That’s it! Starting out with 32 teams back in September, we have now reached the final 2 after last night’s round of playoffs. The Los Angeles Rams will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals at their home SoFi Stadium in California after both producing stunning comebacks to win their Conference Championships.
Not heard the news yet?! We recently teamed up with NFL UK as an official partner for Super Bowl LVI, and with tonnes of American football essentials from jerseys to balls and loads more, now’s the time to show your support! Check out our full collection right here.
With the Super Bowl taking place in just under 2 weeks’ time on Sunday 13th February, here’s all you need to know about our 2 finalists and how they reached the biggest event of the year…
Los Angeles Rams
Boasting one of the league’s strongest defences all year, the LA Rams have shown us why they’re so highly rated this season with a star-studded squad.
They followed up their impressive start with a comprehensive 34-11 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the Wild Card round. Next, they faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by the legendary Tom Brady. The Rams set a blistering pace, going 20-3 up at half time; but the reigning Super Bowl champs finished strongly in the final quarter to keep the Rams’ defence on high alert – the game finishing 30-27.
In last weekend’s NFC Conference Championship final, the Rams recovered from 17-7 behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 and finally overcome their losing streak to the 49ers, securing their place in the Super Bowl.
The experienced Matthew Stafford was far from his best early on but recovered to keep his side in it at 10-7 down by the halfway stage. Going through the 3rd quarter without scoring left them a 10-point deficit to turn around in the final quarter, but the pressure got to the 49ers as the Rams racked up the points through the boot of Matt Gay.
Cincinnati’s route to the final hasn’t been as plain sailing as their opposition. The Bengals were the worst team in the NFL two years ago with a 2-14 record, but now – having booked their first Super Bowl final in over 30 years – will look to win it for the first time.
They started their season winning the AFC North division with a 10-7 record, edging out the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens to take top spot. Coming up against a competitive Las Vegas Raiders side in the Wild Card round, they kept control of the game to win 26-19.
Moving on to the Divisional round, the Bengals faced their toughest test yet in the Tennessee Titans – the highest ranked team in the AFC division. With the sides tied leading into the final quarter, the defences were dominating. But with the last kick of the game, Evan McPherson stepped up once again to nail a 52-yard field goal and send Cincinnati through!
If the Bengals’ fans hadn’t had enough last-minute wins this year, last weekend didn’t disappoint… Coming up against the defending AFC champions Kansas City Chiefs, their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw 3 touchdowns in their opening 3 drives to put them out of reach. However, on the stroke of half-time, Kansas City turned down the chance for a simple field goal and went for the end zone, but were stopped short, giving a glimmer of hope back to the Bengals.
The most improved team then turned the screw in the second half to even things up at 24-all. McPherson proved the hero once again with a nerve-jangling field goal from 31 yards to send Cincinnati through in overtime.
Super Bowl LVI
Ready for the biggest sporting event of the year? With show-stopping half-time performances from some of the biggest names in the music game, you’re not gonna’ want to miss this!
Missed out on our NFL content this year?! Catch up right here as JD regular David Alorka (@davidalorka) sat down with some familiar faces in #TheHuddle series, where they shared their love of all things NFL.
Stay locked into @jdsports as we’re sending our guy Josh Denzel (@joshdenzel) out to California for the big event! Catch all the Super Bowl LVI action on Sunday 13th February.