NFL Playoffs Recap: Rams and Bengals Meet in Super Bowl

Rene Almanza, OwlFeed Managing Sports Editor

Only a small number of elite football players who have the determination, ambition, and grit can say they’ve held the Lombardi trophy, as they pour blood, sweat, and tears into every play to get to this moment.

This year is much of the same as athletes in the playoffs seeking out a common ambition as one another. 

The last two teams standing are the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Let’s take a look back on previous teams as well and how these top two teams were able to overcome adversity head-on with the mantra in playoff football, win or go home, as we head to the City of Angels for the final matchup of the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl.

With the Wildcard round as the Las Vegas Raiders facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals, this year has been crazy for the Raiders as earlier in the season.

Head coach Jon Gruden resigned when emails surfaced containing inappropriate messages regarding players, coaches, and women when it comes to football. For the Raiders to make it to the playoffs with the added situations in Vegas showed their determination as a team.

They fell short of their goal against Cincinnati with a score of 26-19 but with the right pieces to fill in and keeping star quarterback Derek Carr, I could see them being a tough team to beat in the near future.

With the second game of the Wildcard which includes the former juggernaut of the NewEngland Patriots taking on their rival being the Buffalo Bills.

As the Patriots drafted quarterback Mac Jones from Alabama, it came to pass from everyone that the Patriots were going to make another run. Even spending roughly “$163 million in unrestricted free agency, which owner Robert Kraft has acknowledged is risky business,” according to ESPN.

However, all the pent-up rage the Bills had to endure in the Tom Brady era which they used for motivation sent New England back home with a score of 47-17, which is considered the perfect football game for Buffalo.

Onto the Philadelphia Eagles facing off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which from start to finish the Eagles with 2nd-year quarterback Jalen Hurts weren’t able to contain Tom Brady and the Bucs. They were lucky to make it in the playoffs in the first place with a score of 31-15, Buccaneers. 

The San Francisco 49ers versus the Dallas Cowboys, in which I will ignore this game ever happening. As a Cowboys fan, it was rigged from start to finish. The sun must’ve given the 49ers superhuman abilities, who knows. Good job by the 49ers, they totally deserved the win, better than the Cowboys when it came to managing a game even though they almost came back with a score of 23-17 in the 49ers’ favor. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers facing off against the Kansas-City Chiefs was a rough game to watch. It was the final game of Ben Roethlisberger of his 18-year career in the NFL, which from the start he didn’t feel confident going into the game.

Stating in a media interview, “ As a group, you understand that we probably aren’t supposed to be here. We’re probably not a very good football team.” Funny to say the least but he was speaking the truth as they fell 42-21.

The Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams are seen as an equal match-up, but as soon as star wide receiver Deandre Hopkins was injured in the regular season it ended up with a 34-11 Rams victory.

Similar to the Las Vegas Raiders is that the head coach Kliff Kingsbury hasn’t proven himself to be a successful head coach, especially going up Rams’ coach Sean McVay, a head coach who knows what he’s doing and doesn’t play as conservatively like Kingsbury does with Kyler Murray.

With the Divisional Round underway, we’ll go to both games at once as it relates to the number one seeds of the Tennessee Titans and the Green Bay Packers. Both teams would lose, which hadn’t happened since 2010.

The Titans loss came at the hand of lack of quarterback skill, while the Packers loss came at the hand of playing down to their competition.

Both number one seeds out just like that, as the 49ers and Bengals advance to their conference championship.

Moving onto the Buccaneers, a team with the GOAT Tom Brady, fell short. Could be that the Rams defense played like they wanted to win or Tom Brady couldn’t pull off another miracle comeback as the Rams moved on.

Possibly the greatest divisional-round game was the Chiefs and Bills, as we got to see both of these quarterbacks exchange blow after blow. The matchup pitting the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes against the Bills’ Josh Allen makes it seem as if we have the new Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Ultimately, the Bills fell short of the goal as they lost in overtime with a score of 42-36. Josh Allen will be back but they just need that one missing piece.

The AFC and NFC championships saw the Bengals defeat the Chiefs and the Rams beat the 49ers, sending the winners to the Super Bowl matchup in L.A.

The 49ers’ loss came at the hands of Jimmy Garoppolo, in possibly his last game in a 49er jersey. He plays like a backup quarterback but to see him make it this far is honestly impressive considering his skills with a 20-17 loss. 

The Chiefs’ loss, however, was a shocking defeat as they were as dominant as ever in the 1st half of the game but in the 2nd half it was an all-Bengals comeback of 18 points, leading to a 34-31 win.

It was an unpredictable playoff run with many upsets we will look back on for many years.

For my unpredictable prediction, however, I’ll be going with the Cincinnati Bengals winning their very first Super Bowl with a 36-33 win over the Rams.