It’s fairly rare that the Super Bowl includes two teams who don’t make it all that often, but that’s the case tonight. The Rams are making their second appearance in five years but hadn’t appeared since 2003 before that, and the Bengal hadn’t won the AFC since 1988. It’s a great matchup between a veteran team gunning for a win while their window is open and an exciting young team just starting what could be a long run of success.
The Rams have swapped early draft picks for impact players, including Matthew Stafford and Jalen Ramsey, and have used those elite additions to boost a carefully built roster and one of the most well-regarded coaching staffs in football. The Bengals endured years in the wilderness and build a quietly solid roster before striking gold with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, which pushed them into the stratosphere in a year where very few people expected them to contend. In a way, it’s a tale of two conferences, as the NFC is full of teams trying to contend with aging quarterbacks and squads rebuilding, while the AFC is loaded up with most of the best young quarterbacks in football and teams like the Bills, Bengals, and Chargers on the rise after years of struggles.
All that aside, this should be a good game between two excellent offenses. Use this as your open thread for the Super Bowl!