Cincinnati’s offense features plenty of firepower, but LA’s defense has several household names. Both units are strong but have weaknesses, and it’s up to the other side to expose them.
Joe Burrow leads the explosive Bengals offense
The Cincinnati Bengals offense has the pieces in place to go toe-to-toe with anybody, and the unit has been on a roll throughout the NFL playoffs. They look up to the task of facing the Rams in the 2022 Super Bowl.
Joe Burrow leads the charge for Brian Callahan’s seventh-ranked offense. The Bengals averaged 361.4 yards and 27 points per game during the regular season.
Burrow has shown no signs of his 2020 season-ending knee injury slowing him down. Instead, he’s elevated his game, which has paid huge dividends for the rest of the offense.
Cincinnati boasts one of the most talented skill position groups in the NFL. Running back Joe Mixon sets the tone on the ground. He finished third in the league in rushing yards (1,205) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (13). The Oklahoma product is an all-around playmaker and is also heavily involved in the passing game.
The Bengals’ passing attack is potent because it features several reliable options. Ja’Marr Chase took the NFL by storm in 2021, catching 81 passes for 1,455 yards and 13 scores. Tee Higgins is a big-bodied target at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. He can stretch the field and is a threat to score in the red zone. Tyler Boyd is often the forgotten man, but the sixth-year veteran is so reliable.
Tight end C.J. Uzomah suffered an MCL sprain in the AFC Championship Game and is questionable for Super Bowl 56. Getting production from the tight end position has been a bonus for Cincinnati. His absence would hurt, but it wouldn’t be a back-breaker.
The Rams boast star-studded defense led by Aaron Donald
On the other side of the ball, the LA Rams will also have plenty of talent on the field for the 2022 Super Bowl.
The strength of defensive coordinator Raheem Morris’ unit is the front seven. The Rams are usually stout against the run. They allowed just 103.1 rushing yards per game in the regular season, the sixth-best mark in the NFL. LA has been even better in the postseason, allowing 54 rushing yards per game through the first three rounds.
Aaron Donald leads the way for the Rams. He’s arguably the most dominant defensive player in the league, and the entire team feeds off his energy. Having Von Miller and Leonard Floyd as bookend edge-rushers makes this defense a handful to deal with for four quarters.
LA is definitely more susceptible to the pass. The Rams gave up 241.7 passing yards per game to opposing offenses. The unit has been a bit banged up lately, with starting safeties Jordan Fuller and Taylor Rapp missing time. Fuller is out for the season, but Rapp could play in Super Bowl 56. LA added veteran Eric Weddle to help out in a pinch.
All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey will be a player to watch in this matchup. He does it all for LA. Ramsey is a lockdown cover guy who also excels in defending the run. He’ll have his work cut out for him against the many weapons on the Bengals.
Which side will have the edge?
It should be fun to watch the Cincinnati Bengals offense line it up against the LA Rams defense. That will undoubtedly be the most intriguing matchup during the 2022 Super Bowl.
Joe Burrow has been the talk of the town lately, which comes as no surprise. The second-year quarterback has been balling. As good as he’s been, the offense wouldn’t move without its dangerous weapons.
However, the Rams defense could expose the Bengals’ biggest weakness — the offensive line. Cincinnati struggles in pass protection, which doesn’t bode well for the franchise quarterback. Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Leonard Floyd have enjoyed success in the playoffs against more-talented fronts. It could be a long night for Burrow if the offensive line can’t hold up.
The Bengals will likely enjoy most of their success through the air. Jalen Ramsey will probably match up with Ja’Marr Chase often, but he rarely shadows a receiver for an entire game. Darious Williams has struggled at times, which could present problems against Cincy’s wideouts.
As explosive as the Bengals offense is, the offensive line could become a massive issue. The Rams present the biggest challenge of the postseason thus far. Cincinnati will have its fair share of success, but LA has drastically improved down the stretch.
The slight edge goes to the Rams, thanks to the decisive advantage in the trenches.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.