After a five-game Super Bowl streak that featured either Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes, on Sunday two new quarterbacks, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Rams’ Matthew Stafford, assured that trend would not continue.
Two weeks from now, the Cincinnati Bengals will face the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, in the Super Bowl on February 13. This will only be the second time that the two quarterbacks have been selected. 1st draft pick will go head-to-head in the title match (Peyton Manning and Cam Newton were the first pair in 2016).
Both midfielders survived close calls on Sunday to get there. Burrow led the Bengal team to a comeback in the second half against Kansas City in AFC championship game to advance to his first Super Bowl, the third in Cincinnati franchise history. Hours later, the Rams advance to their second Super Bowl since the following 2018 season overtake San Francisco in the NFC championship game.
In just his second season as an NFL starter, Burrow has turned the Bengals’ post-season aspirations into reality, even though the franchise has gone 31 years without a playoff win. Cincinnati ended the regular season with a 10-7 record and one of the hottest fouls in the league, aided by Burrow’s poise, a record-setting season for rookie Ja’ Marr Chase and a career rush season after the return of Joe Mixon. Chase, who topped 1,400 yards in the regular season, had a game-ending touchdown in Sunday’s AFC championship game.
The team, as young and inexperienced as any team in the off-season, overcame Derek Carr and the Raiders in extra time in the Wild-card round. The Bengals then used the go-ahead goal against the Tennessee Titans, the top seed of the AFC to win the division round. On Sunday, the team stunned Kansas City, the AFC’s longtime conference champion, in a conference title match – pinned down by a defense that strangled Mahomes, Kansas City’s superstar defender.
Burrow’s success in his final season at Louisiana State heralded the successful and energetic NFL quarterback he had the potential to become. His confidence has been praised by teammates, and he has been credited with implementing a winning culture in Cincinnati, despite not even playing a full season in his rookie year. .
After tearing multiple ligaments in his left knee at Week 11, he faced a test of how he would react.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told reporters this week: “I’m sure there’s a lot of uncertainty on his side. “He wants to answer properly.”
Rams general manager Les Snead brought Stafford in for the season after the team decided that Jared Goff, who led the Rams to the Super Bowl several seasons ago, wasn’t their best quarterback going forward. Stafford, who is known for his large arms, has built a formidable reputation as a full-back for the Detroit Lions. However, he has never committed a foul after the season, which many consider him a lack of talent.
In Los Angeles, he made a connection with one of the most productive receivers in football, Cooper Kupp, and found another burgeoning weapon in the Van Jefferson receiver. After deeply threatening Robert Woods tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the off-season, Stafford has found another reliable target in Beckham, who is one of the most talented players in the NFL but is out of sorts. obviously with his previous team, the Cleveland Browns.
Snead’s methods of assembling this Super Bowl-sized team are unique and aggressive. He has decided to forego draft options to established, influential players like Beckham, who have given Stafford a credible second target to replace Woods. Los Angeles also brought in a former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, Von Miller, from the Broncos to play alongside dominant defensive back Aaron Donald. Then the Rams added Sony Michel, a former Patriots running back, when Cam Akers tore his Achilles tendon in pre-season.
All of that makes for a team that many predict is too talented Not to reach this stage.
However, Los Angeles’ road to the Super Bowl was not without its bumps, as Stafford had piled up late-game achievements throughout the season. But after throwing 17 interceptions in the regular season, he has flipped the ball just once so far in the knockout stages.
The Rams swept through Arizona in the wilds and survived Tampa Bay’s comeback attempt in the split, with Stafford using a long pass to Kupp late in the game to seal the winning goal. Then on Sunday, Los Angeles overtook the 49ers in a near-NFC championship game.
The Super Bowl seemed to favor the Rams, who actually opened as a sportsbook favorite 4-point bet. Taylor, who has been the head coach of the Bengals since 2019, coached the Rams’ quartet under Head Coach Sean McVay before that. He was with the team from 2017 to 2018 and was part of Los Angeles’ Super Bowl at the end of the 2018 season.
Los Angeles seems to have a script advantage, with Donald, Miller and Leonard Floyd waiting to face Cincinnati’s maligned offensive line.
The Bengals conceded the most (51) in the regular season, but that only makes Burrow’s enhanced passing count all the more impressive. He had 4,611 passing yards and 34 touchdowns in the regular season, then tackled for more than 800 yards and four touchdowns during the season.
Stafford, after throwing 41 touchdown passes during the regular season, had four encounters in the knockout stages, including two consecutive 300-yard passes.
After Sunday’s congressional championship games ended, both midfielders wore celebratory hats to celebrate their victory.
“This is a lot better than I thought,” Stafford said after the Rams’ win.
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