Super Bowl Reaction: Bodog Reviews Another Memorable NFL Season
This year’s Super Bowl will go down in history as one of the most exciting season-enders we’ve seen for some time. The action came so thick and fast that we could easily chew up chapters of blow-by-blow commentary, but since you were as transfixed as the rest of the nation in real time, let’s settle on Bodog’s Super Bowl recap of the highlights that made LVI one for the ages.
It was the sort of fairytale setup that makes for a great barstool story: a true underdog team, ranked the worst in the league just two years earlier, is pitted against the team which has held onto its favourite status throughout the season.
In this Super Bowl review, there are no spoilers in stating that the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t get their happily ever after in the final chapter, but since they’ll head back east feeling proud that they held their own against a statistically superior opponent in the biggest sporting event on the calendar, the story remains an “against all odds” triumph. They were, after all, this close to winning the biggest prize in football.
For the Rams, their story is one of Super Bowl redemption. Not so long ago, as contenders in Super Bowl LIII, the team endured a humiliating defeat in a game that scored them just three points. The reflection and rebuilding that was necessary in the aftermath ultimately paid off in Sunday’s final with a win that would heal those battle wounds.
The Rams were first to draw blood in this year’s event. Matthew Stafford completed a pass to Beckham which he converted to a touchdown. A kick from Matt Gay followed, ultimately chalking up seven points on the scoreboard. The Bengals were quick to respond with a McPherson field goal with 28 seconds left on the clock in the first quarter. The sides traded blows at a rate that kept fans of both faiths on their toes, with the Bengals riding high into the final quarter with a four-point edge.
And as the game ticked into those final 15 minutes of play, the Bengals still looked set to make Super Bowl history. Then, with just one minute and 25 seconds left on the clock, the Rams rewrote the ending with Kupp’s one-yard touchdown reception from Stafford and another solid kick from Gay to end the game 23-20. Triumph for one team; a valiant showing for another.
NFL Season Highlights
Let’s look back on some of the biggest highlights from this cracking NFL season.
2021-22 was a season which saw many records shattered. Perhaps most notable was the addition of a 17th regular-season game that meant the NFL playoffs started and finished a week later than we’re used to.
We also saw Pittsburgh Steelers’ pass-rusher T.J. Watt tie with Michael Strahan for the most sacks in a single season. Rams wideout Cooper Kupp became the fourth player in more than 50 years to get a triple crown by leading the league in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions. It’s no wonder he secured the MVP title.
2021-22 was also the last campaign for NFL legend Tom Brady. After ending his two-decade stint at the New England Patriots in 2020, he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he broke another record by winning a seventh Super Bowl in 2021. The three-time NFL MVP and 15-time Pro Bowl player announced his retirement from football in early February, ending months of often tired speculation about his future. The 44-year-old had surely hoped to go out with a bang, but after the Rams dumped the Buccaneers out of the playoffs in the Divisional Round, this wasn’t to be. Still, how many bangs can a Brady bear?
The season treated us to some spectacular games as well, including the Divisional Round playoff pairing between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills. The two sides had been neck-and-neck through the first two quarters before the Chiefs edged a two-point lead in the third quarter, only for the Bills to eventually level the scores again in the final two minutes. Those last 120 seconds were incredible ones, with 25 points scored and the lead changing hands three times.
NFL Odds For Next Season
The performance in that very game is one of the reasons why the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills have the joint-best Super Bowl odds going into next season. A lot can change in Super Bowl betting, but with 12 months to go, these two look strong at +700.
The Bills won’t want to make many changes during the offseason, having on hand the key ingredients needed to make a Super Bowl charge. And with Matthew Smiley taking a promotion to Special Teams Coordinator for next year, this could be the ticket they need to go all the way.
The Chiefs don’t have to adjust their hemline much either. After that crazed, two-minute flurry against the Bills, they managed to come out on top in overtime. While the Bengals returned the favour during the AFC Conference Championship game, it could have easily gone the other way – the result we got doesn’t fundamentally change the fact that Kansas City has everything necessary to win another Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The LA Rams and Cincinnati Bengals also have good Super Bowl odds on the Bodog books following their stellar performances this season. The Rams (+900) will have history against them in trying to defend their title for a consecutive victory, a feat that hasn’t been repeated since the Patriots did it in 2005. Meanwhile, the Bengals will have to work hard to prove that their performance this season was not just dumb luck, which of course it was not.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2200) had looked like strong contenders for Super Bowl LVII, but their odds keep sliding as concerns over how they’ll replace Brady grow. They’ve since been overtaken by the San Francisco 49ers (+1400), Green Bay Packers (+1500), and Dallas Cowboys (+1600).
The 49ers will be looking to improve their offence next season with much of this responsibility likely to fall on the shoulders of star-quarterback Trey Lance. The Cowboys are another team that could make a strong Super Bowl challenge with a few off-season tweaks. As well as strengthening both lines, they need to get a little more creative with their tactics on the field and get out of the habit of giving away so many penalties. The Packers, on the other hand, don’t even know who their QB will be for next season, but if they can retain Rogers, it could be game on.
The dust has barely settled on the season that was, but at Bodog it’s never too early to start making your Super Bowl betting picks for next season. Another spectacular upcoming season has been put on the boil, so keen NFL fans can jump in on the action early to lock in those favourable odds.