Cincinnati Bengals will face Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI on February 13th after both teams secured comeback victories to win their Conference Championships games on Sunday (Bengals 13/8, Rams 1/2 – Money Line).
The Bengals got the better of the much-fancied Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship, overcoming an 18-point deficit at one stage to claim a 27-24 overtime victory at Arrowhead Stadium, with rookie Evan McPherson kicking the game-winning points.
Quarterback Joe Burrow (300 + passing yards in Super Bowl – 11/10) also produced a impressive showing, completing 23 out of 38 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, but he was keen to talk up the defensive effort of the team after they sealed what is their first Conference Championship since 1988, while also denying the Chiefs a third successive Super Bowl appearance.
“Our defense was unbelievable in the second half,” the 25-year-old told reporters postgame. “They had a great plan on the defensive side against us, and we struggled a little bit. I’m just a little speechless right now. I don’t even know what to say.”
Reaching the Super Bowl caps a monumental turnaround for the Bengals under head coach Zac Taylor, as their 2-14 record in 2019 was the worst in the NFL that season, but they are now on the brink of a maiden Super Bowl success (Bengals To Score In Every Quarter & Win Super Bowl – 11/2).
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Standing in their way will be the Rams, who became the first team in history to recover a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit in a Championship game, coming from 17-7 down to beat San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the NFC.
The Rams had lost their previous six meetings with their NFC West divisional rivals, but head coach Sean McVay made sure that was not in his teams’ mind during the contest at the SoFi Stadium.
“We looked at just being in this moment, taking care of this game today,” McVay said. “It was the NFC Championship – huge game. Our guys did a great job. Really, each game is its own separate entity. And I’m really just happy those guys got it done today.”
It is the Bengals that hold the better head-to-head record between the two teams heading into the Super Bowl, winning eight of the previous 14 clashes, although it was the Rams that won the most recent meeting 24-10 back in 2019.
For the second year in a row, one team will also have home advantage for the Super Bowl, as it will be contested at the Rams’ SoFi Stadium.
In what may be a good omen for the Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to make that advantage count last year, as they beat the Chiefs 31-9 at the Raymond James Stadium (Rams/Rams Double Result – 11/10).
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