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The Clock Ticks to Super Bowl 56

As we await the start to one of the most improbable final match ups in recent NFL history, we begin to make our picks, grab as many boxes on the Super Bowl "Square Sheet" as we can and making sure whoever is hosting the event has plenty of food and drink to go around. We also enjoy predicting some prop bets and real bets that can make the game that much more pleasurable, or turn your evening into a nail biting nightmare. Once all that excess dust clears, the Super Bowl and its ridiculous commercials begin.

courtesy of Bleacher Report

The Los Angeles Rams will be hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.....well kinda! This year is the AFC's turn to be the home team and "host" the Super Bowl. Which oddly enough means the Rams will be using the visitors locker room in the stadium they host games on Sunday. Wierd right!? Then again, when the Rams play at SoFi Stadium half the fans are usually rooting for the opposing team. So does all that crap really matter?

Nope! Not once that ball is kicked off at 6:30 pm est Sunday night. The coaches and veteran players will have their guys ready to play ball and pray the spotlight isn't too bright. Head Coach of the Rams, Sean McVay will have an advantage over his counterpart for the Bengals in Zac Taylor. Just four seasons ago, McVay led L.A. to the Super Bowl and understands the significance in the difference of time before the actual kickoff and the length of halftime. Anyone who's seen a Super Bowl knows that the kickoff takes forever to get going and the halftime show makes the intermission into the 3rd quarter feel like an eternity. McVay should have his guys prepared for that inevitable annoyance and pray there's no blackout like when the Ravens beat the 49ers in the 2012 season.

Okay so who's gonna win and how?!

Here's what the Bengals need to do:

  • Use the quick passing game to set up the run

  • Make sure Joe Mixon gets 15+ touches

  • Joe Burrow must be efficient

  • Understand when to go and when not to go for it on 4th down

  • Burrow has to throw to the open receiver and not force throws

  • The offensive line must protect their young stud QB

  • Create opportunities on defense

  • DC Lou Anarumo has to give the Rams multiple looks on defense

  • Make Matthew Stafford pay for his mistakes

  • Know where Cooper Kupp is at all times

  • Hold the Rams to 3rd and long situations

  • Keep Stafford, Kupp, OBJ, Akers and the Rams offense off the field

  • Remeber the film room study and the tendencies of the Rams offense

  • Coaches must have the ability to adjust on the fly

Here's what the Rams need to do:

  • Matthew Stafford has to be the MVP for the Rams to win

  • Stafford cannot throw into double coverage

  • Must establish the run early and use Akers and Michel accordingly

  • Spread the ball around with multiple play makers

  • Take shot plays and get PI calls downfield

  • Van Jefferson will have to make a couple of big plays

  • Have to win the line of scrimmage by rushing just 4 players

  • Disguise blitzes from the corner or safety on occasion

  • Don't let Ja'Marr Chase beat you alone

  • Can't underestimate the other WR's Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd

  • Try and jam the receivers at the line knowing the D-Line can get to the QB quickly

  • In addiction - the Rams must have safety help over the top

  • Which fits into their game plan since blitzing Burrow has proven to be a bad idea

  • Keep the Bengals limited to field goal attempts

courtesy of ClutchPoints

When the clock ticks to 0:00 seconds, I believe the Rams will be victorious. I think they're the better team and are very well coached. The Rams offense has caught fire since the post season started and I don't see Cincinnati's defense being able to stop the flame. So far Joe Burrow hasn't shown any signs of pressure. But I wonder if being on the ultimate stage may give him stage fright during the beginning of the game. I think the Rams defensive front will get home on Burrow to create sacks, fumbles and some inadvertent throws that could lead to interceptions. However, I know the Bengals will not quit and will fight the Rams til the game clock is knocked down to nothing. So I give Cincinnati a fighting chance here but if the game plan goes accordingly, I got Matthew Stafford proving the doubters wrong and L.A. taking the Lombardi Trophy home.

Prediction: Rams 31 - Bengals 27

MVP: Matthew Stafford - 341 yards, 3 TD's, 1 Rush TD

Player Predictions

  • Matthew Stafford - 341 yards, 3 TD's, 1 Rush TD

  • Joe Burrow - 332 yards, 2 TD's, 2 INT's

  • Cooper Kupp - 155 Yards REC, 9 Receptions, 1 TD

  • Odell Beckham Jr. - 82 Yards REC, 5 Receptions, 1 TD

  • Ja'Marr Chase - 79 Yards REC, 7 Receptions

  • Tee Higgins - 106 Yards REC, 10 Receptions, 1 TD

  • Cam Akers/Sony Michel - 169 Rushing Yards Combined

  • Joe Mixon - 114 Yards Rushing, 1 TD

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