The Los Angeles Rams win Super Bowl LVI

Super Bowl LVI Recap


Photo by: Lorenzo Reyna

Defensive end Aaron Donald celebrates after the Los Angeles Rams Superbowl win

During Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams, under the leadership of Head Coach Sean McVay, battled the Cincinnati Bengals who were guided by Head Coach Zach Taylor. Taking place on Sunday, February 13, 2022, the two teams came face-to-face at the recently renamed SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California. At stake was the highly coveted Vince Lombardi trophy.

The monumental game marks the second straight season that a team from the National Football Conference has received the opportunity to host the Superbowl. The Rams, the NFC team, came into the game having not won a Superbowl since 1999, so the program looked to become the second team in NFL history to emerge victorious at a home Superbowl game. If the team came out on top, it would mark their second Superbowl win in franchise history. On the other hand, the Bengals, with a combined 6-25-1 record from the last two years, were in search of their first Superbowl win after having undergone a five-year program rebuild.

Odell Beckham grabbing a catch over Bengals corner-back Mike Hilton. Photo By: Mike Kaye

Before the players took to the field, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson provided the competitors with words of encouragement, as well as energized the crowd prior to introducing the pair of teams that would soon be battling it out for the title of Superbowl Champion. To start the game, Bengals kicker Evan McPherson sent the ball 65 yards to the end zone, which would eventually lead to a Rams punt after five plays. Following a stagnant possession period from the Bengals, the Rams were able to initiate their possession midfield where they successfully drove the ball down to the end zone after completing a passing touchdown from quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Towards the end of the first quarter, the Bengals attempted to even out the score that was now set at 7-0 in favor of the Rams when attempting a scoring possession. Fortunately, though they were unable to make a touchdown, the team converted a 29-yard field goal by Evan McPherson with only seconds left.

Bengals all-pro safety Jessie Bates intercepts Matthew Stafford in the end-zone. Photo By: Lauren Barash

As the second quarter commenced, the Rams offense found themselves determined to combat the growing confidence instilled in the Bengals after putting some points on the scoreboard. With that in mind, the Rams, in six plays for 75 yards, created some separation from their opponents in order to score another passing touchdown from quarterback Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Cooper Kupp, making the score 13-3. Following an efficient drive by the Rams offense, the Bengals offense was able to gain possession. During this drive, the Bengals carried out a balanced attack composed of running the ball through halfback Joe Mixon, accompanied by quarterback Joe Burrow utilizing his skill position players. The game-plan proved effective as the team completed a seamless pass touchdown by running back Joe Mixon to wide receiver Tee Higgins. The score now stood at 13-10 after twelve plays accumulating 75 yards. Later on in the quarter, the Rams lost their wide receiver Odell Beckham after he potentially tore his ACL during play. With one of their key players down, the Ram looked to make the necessary adjustments during halftime to come back stronger in the second half.

Kendrick Lamar performing “Alright” at the Superbowl Halftime Show. Photo By: Kristen Tauer

While both teams regrouped in their locker rooms, the halftime show was now officially underway. This year’s show featured performances by rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and special guest 50 Cent, all of whom embody the culture of hip-hop. West Coast artists Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg kicked off the event with hit songs “The Next Episode” and “California Love.” Following that, New York native 50 Cent began his performance by rapping upside down, generating cheers from the crowd. Then, Mary J. Blige, regarded as the queen of hip-hop soul, filled the stadium with passion as she sang her most beloved classicsn”Family Affair” and “No More Drama.” After Blige’s dazzling performance, Kendrick Lamar, one of the most creative and innovative rappers of his generation, took to the stage with “m.A.A.d city” and “Alright.” Eminem soon sang “Lose Yourself,” which was followed by Dr. Dre concluding the event with “I Aint Mad at Ya” on the piano. To top off the show, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg performed “Still D.R.E” while all of the artists reemerged on stage as well, which undoubtedly restored energy into the crowd.

Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins securing a catch against Jalen Ramsey Photo By: Jacob Camenker

Once halftime concluded, the Rams and Bengals marched onto the field to start the third quarter. At the beginning of the second half, the Bengals showed that they were more than capable of capitalizing off the momentum used by the Rams in the first half as they scored a 75-yard passing touchdown by quarterback Joe Burrow to wide receiver Tee Higgins. Not long after, the Bengals solidified their first lead of the game when they beat the Rams 10-3 in the third quarter while forcing a turnover and multiple punts.

Cooper Kupp grabbing a catch on Eli Apple for a touchdown. Photo By: Barry Wilner

With the fourth quarter finally underway, the Rams were now attempting to regain their power that they previously had at the onset of the game. Both teams started the first four possessions of the fourth quarter with stagnant offensive lines. With the Rams losing by four points in clutch, time was of the essence for the team to score with approximately six minutes left in the game. In fifteen plays, the Rams eventually were able to score a pass touchdown, which was completed by Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Cooper Kupp to substantially boost their chances of winning the game. Following the touchdown, the Rams closed out the game by forcing a turnover on downs with 43 seconds remaining. The five minutes of offensive possession, along with their outstanding defense, the team received the boost they needed to secure a 23-20 win over the Bengals.

All pro defensive end Aaron Donald gets a quarterback hit on Joe Burrow. Photo By: Joe Reedy

The win came after a memorable ending to the season for the Rams who overcame the weight of adversity from football aficionados. Despite the loss, the Bengals are projected to have a bright future ahead after having had a promising season. With free agency and the draft approaching, both teams are searching for a chance to improve their programs as a whole and hopefully make their way back to the Superbowl next year.