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NFL-Five Super Bowl storylines to follow

Randy Mancini 3 Feb 11
FILE PHOTO: NFL: AFC Wild Card-Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
FILE PHOTO: Jan 15, 2022; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor gestures toward the fans coming off the field at the conclusion of the fourth quarter during an NFL AFC wild-card playoff game, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

February 11, 2022

(Reuters) – Five storylines to watch for during the Super Bowl match-up on Sunday between the Cincinnati Bengals and hometown Los Angeles Rams.

BATTLE OF THE COACHING MINDS

One year after the oldest coaching matchup in Super Bowl history featured Tampa Bay’s 68-year-old Bruce Arians and Kansas City’s 62-year-old Andy Reid, this year’s game will feature the youngest pairing with the Rams’ Sean McVay (36) and Bengals’ Zac Taylor (38). It will be a reunion of sorts as Taylor spent two years on McVay’s coaching staff.

QUARTERBACK SHOWDOWN

The showdown between Joe Burrow’s Bengals and Matthew Stafford’s Rams marks only the second Super Bowl matchup between quarterbacks who were picked first overall in the NFL Draft. The feat first happened in 2014 when Hall of Famer Peyton Manning squared off against Cam Newton.

HOME SWEET HOME

After the first 54 Super Bowl games were held without a team playing in their home stadium, the Rams will be the second to do it in as many seasons following Tampa Bay’s win last year. But since home team designation alternates each year between the two conferences, Cincinnati will actually be considered the “home team” and get to choose what colour kits they wear.

SUPER-SIZED RETIREMENT

Eric Weddle was two years into retirement when the Rams, in desperate need of a safety after an injury to Jordan Fuller, signed the six-time Pro Bowl selection in January ahead of their playoff opener. The 37-year-old Weddle, chasing a title that eluded him in his first 13 NFL seasons, has been superb but also said he plans to return to retirement after the Super Bowl.

MILLER TIME

Von Miller was acquired by the Rams in a trade with Denver last November and the eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker has proven to be a dominant force for a pass rush that will look to wreak havoc on Cincinnati’s backfield. With a big performance, Miller could also become the first defensive player to be named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player multiple times having won it in 2016 while with the Denver Broncos.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)