It’s the matchup everyone saw coming, Rams vs Bengals! The battle of the 4 seeds. The NFL has achieved parity to the point where any team that makes it to the Divisional Round (again, terrific name) has a legit shot at the title. Giving hope to every fan base except the Jets. They’re just happy Tom Brady retired.
Remember when Bill Belichick was their Head Coach for like an hour? (We have time for this, it’s why they give us an extra week before the Super Bowl. This and one week of fake keto.)
Cincinnati public schools have already declared no school on Monday after the Super Bowl (they’re calling it a “SnoDey”, get it?) This actually makes sense (the day off, not “SnoDey”), as win or lose the kids will be hungover the next day.
Plus, this is Cincy’s first Super Bowl where they won’t lose to the 49ers. To hell with tradition!
The Rams are favored by 4.5, just to make sure you get screwed for picking them even if they win, like what happened against San Francisco. Because there’s no greater feeling than winning and still losing money. It’s every gambler’s dream.
We’ll get to the Super Bowl prediction next week. I need time to somehow outdrink this kid first. Meanwhile, let’s recap how we got here and what it all means!
BENGALS 27, CHIEFS 24 (OT)
It’s hard not to like this Bengals team. When you’ve always been a clown franchise, it takes something monumental like this to change the narrative. Same thing happened with the Patriots when Tom Brady showed up. The catch: you have to win the Super Bowl or nothing actually changes. Ask Buffalo.
You cannot just be the team that’s happy to get to the Super Bowl. That’s for losers. And gamblers who lose by half a point.
Er, so I’ve heard.
That said, Cincy’s comeback against the Chiefs was astonishing. Even though they did the exact same thing to the Chiefs at the end of the regular season, so why the hell was everyone so astonished? Everyone except Matt Ryan, that is. He took a break from LOTR cosplay to warn us what was happening in the second half.
Joe Burrow may be the real deal, like Spider-Man or Chick-Fil-A. The Bengals are mutating into an unstoppable force even faster than Omicron.
It really is the apocalypse.
RAMS 20, 49ERS 17
It was all going so well for the Niners. And there’s nothing they hate more than seeing the Bengals get to the Super Bowl and not being there to crush the life out of them. It feels as if they’re letting down the ’80s, like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
I just want to defend 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt, whose name sounds like a limited-time alcohol-flavored Pop-Tart available only in Kentucky. Yes, he quite literally dropped the ball with the Niners clinging to a 3-point fourth-quarter lead. But there were ten minutes left in the game, anything could have happened after that. Drops happen in the NFL. In the NBA, guys miss dunks. In golf, people look like this:
Much more interesting is how the Matthew Stafford narrative would have changed if that ball was intercepted (as it should have been) and the Rams went on to lose. The throw was even worse than the drop.
So think about that while you wear your fancy golf pants that I totally never wore as a kid in the ’70s.
Also, NFL? If you want to look less like a staged WWE event, maybe don’t trot out Michael Buffer to shout his catchphrase during the kickoff? Just a thought, you do you.
As for the game, the Rams finally slew their Jimmy Garappolo demon, but if they want to be thought of as scary monsters themselves, they need to stop looking so much like this one:
C is for Cooper, that’s Kupp enough for me. Oh, Cooper Cooper Cooper starts with C. Everybody sing!
It’s gonna be a fun Super Bowl…
That should tide you over until next week, when I tell you who will come up a half-point short.
As always, thanks for playing!
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