The inspirational difference-makers that led the LA Rams to Super Bowl glory
The Rams went all-in on winning the Super Bowl this year and it paid off.
The LA Rams were victorious in Super Bowl LVI as they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals with a score of 23-20, writes Scott McCabe.
Heading into this game, the pressure was stacked on this LA Rams team. This was a team that gave it their all to win the Super Bowl this year.
The Rams paid the Detroit Lions a hefty price for the veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford - three future draft picks and quarterback Jared Goff. They also went out and nabbed Odell Beckham Jr. and star pass rusher Von Miller.
Beckham Jr. set the tone for the game as Stafford delivered a dime to the flashy wide receiver in the first quarter to open the scoring. The Bengals had to settle for a field goal by Evan McPherson in the dying embers of the first quarter as their offence was unable to match the Rams with a touchdown score.
Heading into the second quarter, Stafford drove the Rams downfield and found Cooper Kupp wide open in the end-zone for the touchdown. However, it wasn’t a perfect drive by the Rams as they came up short on a two-point conversion attempt.
Joe Burrow gets it going
The Bengals answered back with a well-executed trick play which involved the running back of the Bengals Joe Mixon throwing the ball to their wide receiver Tee Higgins. With the score sitting at 13-10 at the half, both teams headed for their locker rooms.
Cincinnati did not mess around in the second half, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow dropped a 75-yard bomb to Higgins for his second touchdown of the game to give the Bengals the lead early in the third quarter.
A Stafford interception set up Bengals kicker McPherson to improve their lead with a field goal. On their next drive, the Rams moved the ball fluidly downfield but had to settle for a field goal by kicker Matt Gay.
With just one quarter left to play and the Rams only trailing by four [20-16], the Bengals needed to get some points on their next few possessions. Unfortunately for Burrow, his offensive line could not hold out this stellar Rams defence and the sacks began to mount up.
With the LA Rams' defence shutting out the Bengals offence in the fourth quarter, it all came down to Stafford. The Rams needed to score a touchdown; a field goal was not enough.
Cooper Kupp earns his MVP
Just when the LA Rams needed him the most, this year’s offensive player of the year, Cooper Kupp, delivered.
A clinical drive by Stafford and Kupp placed the Rams in prime position to win the game. The Bengals defence almost locked up this electrifying offense of the Rams.
However, a holding penalty on the Bengals defence provided the Rams with a fresh set of downs to punch it in for the score, and they did exactly that. Stafford connected with Kupp in the end-zone to give the Rams a three-point lead.
With less than two minutes on the clock, Cincinnati needed to drive into field goal range to have any chance at tying this game up.
Burrow was flustered by this Rams defensive front the whole game and on the final drive, a sack by Aaron Donald sealed the victory for the Rams as the Bengals were unable to convert on a 4th and 1. Devastation for the Bengals. Elation for the Rams.
The difference makers
AARON DONALD: The eight-time Pro Bowler made his mark on the Super Bowl with a game-winning sack. The Bengals offensive line just could not stop this Rams pass rush, and as a result, Burrow was sacked seven times over the course of the game.
COOPER KUPP: The whole season Kupp was the best offensive weapon for the Rams and the Super Bowl was no different. The wide receiver totalled 92 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the Super Bowl. Kupp was awarded Super Bowl MVP and capped off his record-breaking season with a Super Bowl ring.