The Possibilities Are Plentiful For An Intriguing Super Bowl LVI Matchup

Written By Ken Pomponio on 01/14/2022
Most Intriguing Super Bowl LVI Matchups

Fourteen teams begin the chase for Super Bowl LVI this Saturday as the NFL playoffs kick off with Super Wild Card Weekend.

That leaves us with 49 possible matchups for the Big Game, scheduled for 4 p.m., MT Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

Putting all team allegiances and biases aside as we start to dig into some Colorado Super Bowl betting, here are some intriguing pairings we’d be most eager to see.

Super Bowl revenge narratives abound

Interestingly, there’s a revenge possibility for each of the last four Big Games. The narrative also extends to 10 of the 22 Super Bowls played this century.

The possibilities start with the Kansas City Chiefs getting a chance to pay back Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for last February’s 31-9 beatdown. Only this time the game would be across the country in California and not in the Bucs’ home stadium.

The Chiefs could also find themselves on the opposite end of the revenge storyline if they happen to meet up with the San Francisco 49ers. It was only two years ago that Patrick Mahomes rallied K.C. past Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners for a 31-20 win in Miami.

The year prior, coach Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams were held to a measly field goal in a 13-3 loss to Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. You know McVay would love to get another crack at the Pats, this time with veteran QB Matthew Stafford at the helm.

Double-revenge possibility

Revenge narratives also are in play for the Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, who lost their only Super Bowl appearances to Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers and 49ers, respectively.

Or how about a double-revenge possibility for the Buffalo Bills if they meet up with their early-1990s Big Game tormentors, the Dallas Cowboys? Those 52-17 and 30-13 blowout losses in 1993 and ’94, respectively, mark the most recent of the Bills’ four winless Super Bowl appearances.

There’s also a chance that the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger could bow out with a revenge win over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

It was 11 years ago in Dallas when the Pack handed Big Ben his only Super Bowl loss (31-25) in three visits. Big Ben, coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers haven’t been back since.

Elite quarterback duel possibilities aplenty

NFL betting enthusiasts and fans will rarely turn down a championship game matchup pitting elite quarterbacks.

And there’s certainly no shortage of possibilities this season.

As aforementioned, we could see Mahomes vs. Brady in a second straight Super Bowl. It also would be their third meeting in the last four postseasons with Brady’s Pats having gotten the best of Mahomes’ Chiefs’ in the 2018 season AFC Championship Game decided in overtime.

Meanwhile, though, we’re still waiting for Mahomes-Rodgers I.

The Chiefs and Packers have met in two of the last three regular seasons. But Rodgers was out with COVID-19 and missed K.C.’s 13-7 win in Week 9 on Nov. 7, and an injured Mahomes didn’t play in Green Bay’s 31-24 road victory in 2019.

State Farm matchup?

Perhaps we’ll finally get that State Farm-sponsored matchup next month in L.A.

Bills fourth-year QB Josh Allen is verging on elite status, and there’s a possibility we could see him square off against Brady for the second time this season. The Bucs prevailed 33-27 in a Week 14 overtime thriller in Tampa but not before Allen rallied the Bills from a 24-3 deficit.

Early in Allen’s rookie season of 2018, the Bills were blanked 22-0 by Rodgers and the visiting Packers. Allen and Co. would certainly welcome the opportunity to get another shot at Green Bay on the Roman Numeral stage.

Or how about an up-and-coming QB duel between two of the last three No. 1 overall picks in the NFL Draft? Bengals sophomore Joe Burrow and third-year Cards QB Kyler Murray are each making their postseason debuts, and a winner-take-all first meeting on the Super stage would certainly qualify as must-see TV.

And how about some fresh faces or first-time champs?

Five of 14 teams (the Steelers, Patriots, 49ers, Cowboys and Packers) in this season’s playoff field have accounted for 39 of the 110 berths (35.5 percent) and 26 of the 55 championships (47.3 percent) in Super Bowl history.

Most anyone in Colorado online sports betting market, though, wouldn’t mind some new Big Game blood.

The Lombardi Trophy has eluded four of the 14 teams (the Bengals, Bills, Cardinals and Titans) in the current field.

It certainly would be awesome to see Bills Mafia celebrate its first Super Bowl title after the aforementioned four swings and misses.

Or how about the Cards capturing the franchise’s first championship since 1947? That’s easily the longest current drought in the league.

Then there are the personal angles, such as Stafford’s.

The current Rams QB spent his first 12 seasons toiling for the woebegone Detroit Lions. And in those dozen years in the Motor City, Stafford was a part of only four winning campaigns and played in three playoff games, losing them all.

So as feel-good 2021-22 season endings go, seeing Stafford hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in his new home stadium certainly would be right up there.

Photo by AP / Kyusung Gong
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Ken Pomponio

Ken is a fourth-generation Coloradan and career sports journalist with more than 30 years covering the gamut from the preps to the pros. A lifelong Front Range resident and son of 1960s Denver Broncos season-ticket holders, he is a long-time sports betting enthusiast whose insight and passion shine through in his coverage at PlayColorado.

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