Previewing Super Bowl LVI

The best storyline of this Super Bowl is that this will be the first one matching two quarterbacks taken with the first pick of the draft.

But that is about the only thing that Joe Burrow of the Bengals and Matthew Stafford of the Rams have in common.

Stafford spent 12 years with Detroit without winning a playoff game before being traded to the Rams and he is in the Super Bowl in his first year with them. A victory would feed the narrative that he never reached his potential because he had bad teams around him in Detroit.

It would also give coach Sean McVay his first Super victory after he and quarterback Jared Goff seemed overmatched ion his first Super Bowl appearance against the Patriots. A loss would give him an 0-2 Super Bowl record.

Burrow, by contrast, in his second year and he’s one of the young guns in the AFC along with Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Justin Herbert.

So far, Mahomes is more accomplished with four consecutive trips to the AFC title games with two wins and a 1-1 Super Bowl record.

But Mahones had a poor second half against the Bengals last week after throwing an ill advised pass at the end of the first half that cost the Chiefs a field goal.

Burrow led the team to the overtime victory after they overcame a 21-3 first half deficit.

A Super Bowl victory would put him in Tom Brady territory. He won the first of his seven Super Bowls in his second year.

One key to the game is whether the Bengals can protect Burrow, who was sacked nine times by the Titans. But even though they have Aaron Donald and Von Miller up front, the Rams are usually best at rushing the passer when they blitz.

On the other hand, Burrow is good at beating the blitz and the Rams have a shaky secondary except for Jalen Ramsey. So it figures to be an intriguing matchup and the stage probably isn’t too big for Burrow, who plays like a veteran.

The Rams are favored by four, but the game is likely to be closer than that even though the Rams have a home field edge.

Nobody will be surprised if this game goes to overtime or is decided on a field goal on the final play of regulation.

It has all the makings of a memorable Super Bowl.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: