COLUMN: Super Bowl picks with The Carroll News Sports Staff


AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The exterior of SoFi Stadium is seen days before the Super Bowl NFL football game Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. The Los Angeles Rams will play the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.

Anna Meyer, Sports Editor

As the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams gear up for Super Bowl LVI, The Carroll News Sports Staff came up with their choices of who will take home the Lombardi Trophy. 

With the two final teams remaining, John Carroll University will show a strong presence in the Super Bowl as well. 

Jonathan Cooley ‘11 and former John Carroll University Football Defensive Coordinator Chirs Shula will represent the Blue & Gold on Super Bowl Sunday for the Los Angeles Rams. 

Shula, the Los Angeles Rams’ current linebacker’s coach and grandson of the late Don Shula ‘51, will help lead the defense into Super Bowl 56 alongside Cooley, who serves as the Ram’s assistant secondary coach. 

Without further ado, here is what The Carroll News Staff expects to see on Super Bowl Sunday. 

Leah Harrigan’s Prediction: Rams, 27-24

The Los Angeles Rams are favored to win this year’s Super Bowl contest. Does that mean that the poised and confident Joe Burrow can’t put forth a valiant effort? Certainly not. The game should be fairly close, but I think the Rams will have an edge in the latter portion, showing that Matt Stafford, a veteran quarterback, and Sean McVay, an offensive-minded head coach, will shine in an alternating battle. Although both quarterbacks are making their Super Bowl debut, I think many strategies will come from NFL game experience, in which Stafford surpasses Burrow. Certainly, I would love to see a statement victory from Cincinnati, but I’m not sure how realistic it is. The Rams will take this one, 27-24. But, we are definitely in for an entertaining match-up.

Noah Tylutki’s Pick: Rams, 31-24

While the Bengals may have second year quarterback “Joehio” Burrow at the helm of one of the NFL’s most potent passing attacks, experience and a “home-feel” advantage for the Rams turns into the franchise’s first super bowl victory since the Greatest Show on Turf in 1999. Matthew Stafford will sure feel some California Love as he wins the battle of the two former #1 overall picks and hoists the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in his 13 year career with Super Bowl MVP honors.

Ashley McCall’s Pick: Bengals, 30-27

The underdog cliche is hard to root against when the team is based less than four hours away from our school. 

In a classic tale of David and Goliath, the Cincinnati Bengals will have their work cut out for them against the veteran and seasoned Los Angeles Rams. 

Matt Stafford has it relatively easy on the offensive end with receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp in his lineup, but Mike Hilton on the Bengals’ defense might provide the shake up needed to stop the momentous Rams’ offense. 

The Rams’ saving grace might be defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who will surely pressure the entire Cincinnati offensive line and make his way back to Joe Burrow. The Bengals’ o-line is ranked at 30th in pass block win rate, which can lead to Burrow being pushed out of the pocket to make plays that he is not comfortable with during the drive. 

The Bengals offense will have to rely on some unorthodox matchups to move the chains. 

5’9 cornerback Darious Williams will be on the losing side of the battle against 6’4 wide receiver Tee Higgins which can provide the spark for Cincinnati’s offense. 

In typical NFL fashion, I think this game will come down to the wire with Bengals’ Evan “Money Mac” McPherson kicking the game winning field goal to give Cincinnati their first Super Bowl victory since joining the league in 1970.  

Burrow would become the third quarterback in NFL history to win both an NCAA National Championship and a Super Bowl, as well as the third quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl. 

How can you root against that?

Dylan Feltovich’s Pick:  Rams, 27-24

After the Rams traded for Matthew Stafford last season, I predicted that the Rams would win the Super Bowl. All Sean McVay needed was stellar QB play, and he finally has that. With the additions of Odell and Von Miller during the season, the Rams quickly became one of the most complete teams in the NFC. At this point for Stafford and the Rams, it is do or die for them in the Super Bowl. 

Anna Meyer’s Prediction: Bengals, 26-21

The 2021-2022 NFL season has been a Cinderella season for the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Joe Burrow’s second season proved his dominance, leadership and effective playmaking on the field. With Burrow at the helm of the offense, he has brought Cincinnati from a 4-11 record in the 2020-2021 season to a 10-7 2021-2022 regular-season record and the team’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1989. 

Not only is Burrow looking to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to life-long fans in Cincinnati, but to bring it back to his home state of Ohio.

On Sunday, the Bengals will have no easy task as the Rams will bring one of their best passing games in the league to the table. Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. have been powerful forces all season, but it will be up to the Bengals to shut them down. 

The young energy coming from the Bengals will be their driving force of momentum heading into the biggest game of the season. 

The Bengals come into the game with key players to cover the Rams’ passing game.

On the other end, the Rams come in at a direct disadvantage while competing against some of the top receivers in the league, including Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. The Rams fourth-most yards to receivers in the NFL this season could hinder their play in the big game as the Bengals’ offensive line has stepped up in the most recent weeks. 

Some of the most notable quarterbacks in the NFL came out victorious in their first Super Bowl. I believe that Burrow will complete the Bengals’ Cinderella season and will become the second 25-year old, joining Joe Montana to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.