Super Bowl Game Grades: Cincinnati Bengals

Story posted February 14, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Aidan Torok

The Cincinnati Bengals came up short in the Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams losing in heartbreaking fashion 23-20. After trailing 13-10 at the half, the Bengals came roaring back in the second half and looked to be in the driver's seat heading into crunch time.

However, after a late touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp and a failed fourth-down conversion. The Rams were the team that ended up victorious and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

The Cincinnati Bengals had a fairy tale season, but this year it was Matthew Stafford’s turn. With a young nucleus, this Bengals team is primed to make another run in the future.

Offense: C+

Coming into this game all the talk was about Joe Burrow and for good reason. The LSU standout had a phenomenal season and propelled the Bengals to the Super Bowl a year removed from a season-ending injury.

Burrow, for the most part, did his job. He didn’t turn the ball over, did a great job of extending plays with his legs, and got the ball to his biggest playmaker Ja'Marr Chase.

Chase had the difficult task of going head to head with the game's best cornerback. Jalen Ramsey was matched up against Chase for most of the night, and Chase got the better of him. Chase finished the night with five catches for 89 yards.

Where the Bengals’ offense struggled was with the offensive line. Trying to block Aaron Donald and Von Miller is a difficult task for any offense, but especially difficult for a team with a weak offensive line.

The Rams dominated the trenches by recording seven sacks during the contest. The seven sacks tie a Super Bowl record.

Defense: B-

The Rams started the Super Bowl on a roll. Stafford was in rhythm and getting the ball to his talented playmakers on the outside. The Rams jumped out to an early 13-3 lead. However, everything changed when Odell Beckham Jr. went down with an injury.

With Beckham Jr. out of the game, the Bengals were able to shift their entire focus to Kupp. The other receivers for the Rams couldn’t step up and Stafford was constantly under duress.

Logan Wilson, the middle linebacker for the Bengals, had an excellent game. Wilson along with the rest of the front seven clogged every running lane. Cam Akers had nowhere to go.

The Bengals didn’t allow the Rams to get anything going on the ground. And the running game is a crucial part of Sean McVay’s offense. McVay depends on the running game to set up the play-action pass.

The Bengal defense was one stop away from winning the Super Bowl. Stafford with the game on the line went to his favorite target. Cooper Kupp came up huge on the game-winning drive.

Eli Apple and the rest of the Bengals’ corners had no answers for the all-pro. Apple wasn’t doing himself any favors by giving the Rams multiple opportunities to score after a couple of pass interferences. The Bengals' defense crumbled late.

Coaching: C+

The moment seemed too big for the young Zac Taylor. Taylor had no answers for the talented Rams’ pass rush. With two weeks to prepare you to have to scheme up some way to slow down that front seven.

Taylor also took the ball out of the hands of his best player. Joe Burrow needs to throw the ball more. Joe Mixon had a solid game, but running the football 20 times is not how you win a football game in 2022.

Taylor did have a smart play call with the Mixon flea-flicker to Tee Higgins to get the Bengals their first touchdown. However, Taylor left his quarterback out to dry on the game’s biggest play.

Aidan Torok is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email ajt6051@psu.edu

About the Contributors

Aidan Torok's photo

Aidan Torok

Sophmore / Broadcast Journalism

Aidan Torok is a sophmore from West Caldwell, New Jersey majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He produces content and does play-by-play announcing and beat writing for the CommRadio sports department. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).