This year’s Super Bowl will be held at So-Fi Stadium, which just so happens to be the home of the Rams. As we have seen multiple times this season (and in the playoffs), Rams fans are tough to find but it will still be a home-field advantage for Stafford and company.
So, let’s take a look at some advanced stats (via Football Outsiders) before I make my annual Super Bowl prediction.
*Note: To be as accurate as possible, the DVOA rankings shown below are the regular season + the playoffs
Rams Pass Offense (No. 4) vs. Bengals Pass Defense (No. 20)
When the Rams traded for Matthew Stafford, their hope was that their pass offense would be one of the best in the league. Well, it’s Super Bowl time and the Rams have the No. 4 pass offense in the league, according to DVOA. On the other hand, the Bengals have the No. 20 pass defense, according to DVOA.
Advantage: Rams +++
Rams Rush Offense (No. 20) vs. Bengals Rush Defense (No. 16)
The Rams may have the No. 20 rush offense in the NFL but they are supposed to get back Daryl Henderson for the Super Bowl, which gives then a three-headed monster at running back. The Bengals have the No. 16 ranked rush defense so this should be a good matchup.
Bengals Pass Offense (No. 14) vs. Rams Pass Defense (No. 4)
If I told you that Joe Burrow completed 70.4% of his passes for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns, you would probably assume that the Bengals would have a top-five pass offense. Well, according to DVOA, the Bengals offense comes in at No. 14 and they will have to deal with the Rams stingy pass defense that, according to DVOA, is No. 4.
Advantage: Rams ++
Bengals Rush Offense (No. 19) vs. Rams Rush Defense (No. 4)
Joe Mixon is a solid running back for the Bengals but as you can see, DVOA is not impressed. On the other hand, the Rams come in with the No. 4 ranked rush defense in the league.
Advantage: Rams +++
Rams Special Teams (No. 5) vs. Bengals Special Teams (No. 4)
If you have been paying attention in the playoffs, you are well aware that the Rams and Bengals have two of the top special teams’ units in the NFL. I expect for both teams to be solid on special teams with neither having an advantage.
Prior to the start of the season, I picked Matthew Stafford and the Rams to win the Super Bowl and I am sticking to it. That being said, I have picked against the Bengals in every game they have played in the playoffs so far and we all know how that turned out.
Look for the Rams to be aggressive right out of the gate on offense and to get after Joe Burrow when the Bengals have the ball.
The only path I see for the Bengals to walk away with their first Super Bowl win is if they can force Stafford and the Rams into multiple turnovers.
That’s not going to happen on Sunday and the Rams will walk away with a rather easy victory.
LOS ANGELES RAMS 34 (-4)
CINCINNATI BENGALS 20 (Over 48.5)
Nation, what is your prediction for Super Bowl LVI?