The Los Angeles Rams won Super Bowl 56 after a rollercoaster game with the Cincinnati Bengals. Cooper Kupp scored the winning touchdown before Aaron Donald made the decisive play in a 23-20 game at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for three touchdowns as he out duelled Joe Burrow in a see-saw game that went back and forth before LA, on their home field, emerged victorious in the fourth quarter. It is a second Super Bowl win for the Rams, following their first - as the St Louis Rams - back in 1999, as coach Sean McVay makes amends for defeat in the big game three years ago.
Odell Beckham Jr grabbed the opening score in the first quarter before Kupp hauled in his first of the night as the Rams jumped out to an early lead. But the Bengals, who have gone from the foot of the AFC North a year ago all the way to the showpiece game, came roaring back and a pair of Tee Higgins touchdowns either side of half-time saw them come back to lead heading into the fourth.
Crucially though Stafford still had time and on the Rams’ final possession drove all the way down before finding Kupp in the end zone to recapture the advantage. And with time ticking down Donald sacked Burrow on fourth down on the following drive to end the game and spark jubilant scenes in LA.
Los Angeles Rams win Super Bowl after thriller against Cincinnati Bengals
Rams 23-20 Bengals: Aaron Donald made the decisive final play to help the Rams claim their second Super Bowl title
And a former Bengal...
Precious moments for Andrew Whitworth, perhaps his final ones in an NFL jersey. What a warrior - 40 years old, playing through the pain at left tackle for so much of the season and now a Super Bowl champion for the first time. A fitting Walter Payton Man of the Year.
A bit on the Bengals
It wasn’t to be a fitting finish to the fairytale for the Cincinnati Bengals. But Zac Taylor’s team were moments away from a Super Bowl triumph that would have arrived ahead of schedule, and you have to feel good about the direction of Cincinnati if they can shore up the offensive line and find another defensive difference-maker. With Joe Burrow at the helm, and Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins at his disposal, they will always have a shot, but their deficiencies did finally come back to bite them.
Until last year, a team had never played a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The Buccaneers last year, the Rams this - it’s becoming something of a pattern.
Good news for the Cardinals? The Super Bowl is headed for Phoenix next year...
So much to take in
More good news for a couple of Los Angeles Rams after winning their first Super Bowl: Taylor Rapp makes it two rings in one night, proposing to his partner on the SoFi surface (she said yes, of course), while Van Jefferson has hurried off to the hospital - his wife went into labour during the game, so Jefferson only had time for a brief celebration before grabbing his daughter and rushing away. We wish the Jeffersons well.
Los Angeles Rams - Super Bowl Champions
Los Angeles Rams - Super Bowl Champions
How about that last drive from the Los Angeles Rams? 15 plays, 79 yards, just shy of five minutes. Four completions to Cooper Kupp, who also produced a vital fourth-down conversion on an end-around.
This throw is something special from Matthew Stafford. A no-look dagger right through the heart of Cincinnati.
Matthew Stafford is a Super Bowl champion
The Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl!
For what it is worth (very little), I’d have leaned towards Aaron Donald for Super Bowl MVP, though a shared gong, as happened at the end of Super Bowl 12, would have been appropriate. The Rams defensive line took over in that second half. Offensively, Los Angeles just didn’t get anything going, but Joe Burrow was harassed and harried and kept in check, that controversial long touchdown to Tee Higgins aside.
Cooper Kupp is the Super Bowl MVP!
“I don’t feel deserving of this. I’m so thankful of the guys I get to be around, the coaches, my family. I don’t know what to say.
“I just don’t have words. These guys up here are my support network. They’ve challenged me, they’ve pushed me, they’ve made it so much fun.”
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies