Super Bowl LVI keys to victory: What do the Bengals and Rams have to do to win the Lombardi Trophy?

It's not only one of the biggest and most-watched single sporting events in the world, but also the most heavily analysed. Planet Sport looks at how Super Bowl LVI will be won.

Super Bowl LVI is set up beautifully with two young coaches, two high-profile quarterbacks and two evenly-matched teams doing battle for the Lombardi Trophy.

As always, certain factors will be key to glory for either side, in what is the ultimate team sport. Big stars can win you the game, but more often than not it takes a complete team performance to win the big one.

So what do our teams need to do to go all the way in LA?

The Bengals will win if...

They can give Joe Burrow time to make big plays

It's simple but it's true, and this battle between the Rams' elite pass rush and the Bengals' dodgy offensive line could well be the key to the entire game. It's also a key for LA but on the Cincy side all they really need to do is limit the damage.

Aaron Donald and company will get through at times, but the Bengals need to use a combination of running the ball, and short, quick passes and screens to slow down the pass rush and give them something to think about.

The Rams don't do well defending screen passes and that in turn is key to unlocking Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins in the longer passing game.

The Bengals have made their name this season with big plays, but it all starts with keeping Burrow reasonably safe from harm. He's the first QB to reach the Super Bowl after being sacked the most in the regular season, so he's proved he can handle being hit, he needs just enough room to do the damage.

They can win the turnover battle

The Bengals ranked 18th in defence this season, so there's nothing special about this unit with no real stars, but collectively they've done brilliantly down the stretch and in the play-offs at just doing enough - and grabbing crucial turnovers at crucial times.

Teams that win the turnover battle are 38-5 in Super Bowls and the Bengals have forced seven in the play-offs, including six interceptions from six different players - it's a team defensive unit not a defence filled with star players.

And their success in the play-offs has been just as much about timely defensive plays as it has been about Burrow's brilliance.

They intercepted Derek Carr near their own end zone to beat the Raiders, picked off Ryan Tannehill to set-up the win against Tennessee and also picked off Patrick Mahomes in overtime.

That came after restricting the Chiefs to just three second half points - they're not an elite unit but getting crucial picks at crucial times could be a huge asset - as Matthew Stafford has been prone to turnovers at important moments.

Trey Hendrickson brings the heat

He's not quite Aaron Donald, but Trey Hendrickson has been a revelation since his big-money move from New Orleans to Cincinnati last summer, with 16.5 sacks more than a decent return.

Defensive partner Sam Hubbard has 10.5 sacks but Hendrickson has been the man causing problems - he was chasing Mahomes constantly in the second half despite the Bengals not really bringing a lot of pressure or blitzing.

But while Donald and the household names on the Rams could ruin this game, Hendrickson could do likewise if he's on Stafford's case as he was Mahomes, as Stafford does not perform well when pressured.

All Stafford's numbers in terms of completed passes and quarterback rating all take a huge nosedive when he's under pressure or hurried, and although he's played brilliantly at times in the play-offs he has had a couple of certain interceptions dropped. These Bengals don't drop many.

The Rams will win if...

Aaron Donald and friends play smart

We've gone through what the Bengals need to do to keep Burrow upright, but how exactly will the Rams get after him?

Well, first and foremost they need to keep calm and not get too excited about the big advantage they should have up front. Aaron Donald needs to be moved around and used at the right times in the right places.

As make no mistake, Burrow is special, and if he's allowed the time and just a little bit of space he'll win this game for Cincinnati. But as we saw last season if a defensive line can dominate then even a star QB, like Patrick Mahomes for instance, can't win the Super Bowl without time to breathe.

On the back end, Jalen Ramsey and co need to keep tabs on Ja'Marr Chase and stop any quick throws coming out, but at the end of the day it's all about Donald, and Von Miller, doing the damage. Miller has been growing into his role with a new team and if Cincy try to double team Donald then Miller could be huge.

Find ways to get Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham free

It's not like these guys are unknowns, everybody knows what Cooper Kupp has done this season and just what he can do - but stopping him has been a different story, as he's scored four TDs in the play-offs and hauled in huge catches to help ice games against the Bucs and 49ers.

Critics thought Beckham was done after Cleveland but you don't go from best receiver in the league to no-hoper just like that, and he's been getting better and better as the play-offs have gone on. With Kupp drawing double coverage Beckham will have chances to win one-on-one match-ups.

The Bengals dropped seven and even eight players into coverage against the Chiefs and nullified Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in that second half, so Kupp and Beckham will have to be elusive to wriggle free. One way to get them the ball is to hand it off in the backfield or on short catch-and-run passes over the middle.

It's exactly how the Chiefs sprung Hill when facing similar defences so as long as McVay has options to get the ball into this duo's hands then they can get the yards and the points to steer them home.

They can finish the game off

It's one of a number of intriguing aspects of the game that the Rams have been fast starters but have at times struggled to kill teams off in big games, while the Bengals have proven that they never know when they're beaten, having dug themselves out of huge holes to win.

Sean McVay has a 47-1 record when his team have been ahead at half time, a record that was 45-0 until the last game of this regular season, but a feature of Zac Taylor's team has been their second half efforts when making adjustments at the break.

And we need look no further than a fortnight ago when they recovered from 21-3 down and 23-10 at half-time to dominate the Chiefs in the second half. Kansas City had a great chance to score and kill the game just before half-time but fluffed their lines, if the Rams get a chance to do something similar they need to take it.

The Bengals will never admit defeat, and an extra-long half-time break at the Super Bowl will give Taylor even more time to make those changes.

Cincy are the best third-quarter team in the league, and will feel they've always got a chance, so if LA get ahead they need to keep pushing, if they give these Bengals an inch they'll take a mile - and the Lombardi Trophy.

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