The biggest game in football is soon upon us and after an entertaining regular season and playoffs, it is now between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals to be crowned the Super Bowl champions.
Besides the betting factor, which weighs on the 2022 Super Bowl odds, here are five reasons to watch the Super Bowl game at SoFi Stadium on February 13.
History on the line for Cincinnati
To describe the Bengals as longshots to reach the Super Bowl would be an understatement. Cincinnati was priced pre-season at 150/1 to make it to the championship game, having won an NFL-worst two games in 2019 and just four last season. Just by making it to SoFi Stadium is already an unprecedented achievement by the Bengals, who have completed the fastest turnaround in NFL history from worst record to reaching the Super Bowl.
Now they aim for even more history by attempting to win their first Super Bowl and becoming the first first-time winners since the New Orleans Saints in 2009.
Can Rams make home field count?
For the second time in successive years, the Super Bowl will be staged at the home stadium of one of the competing teams. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made it count last year by dishing out a beating to the Kansas City Chiefs at the Raymond James Stadium, and the Rams will hope they can repeat the trick at SoFi Stadium.
While conditions and familiarity with the venue will favor the Rams, they should also enjoy a marginally larger share of support from the crowd. The NFL provides the host city six percent of the ticket allocation, so around one-quarter of the stadium will be packed with L.A natives, compared with 17.5 per cent of Bengals fans.
That should make for a crackling atmosphere and will only add to the spectacle of Super Bowl LVI.
The quarterback duel
The 2021 Super Bowl features several intriguing matchups, none more so than Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton up against Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Meanwhile, how the flimsy Cincinnati offensive line copes with L.A’s defensive power could prove the defining battle of the game.
As ever, though, all eyes will be on the respective quarterbacks. Joe Burrow has quickly established himself as an elite QB and his very presence in the team has made the two previous seasons of misery all worthwhile.
Here’s a crazy stat: Burrow is the 55th quarterback in NFL history to be sacked 50 or more times in the regular season and is the first to reach the Super Bowl. That just demonstrates how impressive, and fearless, he is under pressure. He is also the first No 1 overall draft pick to guide his team to the Super Bowl within his first two seasons. Without question, the 25-year-old holds the keys to the Bengals’ hopes of Super Bowl glory.
Leading the Rams, Matthew Stafford arrived in Los Angeles this season after spending his entire 11-year career with the Detroit Lions and has adjusted immediately to his new surroundings. Stafford is the king of the comebacks – his 34th fourth quarter comebacks in the regular season is the fifth most in NFL history – and he has orchestrated dramatic victories in each of the last two weeks.
Whichever quarterback emerges victorious will be a worthy Super Bowl champion.
One of the great things about the Super Bowl is that the entertainment extends beyond the football field, and nothing encapsulates that more than the halftime show.
Many of the biggest names in music have performed at the Super Bowl but this year might just be the most epic of all time. Five titans of hip hop – Dr Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J Blige – have joined forces to perform at the SoFi Stadium, and if the announcement video is any indication, this will be a show not to miss.
Given the stop-start nature of football, commercials are an ever-present part of the televised game. While commercials are usually an unwelcome distraction, that is a different story during the Super Bowl. As the most watched televised event in America, a 30-second commercial slot goes for more than $6.5 million, so companies pull out all the stops.
Meta, Uber Eats, Budweiser, Cheetos (featuring Megan Thee Stallion), and Booking.com (starring Idris Elba) will be among the brands featured in the Super Bowl commercials, which are as much a part of the show as the football.