Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams Preview: Super Bowl Pairing Nobody Expected


The last two remaining teams of the 2021/22 NFL season are now known, and they will decide the eventual champion in Super Bowl 56 in Los Angeles. None of the qualified teams was the favorite to get this far, as they emerged from a very competitive playoff bracket and both won several tough matches to earn the right to appear in the biggest game of the year. Los Angeles Rams will have the honor of playing a Super Bowl in their own stadium, a rare occurrence that now happened two years in the row. Meanwhile, Cincinnati Bengals were at the bottom of the barrel last year but now find themselves deep in the playoffs with just one game separating them from claiming the ultimate prize.

For casual fans preparing to watch the Super Bowl broadcast as well as passionate NFL bettors who are looking for additional information about the teams, we prepared a detailed preview of the most anticipated game of the season.

Bengals vs. Rams – Basic information about the game

Super Bowl 56 will take place at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, kicking off around 18:30 on Sunday, February 13th this year. Although the venue is officially neutral, the Rams are basically staying at home and playing on their home field, while their opponent Cincinnati Bengals will have to adjust to a different time zone and face a mostly hostile crowd. None of the teams appearing in the game won a Super Bowl in recent years, with the last championship for the Rams coming in 2000 when they were still playing in St. Louis. Meanwhile, the Bengals have never won a championship and this will represent only their third appearance in the Super Bowl, the first since 1988. The stakes are very high, and the fact that the game will be played in one of the most modern NFL stadiums that will be filled to capacity only adds to the excitement surrounding the game.

How the Rams got to the Super Bowl?

After switching starting quarterbacks during the summer and bringing in veteran Matthew Stafford to command the offense, Los Angeles had a successful if not spectacular regular season, finishing at 12-5 and winning the NFC West division. They confirmed their dominance by easily defeating a division rival Arizona in the Wild Card round, before pulling off a last minute win against the defending champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams kept the flair for the dramatic going into the Conference Championship round, where they faced their neighbors the San Francisco 49ers and prevailed in a nail-biting finish. With just one more game to go, the Rams find themselves in a familiar position, as they also advanced to the Super Bowl in 2020 only to lose to the Patriots.

How the Bengals got to the Super Bowl?

The Bengals started their road to glory by being a terrible football team in 2020/21, so bad they got the first pick in the draft and promptly used it to select a talented QB Joe Burrow out of LSU. It turned out that the young signal caller was the right choice, as he rallied his first professional team to a respectable 10-7 record, enough to finish first in AFC North. The Bengals then won three playoff games by a margin of one touchdown or less, two of those wins coming on the road. Despite the lack of big names on the roster and relative inexperience of key personnel (including the head coach Zach Taylor, who is only 38 years old), Cincinnati has shown incredible resilience and total absence of fear from favored opponents.

Who is the favorite in Super Bowl 56?

An average fan would recognize far more players on the Rams than on the Bengals team, with defensive anchor Aaron Donald and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. leading the list of superstars. Coupled with the fact that the Super Bowl is played in their back yard, this is enough to make the Rams favored to win, but not by as much as you might expect. A quick glance at the betting odds reveals that sportsbooks are offering -200 on the Rams, while bets on Bengals are available from +160 to +175. Obviously, the team with a better regular season record and longer history of success has the advantage, but writing off the Bengals prematurely may be dangerous. It will be very interesting to see how the Cincinnati offensive line and its rookie quarterback stand up to the feared pass rush of the Rams, and whether they can continue to outperform expectations on defense. Meanwhile, the Rams will need a big game from at least some of their high-priced weapons if they want to lift the coveted Lombardi trophy after four quarters of play.