The NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams face the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals in the final game of the 2021 NFL season: Super Bowl LVI from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time. The game will be broadcast on NBC — locally on KSHB/41.
In 54 consecutive Super Bowls, no team had played for the NFL championship in its home stadium. That record was broken following the 2020 season, when the Kansas City Chiefs played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Now for the second straight year, one of the teams will be playing in its home stadium — but just as with the Chiefs a year ago, the Bengals are designated as the home team. Still — just like in Super Bowl LV — the Rams will use their own locker room, while the Bengals will use the locker room normally used by the Los Angeles Chargers for their home games.
Both teams entered the postseason as the fourth seed in their respective conferences. The Rams topped the NFC West with a 12-5 record — winning the division for the first time since 2018 — and then defeated the Arizona Cardinals 34-11 in the Wild Card round, the Buccaneers 30-27 in the Divisional round and the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the conference championship.
The Bengals’ 10-7 record gave them the AFC North for the first time since 2015. They defeated the Los Vegas Raiders 26-19 in their Wild Card game, advanced to the conference championship with a 19-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans and edged the Chiefs 27-24 in overtime to make the championship game.
This is the Rams’ fourth Super Bowl appearance. As the St. Louis Rams, they defeated the Titans 23-16 to win Super Bowl XXXIV after the 1999 season. But in their other two appearances, they provided the final bookend to two famous NFL dynasties. The Pittsburgh Steelers won their fourth championship in six seasons when they defeated the Rams in Super Bowl XIV following the 1979 season. 19 years after that — after their third season back in Los Angeles — the Rams lost Super Bowl LIII to the New England Patriots, becoming the last team to lose the championship to the Patriots during the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady dynasty.
The Bengals are appearing in the championship game for the third time. After the 1981 season, they lost Super Bowl XVI to the 49ers — becoming the first of four teams to lose a championship to head coach Bill Walsh and quarterback Joe Montana — and then lost Super Bowl XXIII to the same duo following the 1988 season. The Bengals made the postseason again in 1990, defeating the Houston Oilers in the Wild Card round before losing to the Raiders the following week. In the years that followed, the Bengals made the Wild Card round seven times — including five straight seasons from 2011 through 2015 — but never again won a postseason game until they defeated the Raiders a month ago.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Rams are four-point favorites to win their second Super Bowl.
Nuts & Bolts
- Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
- Playing surface: Artificial
- Game time: 5:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time, Sunday, February 13, 2022
- National Anthem: Mickey Guyton, followed by “America The Beautiful” performed by Jhené Aiko
- Halftime show: Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige
- Matchup history: 8-6 Bengals (regular season)
- Odds: Rams -4, according to DraftKings Sportsbook
- Officials: Referee Ron Torbert (62), umpire Bryan Neale (92), down judge Derick Bowers (74), line judge Carl Johnson (101), field judge Rick Patterson (15), side judge Keith Washington (7), back judge Scott Helverson (93), replay official Roddy Ames and replay assistant Sean McKee.
- Television broadcast: with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya and Kathryn Tappen on KSHB (NBC/41-Kansas City) and NBC affiliates nationwide
- Online Stream: Peacock, Fubo.TV
- Rams radio broadcast: with J.B Long and Maurice Jones-Drew on KSPN (710 AM-Los Angeles), KCBS (93.1 FM-Los Angeles) and Rams Radio Network affiliates
- Bengals radio broadcast: with Dan Hoard and Dave Lapham on WEBN (FM 102.7-Cincinnati), WLW (AM 700-Cincinnati), WCKY (AM 1530-Cincinnati) and Bengals Radio Network affiliates
- Rams SBNation site: Turf Show Times
- Bengals SBNation site: Cincy Jungle