Super Bowl LVI: Rams Bring the Lombardi Back to Los Angeles

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald celebrates his Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Julio Cortez AP

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald celebrates his Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, February 13th. The victory was the Rams first Super Bowl win in 22 years. 


The game showcased many big plays from both teams including a go-ahead 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to receiver Cooper Kupp with 1:25 left in the fourth. After the score, a Joe Burrow-led Bengals looked to answer back, however three-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald had different plans as he sacked Burrow on a 4th-and-1 to seal the game with less than a minute to play. 


The massive victory was a sigh of relief for a Los Angeles team that made many off-season and mid-season acquisitions. With an all-in mentality, the Rams used multiple draft picks to trade for Stafford, outside linebacker Von Miller, and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in hopes that they would be major contributors to their championship run. 


The moves worked out tremendously as Stafford completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Von Miller also played efficiently on the defensive side of the ball tallying two more sacks to his Super Bowl resume. Despite an Odell Beckham Jr. touchdown grab in the first quarter, the star receiver went down with a left knee injury before halftime. He would not return to the game and was later diagnosed with a torn left ACL. 


With Beckham out, this called for number one receiving option Cooper Kupp to step it up. The five-year veteran racked in 8 receptions for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns, one of which being a game-clinching touchdown grab late in the 4th quarter. His performance was enough to award him Super Bowl MVP honors. Kupp became the first player in NFL history to win the receiving triple crown, offensive player of the year, and Super Bowl MVP in a single season. 


Second-year Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow played a flawless game with no mistakes as he completed 22-of-33 passes for 263 yards, and a 75-yard touchdown bomb to receiver Tee Higgins. At first, the Bengals mediocre offensive line seemed to hold their own against one of the top-ranked defensive units in the league but began to falter as the game went on. Joe Burrow was sacked 7 times tying the previous record set by Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach in Super Bowl X. 


At 36, Rams head coach Sean McVay became the youngest coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl. The previous youngest was Pittsburgh Steelers own Mike Tomlin as he defeated the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. He was also 36, but ten months older than McVay. 


Despite the Bengals miraculous turnaround from a 4-11-1 team in 2020 to a 10-7 AFC North title team a year later, the Bengals still remain one of 12 NFL franchises to have never won a Super Bowl.