The Tremendous Bowl is simply hours away, able to kick off on Sunday. After the most important season in NFL historical past, we’re down to 2 groups: the Bengals and the Rams. The 2 sides could not be extra totally different on the floor, one defying all odds to achieve this level and the opposite realizing its on-paper potential. However they determine to make for must-see TV on the most important stage in soccer.
As we gear up for Tremendous Bowl LVI, listed here are 56 issues to know for the large sport:
1. Tremendous Bowl LVI will likely be performed between the Bengals and Rams, marking the primary time these groups have met in a championship.
2. That is the Bengals’ first Tremendous Bowl look since 1988, once they misplaced to the 49ers, 20-16.
3. Earlier than this season, the Bengals had not received a playoff sport since 1990, once they beat the Oilers (now the Titans), the longest drought within the 4 main North American sports activities.
4. The Bengals have appeared in three Tremendous Bowls complete, together with this one. Their first two — in 1981 and 1988 — have been each towards the 49ers. They misplaced to San Francisco each instances, and every time by one rating.
5. The Rams, then again, are making their fifth Tremendous Bowl look, and their second within the final 4 years.
6. Los Angeles final appeared within the massive sport in 2018, when the Patriots defeated them, 13-3, within the lowest-scoring Tremendous Bowl of all time.
7. The Rams final received the Tremendous Bowl in 1999, once they beat the Titans, 23-16, in Tremendous Bowl XXXIV to cap a drastic turnaround because the “Best Present on Turf.”
8. This matchup marks the primary time in Tremendous Bowl historical past that each groups entered the playoffs as No. 4 seeds.
10. Burrow is ending simply his second NFL season. At 25, he is seeking to turn into one of many youngest QBs to ever win a Tremendous Bowl, behind simply Ben Roethlisberger (23), Patrick Mahomes (24) and Tom Brady (24).
11. Burrow missed the ultimate six video games of his rookie 2020 season because of a knee harm. He is simply over a yr faraway from struggling a torn ACL and MCL, in addition to PCL and meniscus harm.
12. This yr, Burrow set the Bengals’ single-season franchise document for passing yards (4,616), touchdowns (34) and passer score (108.3). He additionally led the NFL in completion share (70.4).
13. Simply two years in, Burrow is drawing comparisons to former Jets Tremendous Bowl champion Joe Namath, additionally nicknamed “Joe Cool,” full with glitzy trend — like a “JB9” diamond chain he wore after the AFC Championship.
14. Matthew Stafford, the Rams’ QB, is ending his first season in Los Angeles. He spent the primary 12 years of his NFL profession with the Lions.
15. Stafford appeared in simply three playoff video games throughout his 12 years in Detroit, profitable none of them. In his first yr with the Rams, he is gone 3-0 within the postseason.
16. Stafford, 33, set profession highs in completion share (67.2) and passing touchdowns (41) this yr. Solely Tom Brady (43) threw extra TDs.
17. Precisely one yr earlier than he led the Rams over the 49ers within the NFC Championship, Stafford was traded from the Lions in change for QB Jared Goff and three draft picks, together with two first-rounders. The commerce turned official in March.
18. Goff, one other former No. 1 general decide, was the Rams’ beginning QB the final time Los Angeles superior to the Tremendous Bowl.
19. Stafford is only one of a number of big-name veterans the Rams acquired this season. L.A. additionally traded future draft picks for former Patriots operating again Sony Michel and former Broncos Tremendous Bowl champion cross rusher Von Miller, and signed former Browns vast receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
20. Stafford’s high vast receiver, Cooper Kupp, simply completed a historic yr for the Rams. His 145 catches and 1,947 receiving yards rank second all-time, behind solely Michael Thomas (149 catches) and Calvin Johnson (1,964 yards).
21. Kupp broke the all-time document for many scrimmage yards by a receiver, with 1,965.
22. Within the Rams’ NFC Championship win, Kupp additionally broke Michael Irvin’s 25-year-old document for many 100-yard video games in a season, together with playoffs, logging his thirteenth time eclipsing the century mark.
23. The Bengals’ high receiver, Ja’Marr Chase, was drafted fifth general in 2021 out of LSU, the place he performed with Burrow. The rookie broke a franchise document with 1,455 yards on the season, the fourth-most amongst all NFL wideouts.
24. Of all receivers with at the very least 500 yards, Chase ranked second within the NFL in yards per catch (18), behind solely the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel. His 13 TDs ranked third within the league.
25. The Bengals have been the one NFL workforce apart from the Buccaneers to have three totally different gamers high 800 receiving yards: Chase (1,455), Tee Higgins (1,091) and Tyler Boyd (828) topped their pass-catching corps.
26. The Rams’ No. 2 receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., spent the primary six video games of the season on the Browns. Cleveland launched him amid a diminished function in its offense, in addition to controversy surrounding rumored discontent with QB Baker Mayfield.
27. Rams coach Sean McVay, 36, is on the lookout for his first Tremendous Bowl win, and to turn into the youngest head coach to ever hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin holds that distinction for profitable Tremendous Bowl XLIII at 36.
28. McVay will likely be up towards Bengals coach Zac Taylor, 38, marking the youngest pair of Tremendous Bowl head coaches within the sport’s historical past.
29. Taylor labored below McVay immediately earlier than changing into Bengals coach, spending one yr because the Rams’ assistant vast receivers coach (2017) and one because the workforce’s QBs coach (2018).
30. Taylor is a former QB who went undrafted out of Nebraska in 2007, briefly spending time with the Buccaneers and within the Canadian Soccer League earlier than transitioning to teaching.
31. Taylor went 6-25-1 in his first two seasons operating the Bengals, changing longtime coach Marvin Lewis, who led seven playoff runs in 16 years however by no means received a postseason sport. Cincy’s march to the Tremendous Bowl since 2019, when the Bengals completed 2-14, marks essentially the most drastic two-season turnaround for a Tremendous Bowl workforce.
32. McVay, who was employed by the Rams at simply 30 in 2017, has led 4 playoff appearances in his 5 years on the job. His profession profitable share (.679) ranks tenth all-time, forward of greats like Invoice Belichick, Don Shula and Tony Dungy.
33. McVay and the Rams will play the Tremendous Bowl on their very own turf at SoFi Stadium, in Inglewood, California.
34. By taking part in at SoFi Stadium, the Rams will look to turn into the second straight workforce to win all of it in their very own stadium. Earlier than the Buccaneers received the Tremendous Bowl in Tampa, Florida, to finish the 2020 season, no workforce had ever carried out it.
35. The Rams are presently favored to beat the Bengals by 4 factors.
36. All however one of many NFL’s six playoff video games because the divisional spherical have been determined by precisely three factors.
37. Each the Bengals and Rams completed 2021 with top-10 passing offenses. L.A. ranked fifth, and Cincy ranked seventh.
38. Each groups had bottom-half defenses, with the Rams rating seventeenth and Bengals 18th.
39. L.A. boasts two of the sport’s high defensive gamers at their respective positions, nonetheless, with Aaron Donald at defensive deal with and Jalen Ramsey at cornerback. The 2 have a mixed 13 Professional Bowls, 10 All-Professional honors and three Defensive Participant of the 12 months awards.
40. Ramsey was one of many present Rams regime’s first big-name acquisitions, becoming a member of the workforce through commerce from the Jaguars in change for 3 draft picks, together with two first-rounders, throughout the 2017 season.
41. The Rams are searching for their first Tremendous Bowl win whereas taking part in in Los Angeles. Their final and solely Tremendous Bowl win, in 1999, got here because the St. Louis Rams, their title/location from 1995-2015.
42. The Rams received two championships earlier than the Tremendous Bowl period, first because the Cleveland Rams in 1945 after which because the Los Angeles Rams in 1951.
43. Von Miller, one of many Rams’ high cross rushers, received Tremendous Bowl 50 as a member of the Broncos, profitable Tremendous Bowl MVP. He is logged seven sacks, together with playoffs, since arriving through commerce in November.
44. Bengals beginning operating again Joe Mixon starred as one of many NFL’s few featured backs in 2021, ending third in speeding yards (1,205), fourth in TDs (13) and fifth in first-down runs (60).
45. Trey Hendrickson is one other standout for Cincinnati. Signed to a profitable deal in free company after 4 years with the Saints, the cross rusher logged 14 sacks in 2021, fifth-most amongst all gamers.
46. Rookie kicker Evan McPherson has helped energy the Bengals’ playoff run. After setting a workforce document for many 50-yard discipline objectives in a season, he is gone an ideal 16-for-16 on playoff kicks.
47. The Rams upset the defending champion Buccaneers in Tampa to advance to the NFC Championship, beating Tom Brady within the legendary QB’s closing NFL sport.
48. The Rams snapped a six-game shedding streak to the 49ers by beating San Francisco within the NFC Championship.
49. The Bengals upset the AFC’s No. 1-seeded Titans in Tennessee to advance to the AFC Championship.
50. The Bengals upset the reigning AFC champion Chiefs, who had appeared within the final two Tremendous Bowls, in Kansas Metropolis to win the AFC Championship this yr.
51. The halftime present will characteristic a collective of longtime hip-hop artists: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.
52. Nation singer Mickey Guyton will carry out the nationwide anthem, whereas R&B singer Jhené Aiko will carry out “America the Stunning” and gospel duo Mary Mary will sing “Carry Each Voice and Sing” previous to the sport.
53. NBC will broadcast the sport, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET at Feb. 13. Streaming is additionally out there on fuboTV.
54. NBC’s broadcast workforce for the sport consists of Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (coloration commentary), Michele Tafoya and Kathryn Tappen (sideline reporters) and Terry McAulay (guidelines analyst).
55. The Bengals, not the Rams, would be the official dwelling workforce for Tremendous Bowl LVI because of the NFL alternating the designation between conferences every year. This implies they will use the Rams’ typical home-stadium locker room throughout the sport.
56. Because the official “street” workforce, the Rams will name the coin toss earlier than the opening kickoff. The Bengals, because the “dwelling” workforce, will select which uniforms they put on within the massive sport.