Five stat trends to watch in Super Bowl 2022: Joe Burrow mirage for Bengals, how Rams roll out Matthew Stafford and Aaron Donald's dominance

Let's dive deep into the numbers of Super Bowl LVI.

As the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals approaches, I went hunting for angles and storylines in the data to see which team has an edge and where. As it turned out, most of what caught my eye supported the Rams, who are 66% favorites to win, according to ESPN's Football Power Index.

I'll hit a variety of statistical notes below, including: the similarities these teams share in their run vs. pass decisions; an offensive lever L.A. coach Sean McVay pulls to gain an advantage; the Bengals' improvement against 2-high safety defensive looks; how big a mismatch in the trenches Cincinnati faces; and why most Joe Burrow passing stats should come with a grain of salt.

To find these storylines, I leveraged NFL Next Gen Stats, ESPN-created metrics that use NGS player-tracking data and more traditional advanced stats like expected points added (EPA) and QBR. Here are five things I found:

Pass to win

Guess which teams ranked first and second in the largest difference in EPA per dropback and EPA per designed run in the regular season? The Rams (No. 1) and Bengals (No. 2).