Super Bowl LVI: The A-Z Experts Predict



On February 13, the Cincinnati Bengals will head to Los Angeles to take on the Rams for a chance to win a Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Joe Burrow has taken the league by storm with his miraculous comeback from a knee injury while Matthew Stafford has revived his career and looks to win the Super Bowl for the first time in his career. The electric offenses on both sides have won the teams close games to get them to this point and could lead to an exciting Super Bowl Sunday. 

Position Advantages:

Quarterback: Rams

While both Stafford and Burrow are inexperienced in the playoffs, Stafford has a longer and far more decorated career. Stafford edged out Burrow in both passing yards and passing touchdowns this season. Stafford’s experience in close games and home-field advantage gives him the edge this weekend.

Joe Burrow (left) will meet Matthew Stafford (right) in Super Bowl LVI (Reuters/Getty Images)

Running Backs: Bengals

Both teams have strong running backs; the Bengals have a clear advantage with Joe Mixon leading their backfield. He has 1,205 yards this year with 13 touchdowns along with 42 receptions for 314 more yards. He is a reliable back that will be an important piece in establishing the run game. Samaje Perine is also a strong change of pace back who is effective in the passing game. 

Joe Mixon (Sam Greene/Imagn Content Services, LLC)

Wide Receivers: Rams

While both teams have top-tier receiving corps, the Rams have the advantage here because of the experience brought by OBJ and Cooper Kupp along with Kupp’s playmaking ability. Kupp led the league in all receiving categories with 145 receptions, 1,947 yards, and 16 touchdowns and could single-handedly pick apart the Bengals secondary. However, both teams have electric receivers which could lead to a high-scoring game. 

Cooper Kupp (Getty)

Tight End: Bengals

C.J. Uzomah will be coming off an MCL sprain but is likely going to play in the big game. In the two playoff games, he was healthy, he was a large part of the offense receiving 13 catches and 135 yards. He is a dangerous red-zone threat and a nice compliment to the elite wide receiver core.

Offensive Line: Rams

The Bengals have one of the worst offensive lines in the league, giving up nine sacks to the Titans in the divisional round. On the other hand, the Rams have one of the best offensive lines in the league, ranked seventh overall. With both quarterbacks being the most effective in the pocket, offensive lines could dictate the results of this game.

Defensive Line: Rams

Aaron Donald is arguably the best defensive player in the league and can single-handedly tear apart the Bengals’ offense. Additionally, the Bengals are without Larry Ogunjobi who played a big role in rush defense. While Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson have both had fantastic years in their regard, they are nowhere near the status of Aaron Donald, giving the Rams the advantage.

Linebackers: Rams

Von Miller and Leonard Floyd will bring the pressure from the outsides making it nearly impossible to double team Donald and slow him down.  For the Bengals, they lack top-tier linebackers which could lead to an inability to slow down Cam Akers and Sony Michel both in the run game and in the passing game. 

Secondary: Rams

The Rams have a stronger secondary with Jalen Ramsey leading the group. Ramsey will be able to play against Chase one on one for a substantial part of the game which allows the Rams to have more options in coverage. They also have solid safeties with Taylor Rapp and Eric Weddle and all together should cause the Bengals some trouble. 

Jalen Ramsey (Kyusung Gong/Associated Press)

Special Teams: Bengals

Although the Rams do have a solid punter in Johnny Hekker the Bengals take this category because of the rookie kicker Evan McPherson who has been on fire as of late. He started slow but has been an extremely reliable kicker winning the Bengals a trip to the AFC championship and then winning that game in overtime.   



Ajay: Rams win 31-24

The Rams have nearly all the position advantages and more experience than the Bengals. Additionally, I think that the Rams defense can be the first team in this playoffs to slow down Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. The Rams will get out to an early lead and Joe Burrow will try and have to mount a comeback against one of the best defenses in the NFL, leading to Stafford getting his first super bowl victory. 

Zach: Rams win 34-20

Although both teams have dynamic offenses I believe that this game will be won on defense. The Rams have an extremely strong pass rush and the Bengals have a very weak offensive line. This will lead to Burrow who is only in his second year to be under a lot of pressure all game. In the end, I think the Rams will come out on top. 


Super Bowl MVP: 

Ajay: Aaron Donald 

While Super Bowl MVP usually goes to quarterbacks, I believe that Aaron Donald will be the first defensive player since Von Miller to win the accolade, due to how much he will disrupt the Bengals offense. 

Aaron Donald (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Zach: Matthew Stafford

Stafford’s veteran experience will come into play on Sunday and he will lead his pass-heavy offense to the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. As a quarterback, he is also more likely to receive the MVP.

Matthew Stafford (Ronald Martinez/Getty)