Who Will be Crowned Super Bowl LVI Champions?

Kellan Odegard, Staff Writer

This Sunday, Feb. 13, NFC champions, the Los Angeles Rams are set to take on the AFC champions, the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. Both teams have made it from wildcard weekend, so it sets up to be a great matchup.

 The Bengals have pulled off one of the hardest tasks in making the Super Bowl, as they have won three straight road playoff games. If they were to win the Super Bowl, they would be the first team to win the Super Bowl coming off of three road playoff games since the 2012 New York Giants. Although the Bengals are the clear shot underdogs in this year’s Super Bowl, with Las Vegas gambling books coming out with a spread of Bengals +4.5 (favoring the Rams by 4.5 points) that does not mean they have already lost. The Bengals offense is definitely the highlight of their high caliber team, with a killer connection between recently named comeback player of the year, quarterback Joe Burrow, and offensive rookie of the year, wideout Ja’Marr Chase. But that is not the only reason the Bengals have been successful this season, to add to the amazing target, the talent does not drop after Chase on the depth chart. With fellow stud wide receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd there are plenty of targets in the passing game. Adding onto the passing game, the Bengals have an amazing dual-threat running back in Joe Mixon, who not only can run the ball very well but is an amazing asset to the passing game. The Bengals may not have a dream team made up, while they do have very good weapons on the offense, their offensive line brings the high praise to reality. Ranked 32nd in pass blocking and 28th in run blocking, Cincinnati has a tough task ahead going up against an elite Rams defensive line. 

So far in the playoffs, defenses have succeeded in putting pressure on Burrow, with one of the games ending with a sack count of nine on Burrow. Burrow made plays to keep them in the game, but it is hard to win football games when you give up nine sacks in a game. Junior Spencer Hawk had a few things to say about the Bengals offense claiming, “Joe Burrow will overcome the pressure and win the Super Bowl, his offensive line is going to give him some protection to make plays but Burrow is a great field general and I think he comes out with a ring.” The Bengals have a pretty decent defense who definitely will be able to keep the Bengals in the game, but their offense is going to need to put some points on the board because the Ram’s offense will put points on the board. Freshman Will Vaughan believes “the Bengals will start off slow as they are filled with a lot of young talent and the big stage will take a second to settle in but they will get hot after a quarter.” This is a very likely scenario and the Bengals have shown in their playoff run that they can comeback from being down. 

The Los Angeles Rams have the upper hand as the Super Bowl will be played in their own home stadium. This is only the second time in NFL history where a team plays in the Super Bowl in their own stadium. The location of the Super Bowl is determined way before the season starts and has nothing to do with who is in the Super Bowl. The Rams also have a visible advantage with their amazing defense who has superstars all over their depth chart. With big names on the defense such as Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Jalen Ramesy on just the defense is a scary sight. The Rams have an amazing pass rush with Donald and Miller in the mix, Burrow could have a rough day come Sunday. The Rams are not only good on defense though, with star offensive player of the year, wideout Cooper Kupp having a better season than any wide receiver in NFL history is definitely a highlight on the team. But there is also young star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr who is another amazing target for star quarterback Matthew Stafford. Senior Dom Guistino had high praise for the Rams and their quarterback saying, “I think the Rams will win it all and it’s well deserved, with Stafford coming from the Lions where he carried them to a mediocre season. After a mediocre season, I would love to see him get a ring in his first playoff run.” The Rams have an amazing team and they are not the favorites to win the Super Bowl for no reason. The Rams had an impressive playoff run as they took out the defending Super Bowl champs the Buccaneers. Sophomore Trent Bacon says, “I knew the Rams were making the Super Bowl once they beat the Buccaneers as it was a huge statement game and they played very good football they really shocked the world!” 

Although most people will be watching the Super Bowl for the football aspect of it, that does not mean football is everything. The halftime show is always something people find entertaining and this year there is definitely a reason to watch, as Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige are all performing at halftime. It should make for an amazing Super Bowl experience this weekend, and definitely something you do not want to miss out on. Kickoff is at 3:30 and will be broadcasted on NBC.