Rams win Super Bowl LVI defeating Bengals, claiming their second NFL Championship


Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) Sports

Go big or go home– Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (left), catches game winning touchdown to clench the team’s second Super Bowl title. Kupp was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the match and was a vital part of the teams success throughout the playoffs and entire season.

Shannon Maye, Arts and Entertainment Editor

On February 13, the Los Angeles Rams took on the Cincinnati Bengals in SoFi Stadium, their home field in California. Kickoff started at 6:30 P.M. Eastern time, as fans across the country watched as the two teams battled in Super Bowl 56, both hoping to win the NFL (National Football League) Championship. 

With 112 million viewers watching at home, and another 100,000 fans filling the seats in SoFi stadium, the Super Bowl is easily one of the most watched sporting events in the country. This year, the Rams had the luxury of home field advantage as the stadium was selected to host the event before the season started. The brand new facility cost 5.5 billion dollars to build, making it the most expensive sports venue in the world. Naturally, tickets to attend the event were through the roof with the average ticket price amounting to 6,674 dollars according to SeatGeek, with the most expensive ticket sold for an impressive 33,730 dollars. On the morning of the big game, the cheapest seat available was still a whopping 3,600 dollars. This and the fact that a small three-ounce bag of Cheez-Its cost 12 dollars is the reason most people enjoy the game from the comfort of their couch.

After winning the coin toss, the Bengals kicked off to the Rams, starting the game. On their second drive down the field, Rams quarterback (QB) Mathew Stafford threw a 17 yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr (OBJ) after starting the drive with good field position due to the Bengals failing to convert a fourth down play. After punting twice, on the Bengals third drive down the field QB Joe Burrow threw a 46 yard pass to wide receiver (WR) Ja’Marr Chase, setting up a field goal. The first quarter ended 7-3, Rams leading. 

The second quarter began with the Rams driving down the field with Stafford throwing a 35 yard pass to OBJ and a 25 yard pass to Darrell Henderson setting up an 11 yard touchdown pass to WR Cooper Kupp. The Rams only earned six points on this drive as the kick holder dropped the ball during the extra point attempt and tried to throw it to one of his teammates, resulting in an interception. The Bengals responded on their next drive with Burrow tossing a lateral pass to running back (RB) Joe Mixon who then threw a six yard pass to Tee Higgins for a touchdown. Cincinnati seemed to be gaining momentum as Jessie Bates III intercepted a deep throw from Stafford in the endzone, ending the Rams drive and getting a touchback. The interception was not the only unfortunate part of this drive for Los Angeles as they lost a strong WR. OBJ was helped off the field following a non-contact injury during a play where he misstepped. The Rams star later found out he re-tore his left ACL which he had previously torn while playing for the Cleveland Browns in 2020. The first half ended with the Rams in the lead, 13-10. 

It wouldn’t be a Super Bowl without a hyped up halftime show. This year’s show was every hip hop fan’s dream with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Mary J Blige, and a guest appearance from 50 Cent. It smashed viewing records from last year’s performance by The Weeknd with an average of 103.4 million views according to National Broadcasting Company, which is 6.7 million more than last year.

Going into the second half, the Bengals came out strong scoring a touchdown on the very first play of the quarter, a 75 yard throw from Burrow to Higgins, putting them in the lead, 17-13. Many Rams fans were fired up after a questionable face mask call on Higgins the refs didn’t call. The touchdown stood after many play reviews which allowed the Bengals to gain momentum. This momentum held strong on defense as Chidobe Awuzie picked off Staffords very first throw, allowing his offense to go back on the field. A series of unsuccessful passes and runs, along with two sacks by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald resulted in the Bengals settling for a field goal. The following drive, Los Angeles responded with a field goal of their own, narrowing the Bengals lead to a score of 20-16. 

 A series of four punts for Cincinnati and three punts for Los Angeles brought the teams well into the fourth quarter. On a drive that lasted nearly five minutes, the Rams failed to score on a third and goal, although a questionably soft holding call gave them a fresh set of downs and the opportunity they needed to get another touchdown. Staffords pass to Kupp with 1:25 minutes left ultimately was the game winning touchdown. Although, the Bengals did still have time to potentially drive down the field and win the game. Donald, one of the Rams biggest stars and a widely popular talent in the NFL, ended up sealing the deal for his team by nearly sacking Burrow on a fourth and one, forcing an incomplete pass. This big play was exactly what they needed to win, and leading up to it they were all hyper aware of the importance that single play held. 

“Hey what else could you want? What else could you want? Right now! Let’s go! Let’s go! Hey Aaron [Donald]! This is the moment! Right now… For the world championship right here. Aaron Donald’s gonna make a play,” a mic’d up Sean McVay, head coach of the Rams said, pumping up his team, and predicting the outcome of the last play. 

Stafford took a knee to officially end the game, and the Rams won their second Super Bowl, 22 years after their first, with a score of 23-20 over the Bengals. The Lombardi Trophy was presented and Cooper Kupp was announced Most Valuable Player (MVP) as blue and gold confetti fell on the players, many who were crying.

“I’m so proud of this team, there’s so many guys on our team that deserve this, so many great players, guys that have just given their heart and soul to this team… I’m just so proud of this group,” Stafford said. 

Although the result was definitely a disappointment for Cincinnati, that didn’t stop them from celebrating what they did accomplish- a playoff run that nobody anticipated. Their focus now turns to the future, which looks to be quite promising. 

“We’re a young team, so you’ll like to think that we’ll be back in this situation multiple times over the course of the next few years. So, we take this and let it fuel you for the rest of our careers,” Burrow said. 

From a thrilling game of classic American football that is always enjoyed with good food, to a special half time show and commercials that are specifically made for the event, the Super Bowl has become a tradition to so many across the country.