The matchup for Super Bowl 56 didn’t go according to script. The Bengals, AFC No. 4 seed, will be playing vs. the Rams, the NFC No. 4 seed. Cincinnati will be traveling to Los Angeles and SoFi Stadium the game, but it is designated the home team.
The Rams (-4, 50 over/under) are the slight favorites as unofficial hosts, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Bengals coach Zac Taylor is a protege of counterpart Sean McVay. Quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford will each be trying to become the first QB wearing a No. 9 jersey to win a ring since Drew Brees.
After an amazing series of playoff games through conference championship weekend, there should be every expectation the Super Bowl will thrilling and therefore difficult to call. But Sporting News has been making a fearless forecast of professional pigskin prognostications, so why stop for the biggest game of them all?
Here’s how SN sees Super Bowl 56 playing out from both sides:
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Bengals vs. Rams picks, predictions
- Bengals’ offense vs. Rams’ defense
The Bengals, despite Burrow being the first QB to lead the league in times sacked to get to the Super Bowl, have a dangerous and diverse offense. Burrow does a great job to buy time and extend plays with his feet. Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan haven’t been afraid to let Burrow loose looking for big pass plays even with the sack risk. They also have proved they can pivot well and be a strong power running team with Joe Mixon when needed. Burrow uses good matchups both inside and outside to his full advantage.
Cincinnati’s offensive line had its best game of the playoffs in Kansas City. Burrow did make a few great escapes, but he was sacked only once and the team rushed for 118 yards despite trailing by double digits in the second half.
The massive concern vs. the Rams will be 3-4 defensive end Aaron Donald disrupting the game plan inside. With the focus on his dominance, he’s also getting good help up front from nose tackle Greg Gaines and Super Bowl 50 MVP edge rusher Von Miller. …….