The Los Angeles Rams look to become the 2nd team in NFL history to compete and win the Super Bowl in their own home stadium when they take the field this upcoming Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Each team has taken a different path, but both #4 seeds have found their way to SoFi stadium for the big game.
Offensively, the Rams want to set the tone in the run game and establish themselves on the line of scrimmage.
Sean McVay’s offense is predicated on running the ball to open up the play action pass. This season, Matthew Stafford threw for the 3rd most yards in the league off of the PA pass as this has been a staple all year. It took them a little while to replace Robert Woods in the offense, but OBJ has been a positive addition and fit in nicely . Obviously Cooper Kupp poses a threat on every single play as he has separated himself as an elite receiver in this league and established a good connection with Stafford.
The Rams need to lean on Sony Michel and Cam Akers and not abandon the run game. There were times this year they had a tendency to use Stafford as more of a traditional drop back passer and the results were not great. Stafford has been great under pressure and against the blitz, but asking him to drop back and throw over and over to get to a win is not the recipe for success.
While the Bengals defense has been solid during the postseason, they are definitely able to be had. The Raiders, Titans and Chiefs all had success running the ball against Cincy, but failed to take advantage of their opportunities in the end. Statistically speaking, the Bengals defense is middle of the pack and the only time they really played a QB similar to Stafford, in my opinion, they were absolutely torched by Justin Herbert and the play action pass. The Rams can have similar success on offense and could potentially score 30+ points on this defense.
The Bengals offense to me is quite simple. Run it with very underrated RB Joe Mixon and put Joe Burrow in a position to get the ball to his playmakers in space or the opportunity to air it out. Unlike the Rams, the Bengals rarely use play action and use Burrow as more of a traditional drop back passer.
There is nothing extremely complex to this offense as they don’t really set the standards for creativity.
But, Zac Taylor has figured out a way to get the most out of his team and they clearly are all on the same page. Joe Mixon has been a bruiser and 3rd down option out of the backfield and while not the most efficient back in the league, he definitely has been able to carry the load and take some of the pressure off Joe Burrow.
Joe cool has been spectacular and made every big play his team has needed him to this postseason and I do not want to take anything away from him.
With that said, I think he and the Bengals may struggle a little more than the past few weeks.
The LA defense is on another level. Yes, Tennessee’s defense is good and Cincinnati beat them, but it’s not the same. The Rams have been extremely stout against the run this postseason and think they continue that success on February 13th. If the running game is not a factor, Joe Burrow will be standing in there taking shots from the Rams and under pressure all game. While Burrow is good enough to overcome this most games and may still have some success against the Rams, I truly do not think it will be enough for the Bengals to win the game or cover the spread.