Los Angeles Rams Best Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI by Three Points
03:06 GMT 14.02.2022 (Updated: 04:11 GMT 14.02.2022)
© AP Photo / Marcio Jose SanchezLos Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) reacts after the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.
© AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez
The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 to claim the franchise's second Super Bowl and their first since moving back to Los Angeles in 2016. The Cincinnati Bengals fall to 0-3 in Super Bowls as a fourth quarter drive to tie the game came up short.
Super Bowl LVI, played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, was a back and forth affair, as the Rams jumped out to a 13-3 2nd quarter lead on the strength of their talented wide receiving duo of Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr.
13 February 2022, 21:17 GMT
Kupp would be named Super Bowl MVP: He hauled in nine passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns along with a crucial seven-yard rushing attempt to get a first down on what would be the game-winning drive.
Beckham hauled in the Rams' first touchdown of the game on a 13-yard reception and set up their second score with a 35-yard haul. Kupp later finished off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown reception, but a missed extra point left the score 13-3.
The Bengals were quick to respond and orchestrated a 12-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. The Bengals ran a trick play to find their way into the end zone. Running back Joe Mixon took a handoff and then found Tee Higgins for a six-yard touchdown pass - it was the first passing touchdown of his NFL career.
The game flipped when Beckham left the game after he suffered a non-contact left knee injury in the 2nd quarter. The Rams' offense fell apart and the Bengals were able to capitalize on turnovers from Rams quarterback Matt Stafford.
The Bengals entered halftime down 13-10 but had the ball to start the half and wasted no time. The first play of the second half was a 75-yard touchdown reception by the Bengals' Tee Higgins. Upon replay, it appeared that the referees missed an offensive facemask penalty on the play, but until the final minutes of the game, the referees kept their flags in their pockets.
With the Bengals now leading for the first time, 17-13, the Rams looked to respond with a touchdown drive of their own. On their very first play, Stafford threw an interception that bounced off his receiver's hands.
The Bengals, blessed with strong field position, struggled to move the ball against the Rams defense. They faced a fourth down and one-yard situation that they converted on a quarterback run with the Bengals' Joe Burrow, but only managed 11 yards from eight plays and settled for a field goal that stretched their lead to 20-13 with 4:23 left in the third quarter.
The Rams responded right away with their own field goal drive to make the score 20-16, but the game would enter a phase of defensive gridlock as the third quarter gave way to the fourth.
Early in the fourth quarter, Burrow suffered a knee injury that appeared to limit him for the rest of the game and turned the tide in favor of the Rams.
Kupp and Stafford would find their chemistry once again as they marched down the field on a 15-play, 79-yard touchdown drive to take the lead with 1:25 left in the game.
The Rams, leading 23-20, were certainly rueing their missed extra point from earlier in the game. The Bengals would only need to get in field goal position to send the game into overtime.
As the game wore on, the Rams defense had been gaining momentum and by the end of the fourth quarter, they were able to consistently get pressure on the Cincinnatti quarterback.
The Bengals tried to mount a game-tying drive but were stifled when their fourth and one attempt with 49 seconds was incomplete. With the ball turned over on downs, the Rams simply kneeled to bleed out the remaining game clock to secure their first Super Bowl victory since 1999.
14 February 2022, 04:04 GMT
With the Super Bowl victory, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti will transform the iconic "Hollywood" sign that rests on Mount Lee to read "Rams House."
The Super Bowl Halftime performance saw rap icons Dr.Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and, in a surprise, 50 Cent perform. Eminem at one point kneeled during the performance in a nod to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 over police brutality towards racial minorities and sparked a national debate.