How Can the Bengals Win Super Bowl LVI?

How Can the Bengals Win Super Bowl LVI?

Cole Paganelli
10 months ago
3 min read
The Cincinnati Bengals helmet rests near Rivers Lake with the site of Super Bowl 56, SoFi Stadium, in the backdrop.

The Cincinnati Bengals haven't played in the Super Bowl since losing 20-16 to Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIII on January 2, 1989. The Bengals hadn't won a postseason game since thrashing the Houston Oilers 41-14 on January 6, 1991, before embarking on their journey to Super Bowl LVI. 

The Bengals aren't just pleased to be here; they feel they can win the franchise's first Lombardi Trophy, and there's a lot of fire behind that smoke. When you have Joe Burrow at quarterback, all of his targets, underrated running back Joe Mixon, and a defense that no one should overlook, it's certainly possible that the club is on the verge of reaching its pinnacle. 

However, if the Bengals are to make history in the Queen City, they must address a few key issues against the Rams this Sunday. Here's how the Cincinnati Bengals can win Super Bowl LVI against the Los Angeles Rams. 

Use Big Packages and Motion

On just five of Burrow's dropbacks this season, the Bengals have used three tight ends with pre-snap motion, yet he's completed three of five attempts for 89 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. This season, the Rams have only seen four opponents attempt three-TE motion sets, with three completions for 15 yards. Perhaps this is just another method for the Bengals to show their opponents something they aren't prepared to deal with. 

Do Not Blitz the Rams

This is as straightforward as it gets. Stafford has completed 106 of 144 passes for 1,348 yards, 16 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 142.8 in the 2021 season, including the playoffs. 

The Bengals don't blitz often; in fact, they've only summoned five or more pass-rushers on 134 opponent throwing attempts, including the playoffs. When they do, they're not particularly strong in coverage – Cincinnati has allowed 84 receptions for 971 yards, seven touchdowns, two interceptions, and an opponent QBR of 95.7 on those 134 attempts. 

As a result, Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo should steer clear of the blitz. It's okay if he does, because Stafford might be particularly vulnerable to several of Anarumo's preferred tactics. 

Show Stafford Different Looks on Defense

Stafford has completed 370 of 557 passes for 4,443 yards, 31 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, and a passer rating of 95.8 when opposing defenses have assigned four or fewer pass-rushers against the Rams. 

When Stafford isn't blitzed, he's been sacked 27 times and pressed 155 times; when he is, he's been sacked eight times and pressured 48 times. Stafford may be forced to hold on to the ball for too long against more intricate coverages, which can result in a variety of bad plays. 

Lou Anarumo is well aware of this, and he is well aware that when his defense blitzes, the consequences are less than ideal. The Bengals, on the other hand, have allowed 406 receptions on a league-high 608 attempts for 4362 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions while deploying four or fewer pass-rushers this season. 

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