Reasons to root for Rams to win Super Bowl 2022: Matthew Stafford can win his first championship, Cam Akers return

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The Los Angeles Rams, albeit the designated away team for Super Bowl LVI, will play in front of their home crowd at SoFi Stadium and are the betting favorites to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. On the surface, the neutral NFL fan would be inclined to root for the Bengals, a franchise that has been the face of mediocrity in the league over the past 30 years. However, this Rams squad is chalk full of players and storylines that one can’t help but get behind and support on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Super Bowl 2022 will air live on NBC and Peacock on Sunday, February 13 with coverage starting at 12:00 p.m. ET. With just one week left, why should you root for the Los Angeles Rams this year? And if you’re looking for reasons to root for the Cincinnati Bengals, we’ve got you covered.

Matthew Stafford’s chance to win a Super Bowl

Up until this season, Matthew Stafford’s NFL career has come with an asterisk. Sure, his passing numbers rival some of the best at the quarterback position that we’ve ever seen, but Stafford played with the Detroit Lions and one could argue that he was the best of a bad situation. In other words, Stafford’s statistics were hollow.

Fast forward a year later and the former No. 1 overall pick has the rare opportunity to change his own narrative and brandish a new legacy for himself in the same way so many other quarterbacks have done by winning a Super Bowl, John Elway being the ideal example. Matthew Stafford left Motown and wants the Hollywood ending at Hollywood Park, and he has a cast of familiar characters to help him do just that. And one of them just so happens to be Stafford’s No. 1 option on offense.

Cooper Kupp: the best Wide Receiver in the NFL?

To put it simply, it’s hard not to root for a guy like Cooper Kupp who has become, arguably, the best wide receiver in the sport. Not only did Kupp win the Triple Crown this season (most receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns) but he has also stepped up big in the playoffs, recording 381 yards on 25 catches with four touchdowns in just three games. While Kupp has carried the Rams offense at times this postseason, he hasn’t been alone in wrecking opposing secondaries.

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Odell Beckham Jr.’s resurgence

The narrative that Odell Beckham Jr. is a bad teammate is nothing new, just look back at his tenure with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns. But is Beckham finally beginning to show that he wasn’t the problem in his previous stops, and that he’s a pivotal part of a Super Bowl-winning roster? A ring on Beckham’s resume would go a long way to not only changing the perception of his football career, but also the way he’s regarded off the field.

Cam Akers’ return from injury

Looking to aid Kupp and Beckham from the backfield will be one of the most ferocious runners of the football: running back Cam Akers. Akers entered the 2021-2022 campaign as one of the few bellcow running backs left in the NFL. But a torn Achilles in mid-July derailed the hype train and put his future in doubt when he was placed on injured reserve. What happened next can only be described as a minor medical miracle: Akers not only returned to full health by the end of the regular season, but he was an immediate contributor in Los Angeles’ playoff run. A pair of fumbles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round could’ve cost the Rams a shot at the Super Bowl, but Akers has proven that he’s a player to marvel at not just by the way he plays, but also because of how far he’s come to be a part of this year’s team.

Super Bowl 2022 odds, live stream

According to PointsBet as of February 6, the Los Angeles Rams are a -200 favorite to win it all while the Cincinnati Bengals are underdogs at +165.

Be sure to follow along with ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports for Super Bowl 2022 news, updates, scores, and more!