Super Bowl LVI: Tale of the Tape

Super Bowl LVI: Tale of the Tape

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford vs. Joe Burrow

Both quarterbacks have been playing lights out this postseason. I am giving the slight edge to Joe Burrow. Burrow has been cool under pressure, unflappable in a way that is well beyond his years. Matthew Stafford has thrown an errant pass or two in this spot, so I’ll take Joe Cool.

Verdict: Joe Burrow

Running Back: Cam Akers vs. Joe Mixon

The Cam Akers recovery from an Achilles injury has been beyond remarkable. Akers comeback came just in time too, as Sony Michel has turned back into a pumpkin. Joe Mixon started slowly in the playoffs but has ramped it up lately. I trust Mixon as an every-down back more than I do Akers at this juncture.

Verdict: Joe Mixon

Wide Receivers:

The addition of Odell Beckham Jr. was a clutch move for a Rams team who lost Robert Woods to a season-ending injury. Not to mention that Cooper Kupp has been the best receiver in the NFL this season. Not to be outdone, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins combine to make one of the most explosive duos in the league. You factor in Tyler Boyd as the best third-option in the NFL, the advantage swings into Cincy’s favor.

Verdict: Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd

Offensive Line:

The Rams offensive line has been a solid unit all season long. Andrew Whitworth has anchored a group that has held up against the Buccaneers and 49ers in recent weeks. The Bengals’ offensive line has been a weakness all season long–one that some thought would curtail their season. Throw in the towel!

Verdict: Rams offensive line

Defensive Line:

While Trey Hendrickson and the Bengals defensive line have caused their share of trouble for the opposition, the Bengals can’t match the star power that the Rams bring to the table with Aaron Donald and Von Miller.

Verdict: Rams defensive line


Logan Wilson is an underrated and underappreciated cog in the Bengals’ defense. The Rams Ernest Jones has been playing lights out, and with Leonard Floyd coming off the edge to wreak havoc, the Rams get the decided advantage.

Verdict: Rams linebacking unit

Defensive Backs:

Vonn Bell is a solid player, and Jessie Bates is a stud–the Bengals safety duo make it closer than many would think. With Jalen Ramsey roaming the Rams secondary, there is only one direction to go here.

Verdict: Rams defensive backfield

Special Teams:

Evan McPherson has adopted the swag from Joe Burrow. I believe he’s going to hit every kick he attempts.

Verdict: Bengals special teams


The mentor vs. the pupil. Zac Taylor takes on the coach he studied under in Sean McVay. Both coaches deserve credit for getting their teams here. McVay can be ultra-aggressive at times, and that can be costly. On the biggest stage, however, I doubt Taylor outduels McVay.

Verdict: Sean McVay

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I like beer. I like football. Sometimes, both at the same time.