THE LOS ANGELES RAMS TAKE ON THE CINCINNATI BENGALS IN SUPER BOWL LVI (56) AT SOFI STADIUM ON FEB. 13. THE BIG GAME WILL AIR AT 6:30 P.M. (ET/PT) ON NBC.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Those who have read my Super Bowl preview stories know that I normally feature former NFL players and get their perspectives on the big game.
Some of my past guests have included former NFL star turned actor, Fred "The Hammer" Williamson who played for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I (1967) as well as the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mark Collins who is from my hometown of San Bernardino was a great cornerback for the New York Giants and played in Super Bowl XXI (21) and Super Bowl XXV (25).
U.C. Davis quarterback Ken O'Brien, was a stand-out with the New York Jets (1983-1992) and Philadelphia Eagles (1993). Even San Francisco 49er and two-time Super Bowl Champion Dan Bunz shared his thoughts with N2Entertainment.neton last year's Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, this year is personal. I have blue and gold skin in the game. I'm beyond thrilled that my Los Angeles Rams (12-5) have defied the odds and made it to the big show. The Rams handled the Arizona Cardinals, and they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a thriller that came down to a last-second field goal and sent old man Tom Brady into retirement.
The Rams even banged up the "Bang Bang San Francisco 49ers Gang" in the NFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl LVI (56) where they will face the Cincinnati Bengals Feb. 13 at the dazzling $5.5 billion SoFi Stadium in Inglewood California. Super Bowl LVI kicks off on NBC at 6:30 p.m. (ET/PT). This is the second-consecutive Super Bowl that features a team playing in its home stadium. Last year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay Florida. Al Michaels and Chris Collingsworth will call the play-by-play action for Super Bowl LVI and Michele Tafoya and Kathryn Tappen will provide sideline reporting.
This one has the makings of an epic battle. Super Bowl LVI will showcase the Ram's fearless, 34-year-old gunslinger Matthew Stafford, who has come out roaring ever since he was traded from the Detroit Lions last year and arrived in Tinseltown.
Rams head coach Sean McVay has this team rolling. The Rams, as of this writing are favored by 4.5 points. They are stacked with a potent offense that features Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., Andrew Whitworth, and Cam Akers, among others.
I admit, I was worried when OBJ arrived because of his past drama on and off the field, but I have to say, he has settled down and adapted well with the Rams. OBJ and Kupp have been a steady one two punch and are a huge reason--along with that punishing defense that includes Aaron Donald, Troy Reeder, Von Miller, A'Shawn Robinson, and Jalen Ramsey-- that have them one win away from hoisting the coveted Lombardi Trophy.
However, the mighty Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) are hungry too. This is their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989. The team and their coach Zac Taylor have just as much to prove. The Bengals are led by their Swaggalicious, 25-year-old QB, Joe Burrow.
This guy is quick on his feet, has a strong arm and is Joe Cool under pressure. Burrow straddles the line between cockiness and confidence which I love. I mean, will we ever forget that 18-point comeback win against the Kansas City Chiefs? The Chiefs/d their fans may want to.
It's the end result that matters most. Burrow will no doubt rely once again on his favorite go to guy, wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase who Burrow played with at LSU during the Tiger's stunning 15-0 season. The Bengals really have an arsenal of weapons like running back Joe Mixon and a defensive line up of Sam Hubbard, Trey Hendrickson, Chidobe Awuzie, Germaine Pratt, Markus Bailey, and D.J. Reader. They are no joke.
This is going to be one heck of a Super Bowl. Of course, I'm rooting big time for the Rams, but this game is't going to be a walk in the park for them by any means. They'll have their work cut out for them.
More than anything, I want to see a clean, hard-hitting, Super Bowl game with razzle-dazzle trick plays and long bombs. I'd also like for it to be close. Not nail-biter, near heart-attack close, but exciting close throughout, with the Rams coming out on top winning 21-14. I am quite sure I speak for every die-hard Rams fan.
If by chance Super Bowl LVI turns out to be a "Super Bore," there are always the commercials to look forward to and the half-time show which will feature Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Sean Forbes, and Warren Snipe.
By the way, the National Anthem will be performed by Capitol Records (Nashville) recording artist Mickey Guyton.
Bottles of my finest Champagne are chilling and ready to pop when the Rams win on Sunday. Believe me, I'll drink them even if they lose, but let's not go there. I like our chances. If the Rams play smart, stay focused and limit mistakes, victory is at hand.
Enjoy the game everyone and Go Rams!