Superbowl LVI official preview

Superbowl LVI
Superbowl LVI

The Super Bowl is set. Los Angeles will be on fire come Feb. 13th as the Cincinnati Bengals will take on the Los Angeles Rams at home. This is the second year in a row that a team has played the Super Bowl in their home stadium.

Looking at some of the NFL stats, Rams starting quarterback Mathew Stafford and Joe Burrow had very similar weeks last week, so this quarterback matchup should be a good one. 

Matthew Stafford

With six touchdowns to one interception this postseason, Stafford has been lights out in the first deep run of his career. With quarterback ratings of 154.5, 121.2, and 96.3, he is currently embarking on one of his better stretches of football. 

It will be interesting to see how he responds to the bright lights of playing in the Superbowl, but targets like Odell Beckham and Cooper Kupp should help make things easier on him. 

Cooper Kupp

The veteran wideout was in MVP talks close to the end of the season, and for a good reason. He has been on a tear this postseason, putting up 140+ yards in his last two games and hauling in at least five receptions in every postseason game, with his highest total being 11 that came last week. 

His ability to run high-level routes like he’s been doing it all his life is really something that stands out watching him play football. Not to mention his knack for getting in the endzone with a touchdown in every postseason game up to this point. 

Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham seems to be hitting his groove with this offense at the perfect time. Last week he went for one of his best games of the season, hauling in nine receptions for 113 yards against the 49ers. As teams look to double Kupp, OBJ could see a lot more action come Feb. 13th.

This postseason his average yards per reception haven’t dipped below 11.5, showing that the Rams like to go to Odell when he gets vertical. One of the best vertical threats in the last decade of football, so it makes sense they use him that way. 

Joe Burrow 

Burrow hasn’t quite been as solid as Stafford this postseason but is still putting up impressive numbers. In his first taste of the playoffs, he has tossed four touchdowns to two interceptions. On top of that, his completion percentage has been 60.0 percent or better in all three games, with his highest total coming against the Titans in the divisional round tossing 74.0 percent. 

Yardage-wise, he has been solid, tossing for more than 240 yards each game, with 248 being his highest against the Titans. Joe Mixon has been an absolute stud out of the backfield all season, so it makes sense that Burrow hasn’t had to carry the whole burden of the team this off-season. 

Ja’Marr Chase

The rookie sensation Chase has been lights out this season, which has carried over to the postseason. It seems like the Bengals have opted to use Chase in short-yardage situations a lot this postseason, with his average yards per catch being under five in two of the three games. 

Chase was a huge touchdown threat this season, putting up 13 in his rookie campaign, which led to teams honing in on him in the RedZone this postseason, pairing him up with their top corner. Chase could see a lot of double teams in the Superbowl, forcing Burrow to opt for Tee Higgins. 

Joe Mixon

What a season for Mixon this year, putting up 1,205 rush yards, 12 touchdowns, and 42 receptions. He has been an all-purpose back for this Bengals squad. So far this postseason, he has had trouble finding holes but has still produced well in the run and pass game. 

Last week was his best performance, putting up 88 yards on 21 carries against the Chiefs, also adding three receptions. The Rams have a very stout defensive line, so it will likely be through the passing game if Mixon wants to see a lot of success.