Sean McVay won’t be the only child prodigy in the Super Bowl this time around.
Three years after taking on a legendary head coach 33 years his senior, 36-year-old McVay led the Rams back to the Promised Land, where he will face Bangladeshi Zac Taylor in a game made for some ” Fabulous Under-40″ lists.
Taylor, 38, who coached the Rams quarterbacks under McVay when they lost Super Bowl LIII to Bill Belichick’s Patriots, sent the Bengals to an 18-point comeback and overtime for the Chiefs in Sunday’s AFC Championship game. About three hours later, McVay’s Rams completed a ten-point comeback in the fourth quarter to end a six-game unloading streak against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
“So happy for Zac Taylor and the Bengals – what a tough, resilient group they are. We’ve got some work to do,” said McVay. [Bengals-Chiefs] match, it didn’t look good for them. They just kept showing why they are a mentally strong outfit. I think that is reflected by their head coach. I know what a great coach he is.”
Need another way the youth is served in this unlikely Rams-Bengals matchup? Joe Burrow, 25, could join Joe Montana, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger as the only starting quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl at age 25 or younger.
However, there will be some veterans who have something to say about it.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who turns 34 on Feb. 7, is trying to make up for 12 lost seasons with the Lions. The Rams have adopted a win-it-for-Aaron Donald mentality even though he’s only 30. And Von Miller, 32, is chasing a second ring after the lean years following his Super Bowl 50 MVP appearance for the Broncos.
“It’s like having a second child,” Miller said. “You like the first. If you have one more, you love the second child too. But they are both completely different. You want to separate the two. Some of the special things we did that year I try to apply to this team.”
It is the fourth Super Bowl appearance for the Rams (winners in 2000) and the third for the Bengals, who lost twice to the 49ers in the 1980s. The somewhat favored Rams will try to become the second consecutive Super Bowl winner to celebrate at their home stadium — the Buccaneers won in Tampa Bay last February — after the host city failed to send a team to each of the first 54 Super Bowls. .
“It’s great that it’s here, but when we play in it I don’t know where it is,” said Stafford. “I just want to play in the dang thing.”