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Super Bowl LVI: Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals face off in Los Angeles


The Los Angeles Rams will face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI (56) on their home field at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m local time) on Sunday.

Los Angeles is the second straight team to host the title game, joining Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers who won Super Bowl LV last year at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. In the first 54 Super Bowls, no team hosted the game.

Both teams are number four seeds, matching the highest combined seeding in the game since seeding began in 1975.

Los Angeles, the NFC champion, is appearing in its fifth Super Bowl, second in the last four seasons. The Rams are seeking the franchise’s second Super Bowl title, but first in LA. The Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV against the Tennessee Titans in Atlanta when the organization was in St. Louis in 2000.

Meanwhile, AFC champion, Cincinnati, is making its third trip to the big game, first since the 1988 season. The Bengals started the 2021 season tied with the third-longest odds at 125-1 to reach the game, according to Caesars Sportsbook. Cincinnati has never won the Super Bowl.
As of Thursday, Los Angeles is a 3.5-point favorite to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy.

More than 180 countries and territories will televise the game live. The contest will be broadcast in about 25 languages.

Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals in action on January 30, 2022.

The starting quarterbacks

Both starting quarterbacks Bengals Joe Burrow and Rams Matthew Stafford, were selected number one overall in their respective drafts, are making their Super Bowl debut.

This is the second Super Bowl between two number one overall signal callers. Denver Broncos Peyton Manning and Carolina Panthers Cam Newton were the first in Super Bowl 50.

Just two seasons ago, Cincinnati finished with an NFL-worst 2-14 record. But for that futility, Bengals secured the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft and selected Burrow.

He is the first top overall pick to reach the Super Bowl within his first two seasons. With a win, the 25-year-old can become the first quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy, a college national championship and a Super Bowl.

Led by Burrow, Cincinnati is the first team ever with a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher (Joe Mixon) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins) each under the age of 26.

The Bengals’ offense will have to contend with a tough Rams defense led by All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Stafford is appearing in his first Super Bowl in his 13th season, first with the Rams. The Detroit Lions traded Stafford to LA on January 30, 2021. Exactly one year later, Stafford and the Rams won the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, earning a Super Bowl berth.

In the regular season, the 34-year-old finished in the top five in passing yards, passing touchdowns, passing first downs and yards per attempt.

Stafford’s main target, Cooper Kupp, was selected to his first Pro Bowl. He became the fourth player in NFL history to win the receiving Triple Crown by leading hte league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

A view of SoFi Stadium as workers prepare for Super Bowl LVI.

Youngest coaching matchup

This will be the youngest head coaching matchup in Super Bowl history.

Rams head coach Sean McVay, 36, is seeking his first Super Bowl win after losing his first, Super Bowl LIII to the New England Patriots in Atlanta after the 2018 season. In five seasons with LA, McVay is 55-26 in the regular season, 6-3 in the postseason.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, 38, is making his Super Bowl head coaching debut. Taylor was on McVay’s offensive staff from 2017-2018, appearing in the Super Bowl as quarterback coach. After going 6-15 in his first two years at the helm, Taylor led the Bengals to a 10-7 regular season record, 3-0 in the postseason.

In 2019, McVay beat Taylor in the only game they face each other, a 24-10 Rams’ victory in London.

Sunday’s game will be played at the 3.1 million square-foot stadium So-Fi Stadium, the largest in the league and first open-air, indoor-outdoor venue.

The stadium can accomodate approximately 70,000 fans, and for special events, expandable up to 100,000.

The league said “65,000 or so” spectators are expected to attend on Sunday. Nearly 25,000 fans were at last year’s Super Bowl because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles is hosting the game for the first time in nearly 30 years and eighth overall, third most behind Miami (11) and New Orleans (10).

Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams in action on January 30, 2022.

‘An unforgettable cultural moment’

Hip-hop icons — Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar — headline the star-studded halftime show in what Dr. Dre say “will be an unforgettable cultural moment.”

For the first time ever, the five multi-award-winning artists — who have 43 Grammys and 22 number one billboard albums combined — will perform together on stage.

This will be a homecoming performance for Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar who are from Compton, California and Snoop Dogg who is from Long Beach.

“Artists like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were at the forefront of the West Coast hip hop revolution.” Todd Kaplan, Pepsi Marketing Vice President said in a statement.

“So to be able to bring them back to LA, where it all began alongside Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will prove to be an epic, unforgettable celebration of the impact hip hop has today.”

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