Super Bowl LVI: Ranking the Field
We’re on the final approach to Super Bowl Sunday, and fans of both the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals will no doubt be counting the hours until they get to see their heroes run out onto the field. The Super Bowl is undoubtedly the highlight of the United States sporting year, so it’s almost impossible to overstate just how big this game is for a huge section of the American public.
There is a marked difference between the status of the two teams in this years game, however; whilst the Rams last played in the Super Bowl just a few short years ago – 2018 to be exact – it has been decades since the Bengals last had the opportunity of winning the most prized piece of silverware in the NFL. Unsurprisingly then, the Rams have the edge as far as the overall NFL betting odds are concerned, but don’t count the Bengals out just yet.
As of Tuesday, 8th February, the Rams are currently standing at -190 against +165 including overtime, but dig a little deeper and some pundits still think that the Bengals could pull off a victory on the day. Let’s take a look at some of the best players on the field this Sunday, and see if you agree!
Ranking the Best of the Super Bowl LVI Starting Line-Up
#1 Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams Defensive End)
Widely believed to be one of the best players in the whole of the NFL right now, Donald is a force to be reckoned with and few would argue that he is the number one starter on Sunday. The Bengals attacking line are going to have their hands full with Aaron on the field, but the only way to defeat the Rams on Sunday is by going through him. Can they do it?
#2 Jalen Ramsey (Los Angeles Rams Cornerback)
Another member of the Rams defensive line-up, Jalen Ramsey joined the team in 2019 and it didn’t take long for his talent to be noticed – he signed a five-year, $105 million contract extension less than a year later. This made him the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history. One of Jalen’s many talents is his speed – he has proved he can keep up with the best wide receivers the game throws at him, and that includes the Bengals star player Ja’Marr Chase.
#3 Ja’Marr Chase (Cincinatti Bengals Wide Receiver)
Speaking of Ja’Marr Chase, those who don’t follow the Bengals would surely find it difficult to believe this guy is a rookie. Chase is one of the biggest reasons the Bengals are going to be on that field this Sunday – he has provided endless big plays for Cincinatti all season, and the moment he gets his hands on the ball the opposing team has to get real serious, real quickly. This guy is tough to stop, and with a shot at Super Bowl glory on the line this week, the Rams should expect him to be even more dangerous than ever.
#4 Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver)
Kupp has played five seasons for the rams, with 443 catches and 5,517 yards to go along with his 40 touchdowns. Some are tipping Kupp for Offensive Player of the Year honors, such has been his performance during the playoffs this year. Kupp is like a machine when it comes to plotting routes up the field in short order. Without question, Cooper will be dangerous on Sunday, and the Bengals are going to have a tough time keeping him in check.
#5 Joe Burrow (Cincinatti Bengals Quarterback)
Burrow could be the Bengals secret weapon this Sunday – he is widely regarded as being one of the hottest young players in the league right now, with a slight edge over the Rams starting choice of Matthew Stafford – coming up next. Joe’s accuracy is what makes him so difficult to incapacitate for an opposing side, and the Rams will need to stay two or three steps ahead of him to emerge victorious.
#6 Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams Quarterback)
Stafford has spent the whole of the 21/22 season proving his doubters wrong, with bookmakers dropping the odds his performance game after game – especially during the playoffs. Huge throws; huger shots. Stafford will be seeing this as the game that will seal his reputation and make him one of the most in-demand QB’s over the coming years. Expect a groundbreaking performance.
#7 Trey Hendrickson (Cincinatti Bengals Defensive End)
A free agent a little under a year ago, the Bengals took a huge chance on Hendrickson and he proved to be worth the price they paid in less than a season. There’s a lot of talk about possible interaction between Trey and Andrew Whitworth, the latter having spent most of his career as a Bengals player, yet now set to take on his former team in what is their biggest game in over three decades.
#8 Joe Mixon (Cincinatti Bengals Right Back)
Finally, let’s talk about a fourth Bengals player last. Mixon is a formidable back player – this is a man that can run like the wind, but he adds to this a fearsome catching ability as well. Catching a football whilst dashing down the field at full pace relies on your teammates skill at judging your future position – it’s a beautiful thing when it all comes together, and somehow, Mixon makes this magic happen more often than most.
These are just the biggest eight in a starting line-up of fifty-three, and if we were to make this a full ten, the Bengals D.J. Reader and Rams Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Junior ould surely have been the two to complete the list.
Who do you believe will come out on top this Super Bowl Sunday? At the last moment before publication, the Rams look to be pulling ahead as far as the bookmakers odds are concerned, meaning that the betting public think the Rams are likely to make another predict able victory. As someone with no preference for either of these two particular teams, the romantic in me kind of hopes that the Bengals can prove them wrong.