The Rams of glitzy Los Angeles attracted big stars in free agency while the Bengals of rusty by-the-river Cincinnati assembled themselves round-by-round in the draft.
Both team building philosophies have proven fruitful, yielding the likes of Matt Stafford and Jalen Ramsey for the Rams, and Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase for the Bengals.
But which system will win out in the Super Bowl?
How the Super Bowl will unfold
This should be an all-over-the-place kind of game.
Stafford and Burrow have been throwing touchdowns and picks aplenty. We’ve seen Akers fumbling, receivers dropping touchdowns, and defensive backs whiffing on layup interceptions. Both coaches are young, and neither quarterback has been here before.
We don’t have the familiar rubric of Brady or Belichick to start from.
With all that variability and randomness, give me the Rams who’ve gotten more reps in NFL pressure situations and have reached a level of institutional maturity, over the Bengals with their youthful exuberance bordering on naivety, that has them blossoming just a bit early.
Winner: Rams (-4)
Taking the Rams to win and cover. I like LA’s superior organizational experience, and I like that they hold the most glaring position group advantage. The Bengals offensive line is bad, and the Rams have Aaron Donald who continues to be galactically productive, plus Von Miller who has single handedly dominated Super Bowls from the defensive side of the ball before.
And Joe Burrow is admittedly getting a little too suave for my liking, with the cigars and the diamonds and the fur coat. It will be meat and potatoes and in bed at 8:30pm that wins this game.
First Touchdown: Cooper Kupp (+460)
No need to overthink this. Kupp has been productive and uniquely consistent for Stafford all year. Look for that consistency to continue as Kupp will be both Stafford’s trusty security blanket and big play threat in the Super Bowl.
Most Valuable Player: Aaron Donald (+2500)
Oddsmakers have Stafford, Burrow, and Kupp as heavy favorites to win the MVP. But I’ll take Donald, who is positioned well to dominate in this game against a porous Bengals offensive live. Couple that with his consistently elite level of play, and his face-of-the-franchise type of appeal, and it will be Donald who carries the day as Super Bowl MVP.
Which defense will catch the interception thrown directly to them?
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