6 bold predictions for Bengals vs. Rams in Super Bowl LVI

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images) /
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Cooper Kupp (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Cooper Kupp (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Cooper Kupp will be held in check

While the Bengals have a very dangerous receiver on their offense, the Rams may have one who is even more lethal in Cooper Kupp. The 28-year old led the NFL in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947),  and receiving touchdowns (16) in the 2021 season. Stopping Kupp will be the number one priority for Lou Anarumo and the Bengals’ defense.

Over the playoffs, Anarumo has done a good job of eliminating the opposing offense’s top weapon.

  • When the Bengals faced the Raiders, Darren Waller had a solid, but not game-changing day, catching the ball seven times for 76 yards.
  • Titans’ running back Derrick Henry only had 62 yards on 20 carries when the Bengals went to Nashville.
  • In the AFC Championship, Chiefs’ stars Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce had fine days, but were held in check compared to expectations, as the future Hall of Famers were held to a combined 17 catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns, with most of that production coming in the first half.

With the way the Bengals’ defense has been performing, there is no reason they should not be able to contain Kupp. Nickel cornerback Mike Hilton will likely guard Kupp for the majority of the day, getting help from safeties most of the day, with Jessie Bates III likely doing a lot of the work. However, the Bengals could also choose to have Chidobe Awuzie follow Kupp, as the veteran cornerback has shown he can shut down elite receivers with his performances against Tyreek Hill in January.

This is easier said than done, but the Bengals are absolutely capable of holding Kupp in check. However, “being held in check” looks different for Kupp than most receivers.

Expect the star receiver to have a modest day for him, but one that would look good for most receivers. Six receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown sounds about right. Odell Beckham Jr. will likely have to do the majority of the work for the Rams to win, as he will face off against Eli Apple.