The Los Angeles Rams successfully navigated their way through the playoffs with wins over division rivals the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers in the Super Wild Card and NFC Championship rounds, knocking off Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in between.
The Bengals are not just there to make up the numbers though, with wins over the top-seeded Tennessee Titans and defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs on the road after defeating the Las Vegas Raiders at home.
The team at the NFL Scotland podcast have put together their Super Bowl preview, with keys to the game, predictions and even a competition or two.
Rams key players
Matthew Stafford, Quarterback: The Rams traded two first-round draft picks, a third-round draft pick and then quarterback Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions to acquire Stafford back in January 2021, looking for a passer to get them over the hump in the playoffs. In turn Stafford has delivered, producing his best season in the NFL and throwing six touchdowns to just one interception in the playoffs.
Aaron Donald, Defensive Lineman: On the NFL Scotland podcast preview show, Charles Paterson called Donald the best player in football, something that few would dispute given his dominance since arriving in the NFL. With 12.5 sacks in the 2021 regular season, and another 1.5 in the playoffs, he can wreak havoc against the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line.
Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver: Kupp was the best receiver in the NFL in 2021, falling just short of breaking the record for most yards in the single NFL season. He has continued to dominate in the playoffs, racking up 386 yards and four touchdowns across three games.
Listen to the podcast in full
Click here to listen to the podcast.
Bengals key players
Joe Burrow, Quarterback: Burrow joined the Bengals as the number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and has instantly turned the fortunes of the failing franchise around. The Bengals hadn’t won a playoff game since 1991 before defeating the Raiders in January of this year. So long ago was that last playoff win that it predated the first text message being sent in December of 1992, meaning that Bengals fans were finally able to text a friend to celebrate a playoff win after all these years.
Jessie Bates III, Safety: Bates has emerged as one of the top safeties in American football over the past few seasons and upped his game in the playoffs this season with two pass breakups and an interception across three games in the postseason. Matthew Stafford would be wise to avoid throwing the ball in his direction on Sunday.
Evan McPherson, kicker: should this game come down to a last-gasp field goal attempt, the Bengals’ rookie kicker will fancy his chances of putting the ball through the uprights. He has kicked the game-winner in each of the past two contests and has missed on just five of his 45 attempts this season.
NFL Scotland Podcast Predictions
Cameron Hobbs: 28-17 Rams
Paul Mitchell: 30-24 Rams
Charles Paterson: 33-30 Bengals
Gordon McGuinness: 31-21 Bengals