Los Angeles Rams Edge Burrow and the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI
For the second straight year, a team won the Super Bowl in their home stadium. This time, the Los Angeles Rams took down the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in SoFi Stadium to win the franchise's second ever Lombardi Trophy.
It was a thrilling game that came down to the final possession. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with wide receiver Cooper Kupp four times for 39 yards and the game-winning touchdown in a massive fourth quarter drive. Kupp won the Super Bowl MVP with 92 total yards on eight receptions with two touchdowns. His historic season ended with the biggest catch of his life: a one-yard score over Bengals cornerback Eli Apple.
Former LSU stars wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth finally got their Super Bowl rings after extended veteran careers without a championship. This may be Whitworth's final game, and, if it is, the 40 year old will retire on top. For Beckham, his first catch in his debut Super Bowl was a touchdown in the first quarter.
Beckham left with a knee injury late in the second quarter, but he had two catches for 52 yards and that touchdown. After the game, the eight-year veteran's emotions were flowing as he finally became a champion.
For the Bengals, the same problems that haunted them throughout the season on the offensive line persisted. Quarterback Joe Burrow made some huge throws, but he was sacked seven times in the game, tying a Super Bowl record. His connection with Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase was effective, and they had five completions for 89 total yards, including this beautiful one-handed catch over Rams All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
Burrow's biggest throw of the game came at the start of the second half when he hit wide receiver Tee Higgins for a 75-yard touchdown, once again over Ramsey. It's the longest touchdown that Ramsey has allowed in his career.
That play gave the Bengals the lead, and they held it until Stafford connected with Kupp for the game-winning touchdown with less than two minutes remaining. Cincinnati's offense was stagnant because the Rams defensive line terrorized Burrow in the second half with six sacks in the four drives following that touchdown to Higgins.
The Bengals had a chance to go on a potential game-tying or even game-winning scoring drive to answer Kupp's touchdown. However, on fourth-and-one, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald got to Burrow and forced an incompletion that sealed the game.
In his first Super Bowl, Burrow finished with 263 yards and a touchdown. He completed 22 of his 33 passing attempts. The second-year superstar will undoubtedly make the Bengals a contender for the foreseeable future, and he will likely be back sooner rather than later. However, his offensive line simply let him down in this one. Super Bowl LVI is going to Stafford, Donald, Kupp, and the Los Angeles Rams. Regardless, this was a great finish to a very memorable NFL postseason.