Not even the most optimistic Cincinnati Bengals fan could have envisioned where the franchise is today: playing in Super Bowl LVI.
It hasn’t even been two years since the Bengals drafted Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and yet the second-year quarterback has led the franchise to the promised land of SoFi Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LVI to take on the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday.
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Super Bowl 2022 will air live on NBC and Peacock on Sunday, February 13 with coverage beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET. With just one week left, why should you root for the Cincinnati Bengals this year? And if you’re looking for reasons to root for the Los Angeles Rams, we’ve got you covered.
Cincinnati Bengals on a historic run
Before last month’s playoff run, the Bengals had gone 31 years without a postseason victory, and had never won a road playoff game in franchise history. Fast forward one month and the Bengals have three playoff wins, two of which came on the road against two teams that featured in last year’s AFC Championship Game: the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs.
Like most underdogs, the Bengals have their share of critics and doubters. Beyond the players on the field, the Bengals are one of 12 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl. And the team’s head coach, Zac Taylor, is returning to Los Angeles where he spent two seasons on the Rams’ sidelines on head coach Sean McVay’s coaching staff. After all, the high-powered Rams pose a serious threat on both sides of the ball. But the Bengals have nothing to lose and everything to gain being on this national stage, and that’s because of their star quarterback.
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Joe Burrow’s chance to take over the NFL
Joe Burrow has turned Cincinnati’s franchise on its head and brought the team back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1988. While that might sound unbelievable by itself, it’s easy to forget that Burrow is also coming off a torn ACL that he suffered in Week 11 during the 2020 season.
Even before his knee injury. Burrow was turning heads as a rookie, completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 games. Since returning from injury, Burrow started the team’s first 16 games of the season before he was rested in the regular season finale. In his second year, he threw for 4,611 yards, 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions at a 70.4 percent clip.
Bengals rookies taking over
The Cincinnati Bengals also have a pair of rookies who are already household names in Ja’Marr Chase, already one of the most dangerous downfield threats in the game, and kicker Evan McPherson, who has already proven he has ice in his veins.
Beyond the players on the field, the Bengals are a classic underdog story, being one of 12 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl. Can Zac Taylor win it all in his return to Los Angeles against Sean McVay?
Super Bowl 2022 odds, live stream
According to PointsBet as of February 11, the Los Angeles Rams are a -200 favorite to win it all while the Cincinnati Bengals are underdogs at +165.
- Point spread: Rams -4 (-115), Bengals +4 (-105)
- Over/under: 48.5
- How to watch: Super Bowl LIV will be televised by NBC and can be streamed live on Peacock in addition to NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App.
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