From The RamCave: 2/11/22

By Joe Torosian

From the top…Rams win Super Bowl 56, 31-26.

Further down is the breakdown…and that breakdown will be without: “Hey, we just got to take care of the ball and play our game.”

Next Lazy Add: “This is all about Matthew Stafford not turning the ball over.”

Final Lazy Add: “Joe Burrow’s got this.”

The question came about with who and where am I’m going to watch the Super Bowl.

As someone with space issues and a disdain for riff-raff, my port of entry to Super Bowl 56 will be the RamCave (my home base). And I will be watching it ALONE. 

If you’re not a fully invested Rams fan, I don’t want you watching the game with me. I don’t want to field your questions, your snark, and desire to see the commercials–with me in the RamCave.

If that’s how you roll, you’re nothing but riff-raff to me on (Rams) game day.

(I’ll rap with you online, but I need my space.)

Also, an excellent game to me is the Rams winning. A great game is the Rams winning 56-0. I don’t want to see the Rams win 31-28. I’ll take it, I’ll appreciate it, and rub it in the face of Cowboys fans, but 31-28 is not a great game to me. It’s a coronary.

I recognize the Bengals are the underdog, but seeing how the Rams have not had home-field advantage throughout January, it feels very 1979. There is a bit of the “Us Against The World” attitude creeping in, and the irony, of course, is that Super Bowl 14 was played locally at the Rose Bowl.

(If you need clarification on what 1979 felt like as a Rams fan–drop me a line.)

***

The boil down is easy. I’ve hit on it all week. The Rams need to run the ball and make the Bengals’ safeties (the best part of their defense besides Trey Hendrickson) come up to defend. The moment that happens, Stafford will expose the Cincy corners.

I’ll say it once more, Stafford throwing the ball 25 times is the perfect number in this game. If he only has 25 attempts, it means the running game is pounding. This means he could easily toss three touchdown passes because of all the space his receivers will have.

While I’ve taken the Rams by five, that could easily swell to two touchdowns. I think the Bengals are good, I think the Bengals have a shot, but everyone has spent two weeks looking into Joe Burrow’s eyes. Two weeks of that will make you believe anything.

Cincinnati has a shot, but I think some of the trends picking them to win result from a deep dive into Joe Burrow’s eyes.

The Bengals’ offensive line is terrible, but a great quarterback can cover a multitude of sins. That’s why Cincy has a shot, and that’s why the Rams need to keep them off the field.

I worry about Sean McVay having a bit of the Andy Reid in him. A relentless desire, want/need to win a certain way. If he can curtail his urge to pass, pass, and then pass some more, the Bengals won’t get that shot.

Some Stats:

Pass Blocking Rank Run Blocking Rank Pass Route Rank
Rams: 1 (81.6) Rams: 10 (76.5) Rams: 3 (82.9)
Bengals: 25 (57.3) Bengals: 20 (65.2) Bengals: 4 (82.2)
Pass Rush Rank Run Defense Rank Pass Defensive Rank
Rams: 1 (86.6) Rams: 1 (86.4) Bengals: 10 (77.5)
Bengals 21 (69.2) Bengals: 23 (47.7) Rams: 12 (74.6)
Playoff 3rd Down Conversions Playoff 3rd Down Opponent Conversions
Offense Defense
Bengals: 20 of 41 Bengals: 15 of 38
Rams: 21 of 42 Rams: 6 of 32

Cincy played: Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, & Patrick Mahomes
LA played: Kyler Murray, Tom Brady, & Jimmy Garoppolo

The Rams lost five times in the regular season: Tennessee, San Francisco (2), Arizona, Green Bay—all playoff teams. (But redeemed three of those losses by beating the 49ers and the Cardinals in the post-season)

The Bengals lost seven times in the regular season: Chicago, Green Bay, New York Jets, Cleveland (2), Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco—Only the Packers and 49ers made the playoffs.

Rams Common Opponent Bengals
Won Chicago Lost
Won Minnesota Won
Won Jacksonville Won
Lost Green Bay Lost
Won Detroit Won
Won Baltimore Won (2)
Lost Tennessee Won
Won 1, Lost 2 San Francisco Won
Record: 6-4 8 Opponents Record: 7-2

Cosmic Caffeinated Nerdom:
The Rams have never allowed a touchdown in the first quarter in four Super Bowl appearances.
The Rams have only scored one touchdown in the first quarter of four Super Bowls. Do you know who that was? (See bottom of column.)

In two Super Bowl appearances against San Francisco, Cincy has not scored a point in the first quarter. Nor have they scored a touchdown in the first half.

Rams By Qtr. in SB
First Second Third Fourth Total
Opponents 3 24 16 37 80
Rams 13 12 16 21 62

Beware The Fourth:
The Rams rallied at the end of Super Bowl 36 before losing to New England. But the Patriots scored 10-points in Super Bowl 53’s final quarter. Fans should remember the Titans’ fourth-quarter rally in Super Bowl 34, and of course, it was in the last stanza of Super Bowl 14 that things fell apart for the Rams against Pittsburgh.

The only Rams touchdown scored in the first-quarter of a Super Bowl?
Cullen Bryant against Pittsburgh in Super Bowl 14:

As John Facenda put it: “Somewhere, under a mass of humanity, was Cullen Bryant with the game’s first touchdown.”

Tangent Dreams

Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel (Available thru Amazon–click on pic)

Final Positive:
If you’re struggling with doubt about this game…just repeat to yourself over and over: “Mike Jones…Mike Jones…Mike Jones…”

Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”… “Sin Virus”…all available through Amazon.com.

www.JoeTorosian.com
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