Sam Hubbard and cornerback Eli Apple. The Bengals were under-dogs in the AFC Championship Game, yet managed to travel into Arrowhead Stadium and beat the Chiefs on their own turf, being able to do that again to the Rams is not far-fetched.

Now let’s take a look at a few key players that should help out the Rams:

Matthew Stafford (QB)

Stafford has been an immediate impact on the Rams. He is already taking them to a super bowl in only his first season with the team after being traded from the Lions. This year, Stafford has led the Rams to a 12-5 record, has thrown for 4,886 yards with a completion percentage of 67.2%. He has also thrown for an impressive 41 touchdowns, but has thrown 17 interceptions as well. He has been an elite player for most of his career, which has arguably been wasted for the most part with the Detroit Lions. He seems to be adjusting to playing on a bigger stage perfectly fine though, and he should have no problem getting the job done in the super bowl if all goes well.

Cooper Kupp (WR)

Kupp has been a solid player for most of his career, and has always been a key feature in the Rams offense. However, this year Kupp absolutely burst onto the scene and had a record-setting year. He led the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns this season. He is the fourth player in NFL history to win the “triple crown” in receiving. He caught 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. He fell just short of breaking the NFL record for receiving yards in a season, but did however break the record for most 100-yard games in a season, which was previously held by hall-of-famer Michael Irvin. Kupp has also performed well in the playoffs, with 9 receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers in the NFC divisional round, and 11 receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. Kupp will undoubtedly be a key part in the game plan for the Rams, as well as in defensive preparation for the Bengals, and can be an absolutely lethal weapon if left unchecked.

Aaron Donald (DT)

Aaron Donald has been an absolute beast through his entire career, and this season has been no different. He is arguably the best player in the NFL behind Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, and has been able to lead the Rams defense to their second super bowl appearance in 4 seasons. Donald put up impressive numbers as per usual this season, with 12.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, and 25 QB hits. He will pose an especially large threat for the Bengals in the super bowl, as they are known for having a weak offensive line, and breaking through offensive lines, even the top ones in the league, is his specialty. Joe Burrow will without a doubt need to be ready to get the ball out of his hands quickly so that he won’t need to face an Aaron Donald sack. If the Rams are able to win the super bowl, it is almost certain that Aaron Donald putting pressure on Burrow will be a key reason as to why.

Let’s check out some key players for the Bengals:

Joe Burrow (QB)

Burrow is incredibly talented, he was the number one draft pick in 2020, and won both the Heisman trophy and the National Championship in his final year of college. He has led the Bengals to a 10-7 record this season, and has broken the franchise record for passing yards in a season this year, with 4,611, and a completion percentage of 70.4%. He has also thrown for 34 touchdowns, but has 14 interceptions as well. Burrow is young and is only on his second year in the NFL, but has shown extreme calm and poise under pressure. If he is able to win on Sunday, he will have already laid down a solid legacy in the NFL, and will still have his entire career ahead of him.

Ja’Marr Chase (WR)

After a shaky preseason, Ja’Marr Chase absolutely balled out for his rookie campaign, and has been named offensive rookie of the year. He has been an integral part of the Bengals high-powered offense, and has emerged as their top pass-catcher after just one season as a pro. Chase and Burrow have a special connection, as they played in college together at LSU, winning the national championship in 2019, the same year Burrow won the Heisman. This season, Chase has 81 catches for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns, remarkable numbers for a rookie. His most impressive performance came in Week 17 against the Chiefs, when Chase hauled in 11 catches for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns. Chase will be a key fixture in the Bengals’ game plan for the Super Bowl, and watching him match up against the Rams star corner Jalen Ramsey will be fun to watch.

Joe Mixon (RB)

Mixon, like many players that will be playing Sunday, has had a solid career thus far, but has really come onto the scene this year. For 2021, Mixon has 292 rushing attempts for 1,205 yards (his third over-a-thousand yard season) and 13 touchdowns. Arguably his most clutch play this season was in the AFC Divisional Round against the Titans, when he was able to cut around the Tennessee defenders and walk in for a 16-yard touchdown. With the Rams having an effective cornerback core, the Bengals will need to turn to Mixon with the run a lot. It will be interesting to see if he will be able to break free for any deep runs or if the Rams front seven with the likes of Aaron Donald and Von Miller will be able to bottle him up.



Super Bowl LVI will for sure be a fun watch on Sunday. Both teams have a incredible story, with the Rams bringing together a team of superstar veterans and being led by a quarterback who is finally able to use his high skill level on an effective team, and the Bengals coming in as underdogs with a quarterback who is not only relatively new to the league, but is an underdog himself in going from being barely recruited out of high school to being on the verge of a super bowl win. Who will hoist the Lombardi Trophy after the clock hits zero on Sunday is now entirely up to the players and coaches on the two teams.

As far as predictions go, I’m going Rams 31-27.