How Bengals Can Win Super Bowl 2022: Joe Burrow's Quick Passing Will Be Key

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass in the first quarter during the AFC Championship Game.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass in the first quarter during the AFC Championship Game. / Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

We have arrived at the Super Bowl! Much is going to be made over the next week with narratives running wild, but we are here to analyze what is going on on the field and how each team can game plan to beat the opposition.

The Cincinnati Bengals offense has made timely play after timely play en route to their first Super Bowl since 1988 while the Los Angeles Rams have leaned on their immense talent to lift them to their second Super Bowl in four seasons.

Let's start with the facts: the Rams are the considerable favorite, favored by 4 points at WynnBET Sportsbook with a total of 48.5.

You can find more Super Bowl information here, but let's key in on how Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense can attack Raheem Morris' defense that is anchored by defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Joe Burrow Needs to Get the Ball out Quick

There's a ton of noise around the Bengals inability to block the likes of Donald and Von Miller, and while that is true to an extent when do we adjust our thinking to the fact that the Bengals hogmollies have been holding up in the postseason?

Yes, Burrow was sacked nine times in the win over Tennessee, but for the most part the offensive line has done enough for the Bengals offense to operate fine. Not to mention, blitzing Burrow has been a death wish for defenses this season, he has the best passer grade against the blitz this season, per Pro Football Focus.

With that in mind, Donald and Miller are going to be in the backfield, they're that good. I don't expect the Rams to blitz all too much. The team was 11th in blitz rate this season and can win with a traditional front.

Again, Burrow is used to this quick offense, he has the 10th shortest time to throw in the NFL this season, per NFL Next Gen Stats, and I expect Zac Taylor to scheme up several underneath throws to the likes of Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins the ball as Ja'Marr Chase commands attention on deeper routes.

With the Rams typically playing zone coverage, Burrow can work underneath to success and trust his game breaking receivers to make plays. Per PFF, the Bengals quarterback completion percentage is up 7% against zone defense this season while compared to man defense. It's worth mentioning he did throw nine interceptions against zone defense while he threw five to the other team in man coverage.

Can Joe Mixon Be a Factor?

We will touch on game script and pace in the next section, but I noticed that Taylor chose to run on first down often with some middling results. Lead back Joe Mixon averaged more than four yards per carry on 21 handoffs, but he lacked explosiveness in the first half to open up the Bengals passing game.

I don't expect much better for Mixon in the Super Bowl. The Rams are fourth in the league in Rush DVOA and I expect this game is going to fall on Burrow's shoulders.

We saw the 49ers run game stymied in the NFC Championship -- 2.5 yards per carry -- and the 49ers opted to use more quick screen action to get the ball out of Jimmy Garoppolo's hands quickly. While one would think that Burrow is the more talented quarterback than Jimmy G (he is), the 49ers' pass game had similar marks to the Bengals this season, Cincy was 11th in dropback success rate while San Fran was 12th and the 49ers were fifth on an EPA basis, Cincy was ninth.

The 49ers actually had a decent game plan to attack the Rams through the air, averaging nearly eight yards per pass, but opted to lean on their ground game late and it cost them when it mattered most.

I expect Taylor is forced to ditch the run game for the most part and this game will be won on Burrow's arm, who he has significantly more confidence in than Kyle Shanahan does with Jimmy G.

Back to the run game, The Rams are top 10 in limiting explosive rush as well, I just don't see many avenues for the Bengals ground game to be a factor, so I'll likely be keying in on Mixon rush unders in the prop market.

Bengals Must Dictate the Pace

The Bengals are 29th in neutral game pace this season, and I expect to see them play at a methodical tempo again.

With Los Angeles opting not to blitz a ton and also able to get pressure without it, I see the Bengals looking to go underneath in the passing game. I've made note of Burrow's success against pressure and that the 49ers found holes in the Rams defense with the quick screen game, but keep an eye on the middle of the field too.

The Bengals have a three-headed monster at wide receiver and the team can run a ton underneath to put pressure on the Rams linebackers and get the ball out quickly.

The injury to C.J. Uzomah is important with that part of the field being a trigger point for the Bengals offense. If not, key in on Drew Sample in the short passing game. However, my favorite target for the Bengals is Tyler Boyd, who is a sure handed slot option for Burrow to find quickly.

If the Bengals look to take their time and march down the field through the air, I expect Boyd to figure prominently, especially when noting that the team is likely going to be shut down in the run game.