Super Bowl history is filled with upsets, and this year’s game could very well see another favorite come up short. A Super Bowl prediction that picks the Cincinnati Bengals to defeat the Los Angeles Rams could be one of them, given the advantage that the underdog has in some key areas.

Los Angeles is favored by 4.5 points over Cincinnati. The game is held at SoFi Stadium, the Rams’ home venue, but Super Bowls draw spectators from around the nation.

Here are three reasons why the Bengals can beat the Rams in Super Bowl 2022.

Joe Burrow vs. Matthew Stafford

The team with the better quarterback always has a good chance to win an NFL game. Stafford had more passing yards and touchdowns in the regular season, but Burrow is the better player in only his second NFL season. Burrow completed a league-high 70.4% of his passes, and his 108.3 passer rating ranked behind only MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers for the NFL’s best.

Burrow put up those numbers despite playing behind a below-average offensive line. His ability to scramble out of pressure has been a key reason the Bengals won the AFC title. As great as Stafford is in many games, he sometimes costs Los Angeles with sloppy mistakes, as evidenced by his league-high 17 interceptions. In the NFC Championship, Stafford threw a pass late in the game that easily could have been intercepted by San Francisco 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt that may have spelled doom for the Rams.

After putting the Bengals on his back through the AFC playoffs, Burrow has what it takes to carry Cincinnati to a championship.

Surging Bengals’ Defense

While Burrow has received many of the headlines, Cincinnati’s defense has arguably been as important to the team’s postseason run. After holding the Las Vegas Raiders to 19 points in the wild-card round, the Bengals limited the Tennessee Titans to 16 points with three interceptions against Ryan Tannehill in the divisional round. Holding Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to 24 points in the AFC Championship Game was no small feat, especially since the team scored 21 points in the contest’s first 20 minutes.

Cincinnati limited Kansas City to 83 yards and three points on seven drives in the second half. The Bengals picked Mahomes off twice, including an overtime interception that helped set up the game-winning field goal. The Bengals also held the Chiefs to just a second-half field goal in Week 17. Cincinnati has surrendered a meager 73.5 passer rating this postseason with eight sacks and six picks.

Even if Stafford and the Rams get off to a strong start, Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is more than capable of making key second-half adjustments.

The Kicking Game

Cincinnati reached the Super Bowl by stacking up three-point tries, not getting into the end zone. Evan McPherson made four field goals in every playoff game, allowing the Bengals to overcome scoring only five touchdowns this postseason.

In his rookie season, McPherson has emerged as one of the NFL’s top kickers. It isn’t just his accuracy or strong leg, which has allowed McPherson to make a league-best 12 field goals of at least 50 yards on only 14 attempts. McPherson is clutch in the biggest moments. That hasn’t exactly been the case for Rams kicker Matt Gay, who has missed two field goals this postseason. One of Gay's misses was a 47-yard attempt that came up short.

It won’t take Cincinnati many first downs to reach scoring range against Los Angeles. If the Super Bowl comes down to the wire, the Bengals will have the advantage.

Evan McPherson celebrates after slotting the game-winning field goal in overtime as the Cincinnati Bengals upset the Kansas City Chiefs to reach the Super Bowl
Evan McPherson celebrates after slotting the game-winning field goal in overtime as the Cincinnati Bengals upset the Kansas City Chiefs to reach the Super Bowl GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / JAMIE SQUIRE