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Back in September, 32 teams hit the field with the opportunity to win a Super Bowl (though perhaps a few weren’t embracing that opportunity as fully as others). After a first-ever 17 game regular season and three rounds of playoff games, we’re down to just two.

The Los Angeles Rams are set to take on the Cincinnati Bengals for the chance to hoist aloft the Lombardi trophy as NFL champions. The game is set to take place at SoFi Stadium – the home of the Rams, marking just the second time in Super Bowl history that a team will play the game on their own home field. Granted, the first time was last year when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played (and won) Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern time on Feb. 13.

Neither team was expected to make it this far – both squads had to win three games to get here. Each came into the playoffs as the fourth seed in their respective conference; this is the first time in history that not one of the top-three seeds from either conference is in the Super Bowl.

But while these aren’t the teams we expected to see, there are plenty of compelling storylines at play here. You’ve got an all-in Rams team against a Bengals team that has arrived earlier than anticipated. Exciting young talent and record-breaking players on both sides of the ball. The Rams haven’t won the title in over 20 years … and the Bengals have never won it.

There’s a lot happening here, is what I’m saying.

Let’s take a stroll through the teams and break down some of the positional matchups to get a sense of which squad stands superior. Of course, the most talented team doesn’t always win. The most prepared team doesn’t always win. The team we think will win doesn’t always win.

You get the picture. Anyone who tells you they KNOW what will happen is a charlatan who is almost certainly trying to sell you something. No one knows how this will all play out, but here’s my best guess – the best guess of a guy who, in the interest of full disclosure, got absolutely housed by his dog in picking winners this season (though my postseason run was solid).

Let’s break it down.

Published in Cover Story

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