This weekend, the LA Rams face the Cincinnati Bengals in one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
Those teams will be headed up on offense by two quarterbacks, namely Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford. Lets us take a closer look at these men and look at how they earned the right to play in Super Bowl LVI.
The LA Rams have achieved 5 wins this season against teams who have won at least 10 games themselves, that takes some doing! Some may say that the Rams are only in the Super Bowl due to a Jimmy Garoppolo interception but ultimately Stafford found a way to win when it mattered, despite a few drops by his receivers during the NFC Championship game.
Like his opponent on Sunday, Matt Stafford was also selected with the 1st overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL draft. Stafford has had a solid career becoming the fastest player to reach 40,000 yards (147 games). Stafford has 49,995 yards, a 63% pass completion, 323 touchdowns (passing) to 161 interceptions. He also has 14 rushing touchdowns.
Stafford started as a quarterback from 2009 to 2020. He was traded last March to the Rams for a combined package of a 2021 3rd round pick, 2 first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 and Jared Goff moving the other way to the Lions.
Stafford started in LA with a bang, winning NFC offensive player of the week against the Bears. In week 7, Stafford faced his former team, scoring 3 touchdowns in a 28-19 victory. Stafford led the Rams to a 12-5 record, setting a number of franchise records along the way.
Burrow was selected by Cincinnati with the first pick of the 2019 NFL draft. His rookie season was cut short by a season-ending ACL and MCL injury to his left knee in the Week 11 game against the Washington Football Team (now Commanders).
Burrow returned with a vengeance in 2021 beating divisional rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh twice each ending the season 10-7 before leading the Bengals to not only their 1st playoff win in 30 years but to the Super Bowl itself.
In his sophomore season, Burrow has excelled with his ability to read and understand pressures almost immediately allowing him to outmaneuver defenses during the snap, he has an almost sixth sense for where the gaps in the zones will appear.
He combines this with excellent accuracy and to prove this point, Burrow led the league in pass completion percentage in 2021 (70.4%). Burrows career stats are impressive after only 2 seasons with 7,299 passing yards, 47 TD to 19 interceptions.
Burrow played for Ohio State before transferring to LSU in his college career winning the Heisman trophy in 2019 leading LSU to a National Championship over Clemson. Burrow won offensive MVP in the game linking up with now Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase with a 52-yard pass to open the LSU account. Burrow scored 5 passing TDs (2 were passes to Chase) and 1 rushing TD.
Watch out for the Burrow / Chase partnership during Sunday’s game; it has the ability to lead to a touchdown with any deep pass. Chase has recorded the best rookie wide receiver season since Randy Moss with 1,455 receiving yards. Chase is impressive with contested catches, quick cuts, and obtaining yards after catch consistently.
Which of these two men will lift the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday?