Just like precisely none of us thought, the Cincinnati Bengals are… playing in the Super Bowl? Is this right? Whose Madden sim is this?

Listen, as far as Super Bowls go, this one rules. No Tom Brady. No Aaron Rodgers. Just the extremely cool Joe Burrow against a guy who’d never won a playoff game in 12 seasons as a starter,  Matt Stafford. Plus Ja’Marr ChaseOdell Beckham Jr,Jalen Ramsey and Joe Mixon.

This will be fun, and I’m here to tell you why I think Cincy will win.

I’m believing in Joe Burrow because: I, too, have watched the iconic video of him smoking that cigar after winning the national championship at LSU. That is Super Bowl-winning energy! As is the confidence to tell reporters you’re too rich to have fake jewelry. And the whole throwing for nearly 1,000 yards the last two weeks of the season thing doesn’t hurt either. 

Ja’Marr Chase can beat Jalen Ramsey: Ramsey’s one of the best defenders in the world and isn’t afraid to say it, but he’s up against one of the biggest breakout receivers in the league! In his last six games, Chase has tallied 696 yards on 40 receptions.

The Bengals had time to build chemistry: I’m buying into the continuity Cincy’s offseason acquisitions like DL Trey Hendrickson and rookie Chase have gained over the course of the year as opposed to L.A.’s midseason trades for Beckham and Von Miller

The takeaway: The Bengals defense is too strong to lose. The team’s allowed the third-fewest points in the second half all season and can halt the Rams’ run game. If it comes to a quarterback shootout, they’re equipped to win, even if Joey B. is getting sacked (see: the nine-sack game against the Titans in the Wild Card round). 

Game spread: Bengals (+4) vs. Rams (-4)

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