Super Bowl LVI

Super Bowl Predictions: Here's What Rams and Bengals Must Do to Win

Cincinnati's protection of QB Joe Burrow will determine if underdog AFC champs can keep pace with Los Angeles' high-octane offense

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Sean McVay vs. Zac Taylor. Matthew Stafford vs. Joe Burrow. Jalen Ramsey vs. Ja'Marr Chase.

Aaron Donald vs. ... Wait, who's blocking Aaron Donald?

Of course, there will be a Cincinnati Bengal player standing between the three-time defensive MVP and the aforementioned Burrow. But how well the Bengals scheme to protect their star QB, will determine how far they go in Super Bowl LVI.

It might be a familiar refrain but doesn't mean it's any less true in 2022: Defense wins championships. In other words, winning the line of scrimmage is the key to long-term success in the NFL.

Get to Know the Super Bowl Quarterbacks

Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford are both former No. 1 overall draft picks. What else do this year's Super Bowl QBs have in common?

Here's What Makes Joe Burrow Vs. Matthew Stafford a Rare Super Bowl QB Matchup

5 Things to Know About Joe Burrow

While the storylines are abundant at this year's Super Bowl (have you heard Taylor coached under McVay?) and the matchup advantages somewhat obvious (see: Aaron Donald), there's still plenty to dissect about what the respective teams must to do to carry the Lombardi Trophy out of SoFi Stadium on Sunday night.

Let's run through some quick facts about the game before predicting who will win Super Bowl 56:

Who's playing in Super Bowl LVI?

The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals are playing in Super Bowl LVI.

Where is the Super Bowl being played this year?

The Rams are actually the "away" team in this year's big game and will be wearing white jerseys despite playing in their home stadium in Los Angeles. In fact, the Super Bowl host will be playing in the game for the second straight season.

The Tampa Bay Bucs made history last year becoming the first team ever to host a Super Bowl and play in it.

What time does the Super Bowl start?

The Super Bowl start time is set for 6:30 p.m. ET. That is 5:30 p.m. CT, 4:30 p.m. MT, and 3:30 p.m. PT.

Set the phone alarm, don't be late.

How to watch Super Bowl LVI

NBC will be broadcasting Super Bowl LVI live from Los Angeles on Sunday

The game will also be available for steaming on Peacock and

What are the Super Bowl betting odds?

The Los Angeles Rams are 4.5-favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 56. Some bookmakers have shaded the line down to an even four points, and the line has even dipped to as low as at 3.5 points in some shops across the country.

The total in the game -- meaning the total number of points scored between both teams in the contest -- opened at 50 points and has been bet down to 48.5 points.

The American Gaming Association says a record 31.4 million Americans are expected to bet on the 2022 Super Bowl.

What the Bengals must do to win the Super Bowl

Burrow's protection is paramount for Cincinnati's success. The Bengals started slow on offense throughout the postseason and if they find themselves trailing by 10 or more points against the blitz-happy Rams defense at any point in the game, then passing scenarios become more and more obvious.

This is the type of game flow Taylor would like to avoid, which is why many forecast a heavy dosage of Cincinnati tailback Joe Mixon in the first half.

Of course, Chase and Tee Higgins will also have to find a way to make explosive plays for the Bengals down field to open up the running game and underneath passing lanes.

If the oddsmakers are any indicator, the Rams are expected to put up close to 28 points. The Bengals defense has been stingy but eventually it'll come down to the offense to outscore Los Angeles, and they can't do that without Burrow being up right.

What the Rams must do to win the Super Bowl

McVay, just like his former offensive coordinator, will look for a balanced offensive attack to take pressure off Stafford's shoulders.

Running backs Cam Akers and Sony Michel could prove to be the difference makers Sunday night. If they combine for 150 yards more on the ground, then Stafford's comfortability will increase as the game goes along.

The Bengals run defense is arguably the worst unit in the game so expect Los Angeles to try and exploit it early like the Kansas City Chiefs did in the first half of the AFC Championship game.

Super Bowl Predictions

The Simpsons has one of the most accurate records predicting Super Bowl winners but spoiling the sitcom's choice isn't in the spirit of fun.

Burrow seems to have captured the nation's heart, but is the QB ready to make Super Bowl history or will the totality of talent on the Rams sideline be the ultimate equalizer?

For our Super Bowl LVI prediction, let's go with the home team and NFC Champion to repeat again.

Final score: Los Angeles Rams 26, Cincinnati Bengals 21.

Who will win Super Bowl MVP?

Most predictions would end with the Super Bowl final score but this is a Once in a Lifetime opportunity.

Matthew Stafford would be the easy pick here but after more than two decades it is time for a running back to hear his name called as Super Bowl MVP.

Prediction: Cam Akers

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