NFL Super Bowl: Los Angeles Rams Battle To Heroic Super Bowl Victory

Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford grind out a huge win
03:11, 14 Feb 2022

A rousing speech from the Rock set the atmosphere for what was about to unfold. This game had it all and both sides were more than fired up. Would the Rams make the most of their home field advantage or could Cincinnati leave the SoFi Stadium with the Lombardi trophy? 

After breaking for a first down on the opening series, the Rams offence were forced a punt following a sack from the Bengals star edge rusher Trey Hendrickson and a huge tackle for a loss from B.J. Hill. It was just the start that Cincinnati needed to settle the early nerves. The offensive started slower however and Bengals Head Coach, Zac Taylor, opted to attempt a completion on 4th and one but Joe Burrow saw his pass knocked down.

A big break play from Cooper Kupp put the Rams great field position and they took full advantage as Stafford threw a perfectly placed ball for mid season recruit, Odell Beckham Jr. and Matt Gay converted to give LA a 7-0 lead. In need of a motivating spark, the Bengals made sure they found it with Ja’Marr Chase made a fantastic one handed diving grab on a 46 yard play against Jalen Ramsey but the slant to Tee Higgins on 3rd down was broken up and Evan McPherson came in for his first Super Bowl field goal and put it through. 

Bengals running back Joe Mixon had been efficient on the ground but proved he’s got an accurate throw on him too after he connected with wide open receiver Tee Higgins on a trick play touchdown to put the Bengals right back in the game. 

Unfortunately for the LA Rams, on a 3rd and 9 pass play, Odell Beckham Jr. dropped the ball but he went down clutching his left knee and it would prove to be his last action in a game that looked to be his for the taking. To make matters even worse for LA, Matthew Stafford tried to force a big play into the endzone, as he targeted Van Jefferson but Jessie Bates III was there to make a crucial interception. The momentum was starting to shift in favour of Cincinnati as the first half wound down with the Rams leading 13-10. The Super Bowl halftime show didn’t disappoint and the extravagant performance from some of the biggest names in music re-established the high bar set by The Rock at the beginning of the match. 

Lo and behold, with just 12 seconds gone in the second half the Bengals struck with a 75 yard TD to Tee Higgins after Joe Burrow aired it out to the far sideline. Although Jalen Ramsey, who was in coverage, was hard done by however after it appeared he was sneakily pulled down by his face mask. The referee was in a blindspot and the play stood. 

Chidobe Awuzie had a monster first half and it appeared his second half was set to continue in the same vein as he picked off Matthew Stafford on the Ram’s first offensive play in the second half. Not the start that Sean McVay wanted for his side who desperately needed something to kickstart their game. A sideline scuffle involving Aaron Donald would appear to be just what the Rams key man was looking for to re-ignite the fire and spark the defence into life. 

Both teams kicked successful field goals and with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter it was Cincinnati who held a 16-20 advantage. Former Denver Bronco, Vonn Miller, decided to change the momentum himself and produced a huge sack on second down, rushing through the middle of the broken pass protection and taking Burrow down on his own  3 yard line. That took the LA defence to six for the afternoon and they were starting to look hungry. The pass protection continued to buckle under relentless pressure from the Rams pass rushers, with Joe Burrow getting taken down for the seventh time in the match. Regardless of the outcome today, it’s very clear that the O-line of the Cincinnati Bengals needs serious reinforcement. 

Into the two minute warning, a penalty against Logan Wilson on 3rd and goal with just 1:44 on the play clock looked harsh but gave LA a new lease of life as they received an automatic first down. The next play saw Cooper Kupp make a touchdown grab but it was ruled out for offsetting penalties. It didn’t matter though as LA’s star man stepped up once again and gets a go ahead touchdown with just 1:25 left on the clock. It comes down to the Bengals offence vs the Los Angeles defence. Aaron Donald makes a stop on third. He makes a stop on fourth and one. Boy was that one hell of a way to end this game. For the second year in succession, the Super Bowl winners have done it in their own backyard. 

Truly remarkable Super Bowl match, it lived up to the billing and the LA Rams thoroughly deserved everything they got. The Bengals will be back in the mix next year and there is plenty to be excited about. 

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