Two No. 4 seeds meet in Super Bowl

NFL: JAN 30 AFC Conference Championship - Bengals at Chiefs
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The 2021 season was as wide-open as any we’ve seen in recent years. It culminated in a postseason that saw the top three seeds in each conference fail to make it to the Super Bowl.

For the first time at least since the merger, the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 seed from both the AFC and NFC didn’t advance to the Super Bowl. Instead, it will be the fourth-seeded Rams and the fourth-seeded Bengals in two weeks at SoFi Stadium.

It’s the kind of outcome the NFL loves. With half of the 14 playoff teams from 2021 not making it last year and a pair of four seeds blowing up the playoff tree, it feeds into the any-year-can-be-our-year vibe. Which creates plausible hope for every team that next year can be the year.

Sure, for some teams the hope may be closer to implausible than plausible. Still, there’s reason to believe, for all 32 fan bases, that what happened for the Rams and Bengals is a year, maybe two, from coming to fruition for them, too.

Both teams did it as differently as they could. The Rams continue to swap draft picks for proven players. The Bengals, in contrast, have turned a pair of top-five picks into generational talents around which they have built — and will continue to build.

Regardless, it’s always better for the NFL when the unexpected happens. Because it shows that the unexpected can happen. And with everyone back to 0-0 in 14 days, it creates anticipation and fascination that, no matter how this year went, something unexpected will happen in 2022.

28 responses to “Two No. 4 seeds meet in Super Bowl

  1. I think at least 1 person in SoFi stadium had Covid today. They should return to daily testing for the long term health and safety of players and fans alike.

  2. Ranks as one of the most unpredictable, exciting seasons in NFL history. The Bengals were 2-14 two seasons ago. Never give up on your team.

  3. A very fitting SB in a year of surprise twists… Under dogs winning more than usual, So many visiting teams beating home teams in the playoffs, Young QBs for multiple showing promising futures and large number of teams with winning records…

  4. I so wish my father were still alive in Middletown, Ohio, to see the Bengals play in their third SUPERBOWL!!!! He would have greatly enjoyed this entire Bengals season!!!!

  5. By this logic, it gives the miserable Bills, Vikings, Browns, and Lions a shot at the Super Bowl then. LOL

  6. I’m sure if I put just $1 on the table on draft day 2020 that the Bengals would be playing in Super Bowl LVI, I’d be cashing in a million dollar ticket today. But I’m just glad I like both teams in the Super Bowl for a change.

  7. That’s true. Hard to impossible to build a dynasty during the salary cap years. You have to draft well continuously, replacing others, get a bunch of breaks, be consistent at execution, and that still isn’t enough usually. Usually.

  8. Any Super Bowl without the name “Tom Brady” is just fine by me. His great play over the years resulted in boredom for me. Nice to have two teams that have some hunger in their collective eyes instead of, “of course we should be here”.

    I wonder how many times the David vs. Goliath analogy will be shown as the team from la-la land hosts the team from flyover land.

  9. The Bengals have built a team the right way; a way that allows them to get even better next year and beyond. I don’t like what the Rams have done, trading away so many draft choices to put together a superteam. Yeah, it might get them the Lombardi this year, but it’ll inevitably fall apart in the not-too-distant future and they could be in the hole for a long time. I can see the argument in favor of their approach, but I don’t respect it.

  10. Oh it’s definitely fixed…. Did you see Mahomes 2nd half? They’re coming out within a new “Mean Machine” movie based on that meltdown. Rob Schneider is playing Patrick Mahomes.

  11. jetmaster99 says:
    January 31, 2022 at 3:21 am
    Yuk, will be watching King of queens reruns over this junk

    Yeah right… sure you will.

  12. Hard to impossible to build a dynasty during the salary cap years.

    False. Belichick built 2.

  13. How many times have QBs taken #1 overall squared off in the Super Bowl?

  14. If the Bengals pull this off, they would have to be the longest shot based on opening season odds to win a Superbowl ever. They were 120-1 in August.

  15. I wish Tom Brady well but tired of all of the Super Bowl appearances. Its time for someone else to shine and Brady should retire but he wants all of the hoopla surrounding it.

  16. No Brady, no Patriots, no Chiefs. This is a dream scenario. Haven’t looked so much forward to a Super Bowl in a decade. Good riddance.

  17. The NFL is so scripted. Two number four seeds meeting in the super bowl on the 44th day of the year? And, of course the Bengals are now in the super bowl during the year of the tiger. They won’t have Brady retire until he ties Belichick in rings.

  18. Bearfan54 says:
    January 31, 2022 at 9:38 am
    I’m looking forward to next years Detroit vs Jacksonville Super Bowl.

    With Jacksonville > Texans and Lions > Falcons in the championship round!

    I wonder what the futures odds would be on something like that. lol

  19. only one NFL dynasty in the past quarter century and the endless string of pretenders. with the GOAT hanging it up maybe the league finally has the parity the system is skewed for.

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