That’s it for the 2021-22 NFL season. Super Bowl LVI is in the books and they’re partying in LA after the Rams handled the Bengals 23-20 in a back and forth contest.
Super Bowl LVI Recap
The Los Angeles Rams entered Super Bowl LVI as favourites, and while the Cincinnati Bengals rallied hard and even led late in the piece, the quality of the home side shone in the end to win 23-20.
As expected, the Rams started fast. Matthew Stafford connected with Odel Beckham Jr. to open the scoring before he found Cooper Kupp early in the 2nd quarter. However, it wasn’t long before Beckham Jr. limped off the field. The non-contact nature is an obvious concern and he never looked likely to return. Meanwhile, the Bengals defence found a way to contain the Rams. Their rush defence – 5th-best in the NFL coming into this one – shut down the Rams running game and Stafford struggled for answers. Bringing it to 13-10, the Bengals entered the sheds happy enough with their first half.
Unfortunately for the players, they missed one of the best halftime shows of all time.
OMG!!!!!!!!! WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!! THE GREATEST HALFTIME SHOW IVE EVER SEEN!!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 14, 2022
The first half entertained but it was the early stages of the second that had this one feeling like a Super Bowl.
A missed pass interference call sent social media on fire as Tee Higgins gave the Bengals a 17-13 lead. Replays proved the referees missed this one. Still, it set the table for a frantic five minutes as Stafford soon turned the ball over. Skowronek couldn’t reel in his pass as Awuzie plucked the ball out of the air before the Bengals kicked a field goal to make it 20-13.
Four consecutive punts cost the Bengals, though. Back-to-back three-and-outs gave the Rams a sniff and their best players took off.
Kupp had already scored one touchdown but his performance in the 4th quarter set up his bid to finish up as Super Bowl MVP. He dragged the Rams up the field and stood up when it mattered on his way to a team-high 92 receiving yards. For all of his talk in the build-up to this one, Eli Apple couldn’t keep Kupp under control as the Rams wideout collected what ended up being the game-winning touchdown.
@EliApple Wish you was a better corner bro then the game winning touchdown wouldn’t been scored on you 🤷🏾♂️
— Mecole Hardman Jr. (@MecoleHardman4) February 14, 2022
However, plenty will argue (shock: punters on the internet found something to be annoyed about) that Aaron Donald should have won MVP. He was arguably the best player across the full 60 minutes, and with the game on the line and the Bengals with one last chance to keep their hopes alive, Donald pulled down Burrow for his second sack of the game.
Donald won’t care, though. His tears after the game said it all. The Rams did it, at home.
While the Bengals will be licking their wounds over the coming weeks, they’ll be back. That’s a great young football team that will be better for the experience.
Other Post-game Happenings
🏈Van Jefferson’s wife, Samaria, went into labor during the game and the Rams WR is now on his way to hospital.
🏈Rams S Taylor Rapp proposed to his girlfriend after the game.
🏈Eric Weddle tore his pec, OBJ hurt his knee, Andrew Whitworth and Aaron Donald talking retirement.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 14, 2022
Is That It For McVay?
Rams coach Sean McVay hinted at possibly retiring after this season. He just became the youngest coach in NFL history to win the Super Bowl but a life away from coaching does sound good…
Tony Romo makes 17 million a year calling games.
In theory, Sean McVay could “retire” and make 20 million a year while working a quarter of the hours calling games on MNF or for Amazon Prime.
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) February 14, 2022