After two thrilling conference championship games, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angles Rams are headed to the Super Bowl.
The Bengals punched their ticket after defeating the Chiefs, who were last season's AFC champions. Joe Burrow threw for 250 passing yards and two touchdowns, outdueling Patrick Mahomes in overtime. The Bengals won 27-24 and the underdogs who hate being called underdogs, according to Burrow, made it to the Super Bowl.
On the NFC side, the Rams all-in bid hit its payoff. The 49ers came to play and tried to spoil Los Angeles’ run valiantly, but Mattew Stafford lit them up through the air with 337 passing yards and two touchdowns. Not to mention both Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp eclipsing 100 receiving yards.
The playoffs have been the most exciting set of games that have gone down in recent years, and this Super Bowl is shaping up to be just as incredible. Both teams have high octane offenses and stifling defenses. But who has the edge?
Prediction: The Rams are the better team on paper. Their receiving core is stronger and Stafford is far more seasoned than second-year Burrow. Not to mention Aaron Donald, the best defensive end in football, is standing in front of Joe Mixon and the Bengals rushing attack. Even the spread is against the Bengals, according to CBS. Despite the walls that must be climbed, it's hard not to pull for Cincy.
Joe Burrow has become Joe Brr with his ice-cold demeanor and his devil-may-care attitude. With him stands Ja'Marr Chase, who has dominated the NFL despite being a rookie. The Bengals have two of the youngest players in football and they have the stuff to take down any team.
Compare them to the Rams who traded away their future for this shot at the Super Bowl. Normally, when a team goes all-in with their draft assets, and ships of their young players for current talent, it doesn't work out for them. Yet, Stafford, Kupp, Beckham, and Donald have flipped that script on its head. The Rams are a strong team and they've proved it by defeating the defending champions in Tampa Bay.
With luck, this Super Bowl will be one of the best in recent years. And, in a game that goes long, look for the Bengals and Joe-Shiesty to win it all. It’s destiny at this point.
Keith Holmes Jr. ‘22 is a journalism and creative writing double major who has worked with The Cluster as general staff since his Sophomore year. Keith has received Best in SNO awards for his sports articles along with years of work at Mercer’s ESPN3 branch. Keith spends his free time playing video games and writing fiction around campus.