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Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr. and Ja’Marr Chase have been stars for the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals throughout the postseason.
All three top wide receivers are expected to perform at a high level in Super Bowl 56 on Sunday inside Sofi Stadium.
Kupp and Beckham are both coming off 100-yard performances in the NFC Championship Game and they should be called on more by Matthew Stafford with tight end Tyler Higbee out of the game due to an injury he suffered two weeks ago.
Joe Burrow has his full complement of targets available, but he should throw to Chase at a high volume as tries to bring home Cincinnati’s first Super Bowl title.
The strengths of each passing game could make the Super Bowl a high-scoring game. Over the last four years, the Super Bowl has alternated between more and less than 40 points, and if that small trend continues, Burrow and Stafford could put up high totals in a game that potentially reaches the 50-point mark.
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Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
Final Score: Rams 31, Bengals 21
Matthew Stafford: 29-for-42, 315 yards, 3 TDs
Joe Burrow: 31-for-50, 325 yards, 2 TDs
Cam Akers: 11 carries, 45 yards
Joe Mixon: 12 carries, 40 yards, TD
Cooper Kupp: 7 receptions, 95 yards, TD
Odell Beckham: 7 receptions, 120 yards, TD
Ja’Marr Chase: 6 receptions, 100 yards, TD
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Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Cooper Kupp comes into the Super Bowl as the top receiver on the field.
Kupp won the “Triple Crown” of receiving categories in the regular season and he followed that up with two 100-yard performances in the postseason.
Kupp is the favorite target of Matthew Stafford and that is why the Bengals should focus in more on him in the first half as they try to keep the Rams out of an offensive rhythm.
Cincinnati can’t solely focus on Kupp because Odell Beckham Jr. can beat it, but it can use a similar defensive strategy from the AFC Championship Game to limit his impact on the game.
The Bengals took Tyreek Hill out of the game for stretches of the second half and that helped them turn the game around two weeks ago.
Cincinnati will not be able to stop Kupp for the entire game, but if it contains him on certain drives, the Rams’ No. 1 wide out may not finish as the game’s leading receiver.
Kupp had under 100 receiving yards in seven games this season. He had 90 receiving yards in five of those instances.
Kupp will have production of some sort, but he may be limited enough where Odell Beckham Jr. becomes the Rams’ top pass-catcher in the stat columns.
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Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press
Joe Burrow is going to target Ja’Marr Chase on a constant basis.
The two have had success in previous postseason games during their time with the LSU Tigers and this season with the Bengals.
Chase produced back-to-back 100-yard games to begin the postseason and then he caught six passes on nine targets for 54 yards and a touchdown in the AFC Championship Game.
Like Kupp, Chase can still be effective in the passing game if he does not record a high total of yards. That was evident in the AFC Championship Game, when he scored his only postseason touchdown.
Cincinnati should try to get into a comfort zone immediately on offense, which is why we should expect Burrow and Chase to link up on a handful of passes.
Burrow could use Chase on short routes early in the game to limit the impact of the Rams pass rush. Cincinnati’s offensive line let up nine sacks in the divisional round to the Tennessee Titans and the Rams may try to hurt the Bengals through their front seven.
If the short routes work, the Bengals could then go over the top for a big play or two, which is where Chase thrives.
Cincinnati could even go hunting for a big gain or a long passing touchdown to set the tone of the contest.
Chase will be heavily involved no matter which way you break down the game and his final stats should reflect that.