Blythe Hastings ’23
The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, and up-and-coming quarterback Joe Burrow, 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday. The suspenseful game ended with a fourth-down stop by the Rams to win it all. Rams’ lineman Aaron Donald pressured quarterback Joe Burrow into a flailing pass attempt which fell to the turf.
The big game took place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and it was the second time in Super Bowl history a team played on its home field. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first team to do so, last year at Raymond James Stadium. The Rams controlled much of the first half, with receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp scoring the first two touchdowns of the day. Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp was named the Super Bowl MVP. Kupp had eight receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals answered late in the second quarter with a trick play that led to a touchdown and an interception by safety Jessie Bates III.
A star-studded halftime performance included rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar joined by R&B singer Mary J. Blige during the 2022 halftime show. The five performers have a total of 43 Grammys and 21 Billboard No. 1 albums.
A Bengals touchdown and interception within the first 22 seconds of the second half changed the tempo. Receiver Tee Higgins caught a 75-yard touchdown in the first 12 seconds of the half and 10 seconds later, cornerback Chidobe Awuzie picked off a pass from Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. The fourth quarter began with uncertainty as to who would leave the game victorious, but it all came down to the last two minutes.
After a long drive that included 15 plays, four runs and 10 passes, Kupp scored a crucial touchdown, giving the Rams a three-point lead. The Rams’ star wide receiver grabbed the game-sealing TD with a 1-yard reception in the end zone from QB Matthew Stafford with a minute and a half left on the clock. The Bengals had an opportunity to answer back, but were unable to convert on fourth down, ending the game, with rejoicing Rams fans cheering throughout the stadium.
The Rams came to the Super Bowl looking to redeem themselves after losing the big game in 2019 against the New England Patriots. That game saw head coach Sean McVay making his Super Bowl debut as the youngest ever to coach a team in the Super Bowl.
Not only did rookie and fan favorite Joe Burrow have something to prove but underrated Matthew Stafford of the Rams did as well. This was his first season with the Rams after playing his first 12 seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions. McVay said a few weeks ago the team wouldn’t be where it is today without Stafford’s leadership.