By Kent O’Jon
FINAL- SUPERBOWL LVI
Los Angeles Rams 23 Cincinnati Bengals 20
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards, 3 touchdowns,(including the winning one yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cooper Kupp with 1:25 left in the game) to lift the Rams over the Bengals. The Los Angeles defense also registered seven sacks of Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Defensive players Aaron Donald and Von Miller applied pressure throughout the game. The Rams won their first title since 1999. The Rams were in Saint Louis during that season. The Super Bowl win was the first title as the Los Angeles Rams since 1951 when the Rams won a NFL championship (there was no Super Bowl in 1951.)
Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a knee injury in the second quarter and was unable to return. Tee Hiiggins (Bengals receiver) led all receivers in yardage with 100 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper Kupp led all Receivers in receptions with eight.
The Bengals defense intercepted Matthew Stafford twice and limited the Rams to 1.9 yards per carry (23 carries for 43 yards.) The Bengals also recorded two sacks.
Defensive lineman Aaron Donald finally added the crown jewel to his illustrious career. Donald quipped “You want something bad enough, you’ve got to go get it.” Von Miller (linebacker) added a second Super Bowl win to his resume’ (first SB as a member of the Denver Broncos in 2016.) Unfortunately, Bengals cornerback Eli Apple surrendered the winning touchdown catch to Rams Cooper Kupp. Apple was reminded by Kansas City Chiefs players on Twitter about it.
I would say that the Bengals made a valiant effort to win the game. The Bengals have nothing to be ashamed of. The reason why Cincinnati lost was due to the offensive line’s inability to pass block and protect quarterback Joe Burrow. The Bengals offense did generate 20 points and Joe Mixon did gain a respectable 72 yards rushing. Had Burrow had better protection the game may have had a different outcome. As far as the Rams are concerned, Mission Accomplished. The Rams invested in Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey, Von Miller, and Odell Beckham Jr. All of these signings paid off. The Rams were “built” for a Super Bowl run and they succeeded.
The Rams had a successful year. However, there are other teams ascending and I see a new champion next year. After the year that the Bengals enjoyed, if they can improve their offensive line, they may repeat as AFC champions.