Their opponent is the Los Angeles Rams, a team loaded with All-Pro talent. Having one of the best cornerbacks, defensive tackles, wide receivers, and offensive lines in the league, the Rams are going to be a formidable foe for Cincinnati.
However, after beating the top two teams in the AFC, both on their home field, the Bengals clearly have figured out what it takes to win outside of Paul Brown Stadium.
Sporting News (written by Vinnie Iyer)
Although it would a nice story for Stafford to win a Super Bowl right after his 34th birthday in his first season with the Rams after all those fruitless years with the Lions, the NFL is a league tilting toward the AFC’s young guns with the sun setting for the GOAT now in the NFC, Tom Brady. Mahomes has a ring. Josh Allen and Justin Herbert might get into the mix very soon. Burrow, only two years removed from his Heisman and national title turn at LSU, has the old-school cool swagger tied to Super Bowl Joes of the past (Namath, Montana). At 25, he looks like he’s been in the league for a long time. The Rams have a solid defense, but they have enough holes to exploit for Burrow to outduel Stafford, setting up McPherson for the game-winner late (again).
Bengals 30, Rams 27
FOX Sports (written by Geoff Schwartz)
The Rams will win this game in the trenches, and Stafford will do just enough to help L.A. claim the Lombardi Trophy.
CBS Sports (written by Cody Benjamin)
Don’t hold me to this (unless it turns out to be right), but here’s the early assessment: my heart says Bengals, but my head says Rams. Can Los Angeles be trusted? Probably not. For all their star power, they’ve now survived two straight playoff wins by the skin of their teeth, and you might say that about the Bengals, too, except the Rams were literally built to win it all. They are the win-now team, assembled with one big-name veteran after another. Cincy feels like the right call, with all their fun-loving, expectation-shattering youth. But Aaron Donald and the Rams’ defensive front is a different animal, and we saw in Tennessee what can happen when Joe Burrow’s blocking is up against real pressure. If Sean McVay can actually put a game plan together, L.A. should be able to do quite a bit more than it did against the 49ers, and that spells a big-play win at home.
Pick: Rams 29, Bengals 26
Pro Football Network (written by Ben Rolfe)
A play to watch during the game will be to back the Bengals in the second half. We talked about how good their defense has been in the second half of games. We also saw how the Rams are susceptible to panic against the Buccaneers. If the Rams are leading at the half, taking the Bengals to win the second half would be an intriguing option.
Rams vs. Bengals Prediction: Rams 27, Bengals 24
ESPN (written by Bengals’ beat writer Ben Baby)
Bengals. Throughout the season, Cincinnati’s players and coaches kept saying there was something special about this year’s team. On paper, the Rams seem like a very daunting matchup. But maybe it’s time to believe what the Bengals have been telling us.
DK Nation (written by Nick Simon)
Rams vs. Bengals moneyline pick, Super Bowl 56: Rams -175
Four of their five expert pickers are going with the Rams.