Superbowl LVI prediction


Courtesy of ESPN

Courtesy of ESPN The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will face off in a match-up of old versus new in Super Bowl LVI. The Rams aim to secure a second Super Bowl title since their win in 2000, while the Bengals set their sights on a first-ever Super Bowl trophy, cutting down the number of teams that failed to accumulate the title from 12 to 11. Both teams boast powerful rosters offensively and defensively, indicating a close championship. The game will commence on February 13, 2021.

Elijah Pacis, Sports Editor

Following the confirmation of the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals as the competitors in the 56th NFL Super Bowl, football fans nationwide scrutinize both teams searching for the most likely victor. The Rams will return to the Super Bowl after 22 years, following their last bout in the championship in 2000. On the other hand, the Bengals will finally reappear as a Super Bowl contender since 1989. The Rams enter the field with time-tested players and a Super Bowl win under the franchise’s belt. The Bengals failed to achieve similar success after attending and losing both their past Super Bowls, but the team’s current momentum with its young lineup bodes well for their chances at a trophy. 

“After seeing Joe Burrow’s performance this season, I kind of expected that the Bengals would make it. I don’t follow the Rams like that, but they have a good team this year. They traded for Matthew Stafford recently, and he’s really good,” junior Gabriel Adams said.

 The Rams, led by former UGA Quarterback, Matthew Stafford, finished at the top of the NFC West bracket and snagged a spot in the Super Bowl by defeating the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams last participated in Super Bowl XXXIV, where they defeated the Tennessee Titans. The Rams enter Super Bowl LVI with an experienced lineup in Stafford, Odell Beckham Jr. (WR), Von Miller (LB), and Jalen Ramsey (CB), the result of trading away draft picks for decorated veterans.

Led by young yet talented Quarterback, Joe Burrow, the Bengals finished at the top of the AFC North bracket, stealing their tickets to the Super Bowl from the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals lost to the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII last time they arrived at the championship and will return guns blazing after 32 years. The Bengals acquired considerable draft picks in Burrow, Joe Mixon(RB), Ja’Marr Chase(WR), and Tee Higgins(WR), aiming to acquire a Super Bowl win with a youthful, talented lineup. 

Stafford led the Rams by completing 67.2% of his passes for a total of 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns during the season. Burrow headed the Bengals with a 70.4% pass completion for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns. Fans appreciate Stafford’s contributions to the sport but look at Burrow for his potential to break a previously unheld record.

“I had the Packers vs the Chiefs at first, but then once the Packers lost, I had the Bengals and Rams for the Super Bowl. I think the Rams are the better team, but I think the Bengals are going to win it. The Bengals QB, Joe Burrow, will become the first guy to win a Heisman, national championship, and a Super Bowl,” senior Grayson Ezzell said.

Burrow’s inexperience in the NFL lowers expectations for outshining the Rams quarterback. The fledgling Quarterback must learn to quickly find gaps in the Rams’ armor through the team’s weaker Linebacker and Cornerback positions, which should prove key in Burrow’s game. Exploiting this weakness provides Chase and Higgins with clean passes and Mixon with clear opportunities to run.

Stafford proved time and time again his reliability for the Rams throughout the regular and post-season by keeping his mistakes at a minimum. But his work will come under stress by the Bengals’ defense. The Bengals revamped their defense this year after a couple of low-rank defensive finishes in previous seasons by maintaining a chokehold on opposing offensive lineups throughout the 2021-22 season. If successful in breaching the Bengals’ defense, Stafford will throw to the elite hands of Beckham and fellow Wide Receiver Cooper Kupp.

Prediction: Rams 24; Bengals 18