Presenting the Super Bowl LVI Champions: The Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams are your Super Bowl LVI Champions. 

The Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night by a score of 23-20 to notch their first Super Bowl victory in their short six year tenure in Los Angeles. 

The Rams started hot with two first-half touchdown passes from quarterback Matthew Stafford to receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp to jump out to a 13-3 lead. The Bengals surged back in the second and third quarter with two touchdowns from wide receiver Tee Higgins, taking a 20-13 lead. It looked like the Bengals were on their way to victory, but Matthew Stafford played the villain to their hopes. After Rams kicker Matt Gay hit a big third quarter field goal to bring the score within four points, Stafford led the Rams on a clutch 79-yard drive in just four minutes and 48 seconds to take the 23-20 lead. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow tried to edge his team into field goal range on his last drive and came up so close, but defensive lineman Aaron Donald (who else) got to the quarterback on fourth down, forcing an incompletion and locking up a Super Bowl victory for the “City of Angels.” 

Matthew Stafford deserves enormous credit for the season he put together. Prior to this season, Stafford played his entire 12 season career in Detroit, Ill., surrounded by a terrible organization that was allergic to winning. His record was 74-90-1 with only three post-season games played prior to this year. Rams Head Coach Sean McVay rescued Stafford out of Detroit, trading for the former Georgia Bulldog and bringing him to a place where he could win. Stafford’s performance may have even been enough to lock up his status as a Hall of Famer. He proved that being in a winning situation was all he needed, as he impressively led his team to victory in four of the biggest games of his entire life.

His palms were sweaty, knees weak and arms were heavy after hearing Detroit legend Eminem rap at the halftime show as Stafford came out slow to start the second half and nearly transported back to his former Detroit self, but he quieted all doubters when he bounced back with his game winning drive. 

Cooper Kupp continued his regular season dominance in this game. The regular season leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns, Kupp had his special connection with Stafford going. He caught eight balls for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including the final touchdown that gave the Rams the victory. Kupp won Super Bowl MVP, making him just the eighth wide receiver in NFL history to receive such honors. After the season and game that he had, it’s only right that Kupp would win Super Bowl MVP. “Cooper Kupp is the man,” McVay said afterwards.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams defensive line came up big on Sunday. Coming into the game, everyone knew this was a key matchup to look out for, and the Rams overwhelmed the weak Bengals offensive line. They swallowed up Joe Burrow, sacking him seven times, the most they’ve had in a game all season. Aaron Donald had two sacks, and on his final play of the game, pointed to his finger and yelled “ring me.” Now, the NFL defensive player of the year and eight time Pro Bowler finally has his ring. 

And while they lost, the Cincinnati Bengals are an incredible story and were a great team to watch all year long, and they had a real chance at winning this game. Burrow played well, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the star power on the Rams.

The Bengals offense was far from perfect, going 3-14 on third down and 1-3 on fourth. It seemed that the referees bailed out the Bengals on Tee Higgins’ 75 yard touchdown when it appeared that he grabbed the face mask of defender Jalen Ramsey. 

Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Zac Taylor will certainly be making an appearance in the Super Bowl again in years to come, and this team will continue to wreak havoc on the league. 

For the Super Bowl LVI Champion L.A. Rams, they were all in this season. Their superstar team included Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Odell Beckham Jr., Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey — among others. Sean McVay took a leap in signing and trading for big name players and giving up a lot of draft picks, making it a Super Bowl or bust for the Rams this year, and they certainly did not bust. This year may have been their sole window of opportunity to win a Super Bowl, as it will be hard to sign back many of their key players who will become free agents in the offseason. But they did it. This was a legacy game for many players and McVay, and they can quiet their doubters now as their Super Bowl rings and legacy will last forever.