Step One: The Bengals MUST protect Joe Burrow
I am not naive enough to believe that the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line will keep Joe Burrow clean all afternoon long. Many pundits believe the discrepancy in Super Bowl LVI is the Rams defensive front against the much-maligned Bengals offensive line. The Bengals need to keep an extra tight end in for blocking assignments against the Rams. The blitz pick-up will be critical as well. One thing is for sure, Joe Burrow and the Bengals passing game will have to convert on some long downs and distances to be victorious. The Bengals have no shot if Joe Burrow is hounded and unable to survey the field.
Step Two: The Bengals cannot turn the ball over
The Bengals are the underdog coming into this one. To have a shot, Cincinnati has to win the turnover battle or at least keep it even. If the Bengals have a minus turnover differential, the game is over.
Step Three: Zac Taylor has to coach the game of his life
Many believe that Zac Taylor will be outclassed in this one and that Sean McVay is about to take him to school. Zac Taylor will have to be creative and daring to steal and keep momentum in this one.
Step Four: The Bengals have to be creative with Ja’Marr Chase
We have seen that the Bengals are willing to be creative and use Ja’Marr Chase as a running back. Getting the ball into the rookies’ hands gives the Bengals offense a spark. I have to imagine that the Rams will want to take Joe Burrow’s BFF away in this one. The Bengals need to continue to move Chase around the formation all afternoon long.
Step Five: Joe Mixon needs to step up as a runner, receiver, and blocker
Joe Mixon needs to have the game of his life in all three facets. Mixon has not been productive this postseason. Mixon needs to keep the Bengals offense on schedule by averaging 4+ yards per carry. The Bengals would be wise to isolate Joe Mixon on a linebacker and get him free into open space. The final task, and perhaps the most daunting one, is that of pass-blocker. Joe Mixon will have to step up and chip oncoming defenders, and he may have to stone would-be blitzes in the hole.
Step Six: Take away Cooper Kupp
Step six sounds like an impossibility. Cooper Kupp has been the best receiver in the NFL. Some would argue Kupp has been the most dominant force in the league this year. The Bengals need to highlight Kupp on every play and ensure they shadow coverage his way all game long. If Kupp is left alone with one-on-one coverage at any point, the Bengals deserve to lose this game.
Step Seven: Tee Higgins needs to put on the cape
The only way for the Cincinnati Bengals to win this game is for their receivers to step up and win over the Rams’ secondary. The Bengals can’t match the Rams’ physicality for four quarters. They have to win on the outside and down the field. With Ja’Marr Chase drawing the attention, Tee Higgins needs to deliver in Super Bowl LVI.
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