Super Bowl 56 preview

The 2022 Super Bowl is set to be one of the most intriguing matchups in the past decade. The NFL fan base has grown accustomed to similar teams and players appearing each year for the title game, but this year’s lineup hosts two quarterbacks and head coaches yet to win the big game. Both of their seasons have led to this moment; a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. 

The Los Angeles Rams started their journey immediately following the 2020 season, swapping quarterbacks with the Detroit Lions to land Matthew Stafford. The deal saw Los Angeles surrender two future first round picks and a third round pick on top of sending them their formal number one overall draft choice, Jared Goff, looking like a risky investment on the surface. The pressure was on Stafford to perform as one of the top quarterbacks in the league and to lead his new team to a Super Bowl, and the 34-year-old gunslinger delivered as promised. With the signings of veterans like Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr, the Rams returned to their dominant 2018 form and won the NFC West with a 12-5 record. 

The Cincinnati Bengals have been heralded as the biggest Cinderella story of the season, and it’s easy to understand why. After drafting Louisiana State University phenomenon and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow in yet another attempt to rebuild their franchise, the Bengals saw their rookie quarterback struggle and his season cut short due to a knee injury.  The team finished their wasted season off with another losing record. Following 2020, the Bengals organization saw a surge in hope after acquiring young defensive playmakers such as Trey Hendrickson, Eli Apple and Von Bell, and the first round selection of Joe Burrow’s number one target at LSU, Ja’Marr Chase. The Bengals saw immediate improvement, to 10-7, winning their division and advancing to the Superbowl for the first time since 1988. 

After everything that has happened this season, I believe the Los Angeles Rams have the best chance to win this year’s Super Bowl. The Bengals are a young organization full of raw talent, but have been afforded the opportunity by extreme happenstance in pulling off one of the biggest comeback wins in conference championship history. While the Ram’s playoff margin of victory is not far off from the Bengals, it is hard to root against a team with a veteran passer and a coach that has learned from his past Super Bowl mistakes. I’m hoping the game is competitive enough to stick around past halftime, but I would favor the Rams to win this contest by seven points, if not more.