Super Bowl LVI: Bengals vs Rams

Ferm Sheller

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Thank God we won't have Patrick Mahomes and his band of asshole brothers shoved down our throats for two weeks.
 

bankshot1

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Mahomes GOAT in the making/Chiefs next great dynasty hype avoided for 2 weeks.

Huge win.

Under-Bengals on the road at the Rams home making LA sob, hopefully is the next one.
 

Sandwich Pick

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Thank God we won't have Patrick Mahomes and his band of asshole brothers shoved down our throats for two weeks.
Instead, we'll be treated to 2 weeks of Aaron Rodgers rumors, capped off by him declaring his plans for next year in the middle of the game.
 

Ale Xander

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I feel like Ramsey is going to break the all-time record, whatever it is, for most DPI in a playoff game by one player.
 

Mooch

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Love the Rams in this matchup. I think Mr. Burrow is in for a LONG game. That LA front four against that leaky offensive line? It could get VERY ugly. Cinci has a puncher's chance but I can't wait to lay less than a TD on the Rams in this one.
 

Kliq

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Burrow is the star of the show, but to me the story of the second half and the playoffs is how much better the Bengals are playing on defense. Their secondary has been terrific in coverage and have made some huge plays, Jesse Bates III in particular feels like he has gone up a level. The pass rush has been able to get pressure only rushing a few guys, and they did a ridiculously good job preventing Mahomes from making plays downfield, even when he had 8-10 seconds to look downfield. The play at the end of regulation where Hubbard dropped into coverage, and then shot through the middle on the most delayed blitz you'd ever see (and probably freelanced by Hubbard) and forced the fumble was an insanely good play.

I can't believe how great of a FA signing Trey Hendrickson was; feels like he totally changed their defense. They can keep the Rams under 24 points and I think that gives them a real shot because Burrow and Co. will get into the endzone a couple of times.
 

SMU_Sox

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The Bengals are a fun team. They have played well the last 3 games. Their defense is really well coached. I don’t think they are an upper tier team and I think their Cinderella season ends with a loss against the Rams. They were 10-7 in the regular season and played a top 5 easiest schedule. They’ve won 3 close games in a row in the post-season. Their OL is going to be in trouble again and this time I don’t think they will be able to overcome it.
 

SMU_Sox

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Defensively (per the Athletic pod) in the second half they played 45% of the time dropping 8 back and rushing 3. It was mostly man coverage with multiple robbers but they kept changing who the robbers were. Their rushers got pressure even when rushing 3-4. Mahomes and Co couldn’t adjust. Mahomes in particular had a really bad second half. On those dropping back 8 in the second half he went 7-13 for 59 yards and (IIRC) a pick.
 

E5 Yaz

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In their three playoff games, the Bengals have allowed a total of 19 points in the second half.
 

Pandemonium67

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With both Buffalo and KC suffering excruciating hammer-to-the-yarbles losses in games where they had victory right in their clutches, I'm declaring this season a great success.

I'm leaning slightly Cinci, but this Super Bowl is playing with house money.
 

Kliq

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Defensively (per the Athletic pod) in the second half they played 45% of the time dropping 8 back and rushing 3. It was mostly man coverage with multiple robbers but they kept changing who the robbers were. Their rushers got pressure even when rushing 3-4. Mahomes and Co couldn’t adjust. Mahomes in particular had a really bad second half. On those dropping back 8 in the second half he went 7-13 for 59 yards and (IIRC) a pick.
How productive is a QB going to be though if a team is both dropping 8 back and also getting pressure? Mahomes played poorly (spectacularly poorly by his standards) but I also think Cincy executed a very difficult strategy to slow down the Chiefs offense.
 

E5 Yaz

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How productive is a QB going to be though if a team is both dropping 8 back and also getting pressure?
That's just astonishing to me, given that so much was made about how improved KC was on the O-line. Something was just off about the Chiefs, particularly Mahomes, in the second half.
 

Toe Nash

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Burrow was only sacked once but the line didn't seem to play that much better than the previous game (Chris Jones probably whiffed on 3 potential sacks by himself). It's still a huge weakness and they're going up against the best defensive lineman in years. They also got very lucky that the Chiefs botched their possessions at the end of both halves and that the pass tipped at the line went right into the lineman's hands.

That said the Bengals D did something in the second half that stymied the best offense in the league and their defensive line is pretty strong. Their special teams are good and they have weapons on offense. I'll call the coaches a wash because they had like 200 first down handoffs for no yards in the KC game but at least they didn't burn all their second half timeouts on awful challenges.

Analytically the Bengals are pretty meh (View: https://twitter.com/FO_ASchatz/status/1487930306791448579
). Unlike other teams that have had mediocre regular seasons and gone on runs to win SBs (thinking specifically of the 2007 Giants and the 2012 Ravens), they aren't really playing much better in the playoffs. (I remember distinctly that the Ravens made an adjustment to their offensive line heading into the postseason which had a huge effect and kept Flacco unbothered for the whole postseason with Boldin winning jump ball after jump ball.)

They need to bother Stafford, cover Kupp and not get destroyed when pass blocking and they have a chance...not easy but possible. And, if they are sitting back and rushing 3 like they did against Mahomes, they need to stop the run and make tackles which might be a little tougher against LA's receivers and backs (Why KC didn't go to Kelce more...).
 

SMU_Sox

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So the issue with Kelce in the 2nd half was, again bringing what I said upthread, they pressed the fuck out of him. They were super physical with him in the 2nd half. You want to slow Kelce down? That’s how you do it. I thought they needed to run more in the second half. Not including Mahomes scrambles they ran 10 times for 59 yards in the second half. When teams are willing to drop back 8 and play with 2 high safeties you need to run it down their throats if you can. They could. Yeah sure some of those plays are to Hardman but that’s fine. Mix up who is running and how you run it. They were running it well in the second half but didn’t run enough. I think they could have gotten a different strategy from the Bengals playing 2 man if they had continued running it successfully on them.
 

Mystic Merlin

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How productive is a QB going to be though if a team is both dropping 8 back and also getting pressure? Mahomes played poorly (spectacularly poorly by his standards) but I also think Cincy executed a very difficult strategy to slow down the Chiefs offense.
They should’ve run the ball.

Problem is, when the game gets tight the Chiefs invariably put their offense on Mahomes’ arm and legs. You’ve gotta check to designed runs if you’re seeing that look, and that’s partly on Mahomes because he has the latitude to react to what he sees.

Heck, any plays that get Hardman or Hill the ball in space, even around the LOS, would stress the Cincy defense in a way that they weren’t with KC dropping back in the gun to pass downfield.
 

Kliq

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They should’ve run the ball.

Problem is, when the game gets tight the Chiefs invariably put their offense on Mahomes’ arm and legs. You’ve gotta check to designed runs if you’re seeing that look, and that’s partly on Mahomes because he has the latitude to react to what he sees.

Heck, any plays that get Hardman or Hill the ball in space, even around the LOS, would stress the Cincy defense in a way that they weren’t with KC dropping back in the gun to pass downfield.
I think KC had confidence that they would be able to eventually carve up Cincy because they were only rushing three guys. Normally, you would bank on the idea of Mahomes having plenty of time and eventually Hill/Kelce being able to get open. The problem was Cincy was somehow able to get pressure rushing three, so Mahomes didn't have all day to throw. Running the ball was an option they should have explored and I agree they shouldn't have been so reliant on Mahomes making a huge play, but I can see why they would be confident in continuing to pass against the coverage-heavy defense.
 
Sep 1, 2019
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The Bengals are a fun team. They have played well the last 3 games. Their defense is really well coached. I don’t think they are an upper tier team and I think their Cinderella season ends with a loss against the Rams.
Swap out Bengals for Patriots and that sentence was probably written many times 21 years ago.
 

SMU_Sox

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Swap out Bengals for Patriots and that sentence was probably written many times 21 years ago.
Come on. That’s just a lazy narrative comparison. The Pats defense in 2001 was strong and they had a game management kind of offense. You can’t possibly compare the Bengals this year to them. Bengals have an average defense and an offense without an OL but with 3 great receivers (or whatever you want to use as an adjective for that group). Those Patriots were massive underdogs in the big game. These Bengals are 4 point dogs. The only thing similar in the comparison is that the Rams have a good offense and are playing in it again. That’s it. Oh and the QB was in his second year.

Edit I know the Bengals have a fine LT and LG. I’m embellishing a little when I say they have no OL.
 

Kliq

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Are Mike Brown and Stan Kroenke the two most hated owners (by their respective fanbases) to make the Super Bowl?
 

Ale Xander

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Are Mike Brown and Stan Kroenke the two most hated owners (by their respective fanbases) to make the Super Bowl?
Rams fans in MO and IL hate Kroenke. I don't think that's the case in LA, especially by people who have been to SOFI.
 
Sep 1, 2019
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That’s just a lazy narrative comparison.
I didn't say you were wrong nor was it intended as a criticism. When I read that sentence it just occurred to me that I recalled reading the similar observation leading up to the Super Bowl in 2001. Everyone expected the Rams--the Greatest Show on Turf-- to steamroll the Patriots. The observations were similar, not the detailed situations. It was just a quick post and probably was lazy, so I'll accept that.
 

Bergs

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You are clearly underselling the amazing feet that Romo was telling us about yesterday. Burrows is the first, top pick to make the Super Bowl in his second season!
Burrow.

For fun, I found the first mention of Joe Burrow on SoSH. It was in the 2016 Michigan/Ohio State game thread:

Barrett goes down in the 1st quarter, and millions of Michigan fans celebrate. Little do they know that legendary Athens Bulldog and former Ohio Mr Football Joe Motherfucking Burrow is about to unleash hell. tOSU 65, Michigan 13.
edit: fixed 5-year old typo.
 
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SemperFidelisSox

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I didn’t realize the Bengals have about $56 million in cap space. They can really build something special over the next few years before they have to pay Burrow and Chase.
 

snowmanny

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You are clearly underselling the amazing feet that Romo was telling us about yesterday. Burrows is the first, top pick to make the Super Bowl in his second season!
He is probably also the first top pick to be pushing 30 in his second season


Just kidding he’s awesome.

Edit: Also RBYB PM’d me after that 2016 game thread to offer me genuine condolences so that was a unique day.
 
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j-man

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I didn’t realize the Bengals have about $56 million in cap space. They can really build something special over the next few years before they have to pay Burrow and Chase.
M Brown is famous for being cheap at every chance he gets lowest scout bugdet in the NFL IF he keeps Burrow and chase will not pay the rest of the team

i am rooting for ciny because their fans has gone through so much the last 30 years and their stadium lease is up in 5 years which means their owner will not pay 2 billon for a new stauidum plus 300-400 mil for burrow

i see the benglas having a 3-year widow here while the rams have to win this game or after the 2022 season could be ugly for LA
 

Silverdude2167

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I didn’t realize the Bengals have about $56 million in cap space. They can really build something special over the next few years before they have to pay Burrow and Chase.
The key to building a dynasty is winning a SB when you should not. Cincy has that opportunity here.

Of course, I hated all the premature dynasty talk about the Chiefs (The ringer even kept it going for KC in an article about all the QB talent in the AFC stating "Championship windows aren’t ever really shut when you have the best quarterback in the league." all because the Pats were good for 20 years. At some point, these writers are going to have to realize that the Pats were special and unique.

I guess you really do become what you hate. re: premature dynasty talk.
 

Euclis20

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The key to building a dynasty is winning a SB when you should not. Cincy has that opportunity here.

Of course, I hated all the premature dynasty talk about the Chiefs (The ringer even kept it going for KC in an article about all the QB talent in the AFC stating "Championship windows aren’t ever really shut when you have the best quarterback in the league." all because the Pats were good for 20 years. At some point, these writers are going to have to realize that the Pats were special and unique.

I guess you really do become what you hate. re: premature dynasty talk.
I don't think it's just Brady and the Pats that did this to everyone. A lot of the same writers and talking heads also cover basketball, a sport in which the best players do win a lot of titles if they are in the right situation. Just in the last 30 years, Jordan had 6, Kobe and Duncan had 5, Lebron has 4, Curry has 3, etc. Combine that with Brady winning 7, and almost nobody seems to remember how hard it is to win multiple championships in the NFL. Even when you're the best player in the league in a really good situation with a really good supporting cast, it just doesn't happen very often.
 

Stanley Steamer

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It should be a good game. I haven't watched enough of the Bengals to know what to expect, but their D was super-impressive to shut down KC in the second half. Of course, if they try dropping 8 again, the Rams will be prepared to run it. Akers is starting to provide a threat for the Rams, and McVay wants to milk the clock and keep Burrows and Co. off the field. I suspect that was a special strategy against Mahomes, and we won't see it much. The Rams have tried to run it against both TB and SF, and not gotten much production, but it has kept Stafford out of trouble. I wonder if they may be able to run more effectively against the Bengals.
On the other side, the Rams have been fairly stout against the run, and were able to get good pass pressure against Arizona and TB, but not so much against SF. Getting playmakers into the second and third level tacklers is the way to beat them.
In the end, it will probably come down to what it usually does- winning the turnover battle, and red zone production. It could go either way, but if I was to predict, I'll go with LA 30, Cincinnati 24.
 

ShaneTrot

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I have not been following the hype as much as I usually do because this appears to be a mismatch to me. The Rams have some really high-end talent and I just can't see Cincinnati containing Donald and Miller. But the Bengals have been very frisky in the playoffs and have beaten two very good teams in the Titans and Chiefs. The Bengals are 17th in total DVOA and the Rams are 5th.
 

DJnVa

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That won't work I don't think. What time would they play the game?