Barnard discusses Super Bowl LVI

Leah Barnard, Editor


As Super Bowl LVI approaches, both fans and players reflect on an NFL season, highlighting the significance a quarterback holds on the field. The hunt for new and old talent in the most essential position on the field has become rampant as the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams, two teams recognized for their quarterbacks, take the field this Sunday at SoFi stadium. 


The Bengals drafted celebrity quarterback Joe Burrow as their first pick during the 2020 NFL draft after ending their 2019 season with Andy Dalton. Burrow started his football career after high school at the Ohio State University where he would play until the end of the 2017 college football season. He then transferred to Louisiana State University where he would lead the Tigers to victory in the 2019 national championship. With roughly 8,000 passing yards in his college career, Burrow was drafted by the Bengals, where his journey to the Super Bowl began.


“He’s tremendous, you know,” Bengal’s coach Zac Taylor said Monday during the virtual Super Bowl media day when asked about Burrow. “He just rains down confidence on this entire team,” Taylor said. “When you believe your quarterback can take you the distance, it allows everybody just to play that one percent better.”


Burrow ended the 2021-2022 NFL season with 4,611 passing yards and 34 touchdowns, with a 108.6 passer rating. With Burrow, the Bengal were able to hold a record of ten wins and seven loses and enter the playoffs ranked 3rd in AFC standings.


“You see guys go their entire career without ever getting to the Super Bowl, so when you get there you really do have to hunker down and take advantage of those opportunities,” Burrow said Monday. “Obviously we weren’t a very good team for several years. Now we’re in the Super Bowl.”


In comparison to 25 year-old Burrow, the Rams’ starting quarterback  Matthew Stafford has played in the NFL for 13 seasons. Stafford’s professional career began in 2009 with the Detroit Lions where he was drafted as no. 1 overall pick. He played for the Lions through the 2020-2021 NFL season and was soon after traded to the Rams. Prior to the Rams’ 2021 season, Stafford had accumulated 45,109 passing yards throughout his career on the Lions. 


The Rams went 12-5 this season, and headed into the playoffs in 2nd place behind the Green Bay Packers in the NFC. Stafford completed his 13th season in the NFL, prior to postseason games, with 4,886 passing yards, 41 touchdowns and a passer rating of 102.9. 


“It means alot. I’ve spent a lot of time just working towards this game whether it was high school, college, or the handful of years I’ve had in the NFL,” Stafford said. “Just understand how hard it is to get to this game,” Stafford said Monday night. “There’s so many things that have to go right for you to get to this point, and so many people have had a hand in it.”