Just as everybody expected, this year’s Super Bowl is between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.
I know we’ve had three weeks and it still doesn’t sound right! Tom Brady? retired Ben Roethlisberger? Likewise. Back-to-back MVP winner Aaron Rodgers? At home and most likely plotting an escape from the Green Bay Packers. The New England Patriots? Done in one. The Dallas Cowboys? Oh man, don’t even ask.
Now, the Rams always thought they belonged here. They’ve been in win-now mode for the last two seasons and are now one win away from having it pay off, particularly by making the decision to move on from Jared Goff at quarterback and replace him with the Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford.
(We also welcome all long-suffering Lions fans who are rooting for the Rams solely for this reason. We understand, sometimes you have to take whatever victories you can get.)
In the NFC championship game, the Rams defeated the San Francisco 49ers, a well-rounded team that decided to stick with their own questionable quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. That, not unpredictably, ended up being the difference in the game. Sometimes in sports, it is very much the moves you DO make.
The Bengals? Nobody except them expected the Bengals to get this far. They hadn’t won a playoff game since 1991. Now they have won three straight and are somehow in the Super Bowl. Talk about a quarterback changing a team: Joe Burrow has transformed the Bengals from the dispiriting “Bungles” of yore to the year’s most unexpected underdog story.
If anybody doubted their chances at winning a championship, the results of the AFC championship game should have set them straight. With their comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs, who were aiming to appear in their third straight Super Bowl, the Bengals have ensured that on paper, at least, this matchup should be something of a toss-up.
It’s the final game of a terrific NFL postseason and you have one final chance to contribute to one of our NFL liveblogs. Contact us with your comments, questions, predictions and whatnot and we’ll use them throughout today’s coverage. You can email them to [email protected] or send them to my online home on Twitter at @HunterFelt.
It’s Super Bowl LVI with the Los Angeles Rams against the Cincinnati Bengals at their home at SoFi Stadium! Kickoff is scheduled around 6:30pm EST/11:30pm GMT but we’ll be back with regular updates as we get closer to actual football. Stay tuned!
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