INGLEWOOD, USA – Matthew Stafford tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp with 1:25 remaining to give the Los Angeles Rams a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, February 13 (Monday, February 14, Manila time).
Stafford’s third touchdown throw and Kupp’s second scoring catch of the game capped a dramatic 15-play, 79-yard drive. Stafford completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards and 2 interceptions, while Kupp caught 8 passes for 92 yards.
Aaron Donald recorded two of Los Angeles’ 7 sacks and pressured Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to force a desperate fourth-down incompletion with 39 seconds to play. The Rams ran out the clock to earn their second Super Bowl crown – the other coming in St. Louis following the 1999 season.
Burrow was 22-of-33 passing for 263 yards and running back Joe Mixon rushed for 72 yards and threw a touchdown pass on a trick play for the Bengals. Tee Higgins caught 4 passes for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Cincinnati made a stunning run to the title game but is now 0-3 in Super Bowls, having lost to the San Francisco 49ers in appearances following the 1981 and 1988 seasons. The Bengals won just six games over the previous two seasons.
Kupp set a postseason record with 33 receptions, breaking the mark of 31 set last season by Kansas City’s Travis Kelce. Von Miller also had 2 sacks for Los Angeles.
Odell Beckham Jr. also caught a touchdown pass for the Rams before exiting the game in the second quarter due to a left knee injury.
Cincinnati moved ahead for the first time at 17-13 on the first offensive play of the third quarter when Burrow and Higgins connected on a 75-yard touchdown pass. Higgins and Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey were mixed up, with Higgins appearing to twist Ramsey’s facemask. Ramsey fell to the ground while Higgins made the grab and ran the remaining 35 yards for the score.
On the Rams’ next play from scrimmage, Cincinnati’s Chidobe Awuzie notched an interception of a Stafford pass that caromed off the arms of Ben Skowronek, who was in the game due to Beckham’s injury. The Bengals took over at the Los Angeles 31-yard line and eventually grew the lead to seven with Evan McPherson’s 38-yard field goal.
The Rams cut their deficit to 20-16 when Matt Gay booted a 41-yard field with 5:58 left in the quarter.
Stafford threw 2 first-half touchdown passes as the Rams held a 13-10 lead at intermission.
Los Angeles struck first when Stafford connected on a 17-yard scoring pass to Beckham with 6:22 remaining in the first quarter.
Cincinnati got on the board with McPherson’s 29-yard field goal with 28 seconds to go in the opening period.
The Rams increased their lead to 13-3 when Stafford tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Kupp in the right corner of the end zone with 12:51 left in the half. The score was set up by consecutive pass plays of 35 yards to Beckham and 25 to Darrell Henderson Jr.
The extra point failed when holder Johnny Hekker was unable to get the ball down cleanly.
The Bengals answered with a solid 12-play, 75-yard drive that took 7:04. It culminated when Mixon threw a pass for the first time in his five-year NFL career and hit Higgins for a six-yard score with 5:47 remaining in the half. – Rappler.com
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