Super Bowl LVI Recap

The National Football League put together an entire 18-week regular season and playoffs without having to cancel a single game despite an extraordinary amount of positive COVID-19 test results. On February 13, 2022, the NFL concluded their season in Los Angeles, California, with an exciting game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams. The quarterback of the Bengals, Joe Burrow, has been a fan favorite throughout the playoffs after leading his team to the Super Bowl after having a horrific knee injury last season. The second-year player led the Bengals to their first playoff win in 31 years.

The only thing that stopped Burrow and the Bengals from their first Super Bowl Championship was the Los Angeles Rams. This is not the Los Angeles Rams’ first time appearing in the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl 53, the Rams lost to the New England Patriots, but the key differences are that they no longer have Jared Goff as a quarterback and having veteran experience. Before the 2021-2022 NFL season, the Rams traded for Matthew Stafford, which involved giving the Lions a pile of draft picks and Jared Goff. Stafford played 12 unsuccessful seasons for the Detroit Lions, but came to Los Angeles with a team full of talent. Besides adding Stafford at the beginning of the season, the Rams also brought Odell Beckham Jr, Von Miller, and Eric Weddle on their roster. 

The game’s opening quarter started in the hands of Matthew Stafford and the Rams, where they went five plays for one yard, which was a disappointing opening drive. The Bengals’ first possession of the game was stopped on a fourth and one from the Rams 49 yard line. Stafford and the Rams’ deadly offense would start their new drive with excellent field position. The Rams marched down the field with a quick six-play 50-yard drive resulting in a 17-yard touchdown by Odell Beckham Jr. The Rams took a 7-0 lead halfway through the first quarter. Odell was poised to have a great game until he was injured with an apparent knee injury in the first half. 

The next score in the game did not occur until late in the first quarter, with Bengals’ rookie kicker Evan McPherson kicking a 29-yard field goal. The Rams responded quickly to the field goal with another touchdown of their own. Cooper Kupp caught a Matthew Stafford pass for 11-yards giving the Rams a 13-3 lead. 

Cincinnati responded to the Rams’ second touchdown with a long seven-minute drive while going 12 plays for 75-yards. The Bengals ran a trick play on second and goal from the six-yard line, resulting in a touchdown. Joe Burrow and the Bengals went into halftime down 13-10. 

The Bengals started hot in the second half with an opening drive touchdown on a one-play 75-yard touchdown caught by Tee Higgins, giving him his second on the day. 

Four seconds later, the Bengals were back on offense after Matthew Stafford threw his second interception, giving the Bengals excellent field position with the lead. The Bengals’ drive ended in a 38-yard field goal with a seven-point lead in the third quarter. 

On the Rams’ following possession, they cut the lead to four points after a 41-yard field goal by kicker Matt Gay with five minutes remaining in the third quarter. The remaining 20 minutes of the game was a defensive battle for both teams, and whoever was going to capitalize on their possessions would become Super Bowl Champions. 

The Rams made a few key defensive stops and got the ball back in their franchise quarterback’s hands with just over six minutes remaining in the game. Stafford conducted a 15 play 75-yard touchdown drive running the clock down to 1:25. Offensive Player of the Year, Cooper Kupp, scored his second touchdown to take a three-point lead. 

After two plays, the Bengals were at the Rams’ 49-yard line and were only 10-yards out of field goal range. The Rams’ defense made two big stops, and the Bengals were facing a fourth down and only needing one yard to gain the first down. Joe Burrow went back to pass the ball for a first down but was immediately rushed by Aaron Donald, which made Burrow throw a desperation pass that resulted in an incomplete pass. The Rams converted on their defensive stop and became Super Bowl LVI Champions. 

Cooper Kupp became the Super Bowl MVP with a stat line of eight receptions for 82-yards and two touchdown receptions.