Super Bowl 2022: Rams vs. Bengals Box Score and Stats Predictions

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2022

Super Bowl 2022: Rams vs. Bengals Box Score and Stats Predictions

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Super Bowl LVI between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams boasts some interesting master vs. understudy and veteran vs. fast-riser storylines at the center of the battle for the Lombardi Trophy.

    Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was one of those Sean McVay understudies to fall off the tree and take root elsewhere, catapulting a perennial rebuilder into a contender. And Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford will hope that his first postseason of playoff wins in 13 years as a pro isn't derailed by Joe Burrow, the apparent leader of the next generation of passers.

    It's also a guarantee to offer up some great on-field action. Elite quarterback play does that, but so too do league-best weapons and strong defenses capable of carrying games in their own right.

    Here are some predictions for the big game.

Game Information

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Super Bowl LVI

    Date: Sunday, February 13

    Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

    Location: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California

    TV and Live Stream: NBC, Peacock

    Line: Los Angeles -4

    Over/Under: 48.5

                           

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Stats Predictions

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

    Joe Burrow: 26-of-37, 295 yards, 1 TD

    Matthew Stafford: 29-of-36, 275 yards, 2 TD

    Joe Mixon: 15 carries, 65 yards, TD

    Cam Akers: 10 carries, 45 yards

    Ja'Marr Chase: 8 catches, 75 yards

    Tee Higgins: 7 catches, 108 yards, TD

    Cooper Kupp: 4 catches, 70 yards, TD

    Odell Beckham Jr.: 7 catches, 80 yards, TD

               

    While this feels like a game that could dramatically swing in either direction and lead to unpredictable stats, there's an underrated element that might not be getting the attention it deserves: the Bengals defense.

    The unit has held opposing passers to five touchdowns and six interceptions in the playoffs. That includes limiting the Kansas City Chiefs to three points in the second half of the AFC Championship Game.

    Granted, Chiefs passer Patrick Mahomes threw a trio of scores in the first half to go with his two interceptions. So Stafford and Co. will surely still put up some numbers—the question is whether it's enough to outlast Burrow and an explosive Bengals offense.

    Ja'Marr Chase is the flashy rookie with 1,700-plus receiving yards to his name when including postseason play. But when he's been somewhat slowed in recent games, names like Tee Higgins have gone for 100-plus days. If Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey clamps Chase, it could be Higgins and the underrated Joe Mixon (1,205 yards, 13 scores over 16 games) who have big days.

Box Score Predictions

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    Emilee Chinn/Associated Press
     1234T
    Los Angeles7103323
    Cincinnati3614326

                  

    The second half could be, in a word, interesting. Stafford ranks tied for fifth all time in fourth-quarter comebacks. The Bengals have been a second-half team all year, no better exemplified than coming back from an 18-point deficit at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC title game.

    So what gives? The Rams should dominate the trenches in this one, with a superb offensive line keeping Stafford mostly clean and Aaron Donald, Von Miller and Co. provided plenty of pressure against a bad Bengals offensive line.

    The difference would seem to be Burrow and his weapons. Of 55 passers sacked 50-plus times, he's the only one to make the Super Bowl. He's on fire, and the Rams have a steep drop-off in the secondary behind Jalen Ramsey, so guys like Higgins should be available often enough to negate that strong Rams pass rush. Rookie Bengals kicker Evan McPherson, already 12-of-12 this year, sinks a kick at the buzzer to win it.

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