Rams defeat Bengals, Super LVI recap


Used with permission from Google Commons

Los Angeles Rams run out of the locker room on Feb. 13, before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fourth down and one yard away from a first down, the game is on the line. The Cincinnati Bengals were down by three and needed to get the first down to have a chance at winning the game, and taking home a Super Bowl title. The ball was snapped, and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow scanned the field with the ball in his hands. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald took the game into his own hands and hit Burrow, knocking him to the ground. Burrow couldn’t get the pass off in time, game over, Rams win the Super Bowl. 

  This year, the Rams represented the National Football Conference (NFC) and the Bengals represented  the American Football Conference (AFC). Coming into the playoffs, both the Rams and the Bengals were the fourth seed in their respective conferences. To get into the Super Bowl, the Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the San Francisco 49ers. The Bengals beat the Los Angeles Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and Kansas City Chiefs. Students have had conflicting opinions on who they want to win. “I want the Bengals to win because I like their quarterback Joe Burrow and I think that it is very impressive that he came back from a torn ACL last season,” junior Matthew Serrano said. 

The first quarter started off loud. After the Rams and Bengals each traded off punting, the Rams set the tone early with a touchdown by wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and tossed by Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. This gave the Rams a 7-0 lead. The Bengals then followed up with a field goal at the end of the first quarter to make the score 7-3.

The second quarter was less of a defensive battle and had more of an offensive presence. A total of 13 points were scored. The Rams continued their hot streak when Stafford threw a touchdown to wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Unfortunately for the Rams, the extra point attempt, following the touchdown, did not convert. The Bengals drove down the field and performed the best trick play of the game. The ball was pitched to running back Joe Mixon and instead of running, he threw the ball to wide receiver Tee Higgins for the touchdown. The score was then 13-10, Rams leading, going into halftime. 

The halftime performance included a multitude of bright stars including rappers Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent. Reviews for the performance were controversial, with some people calling it the best one they’ve ever seen, and some people thinking it was below average. Bengals rookie kicker Evan McPherson had high expectations for the performance so he watched it instead of going with his team to the locker room. “Nothing will ever beat Lady Gaga,” Spanish teacher James Fetterman said.

The third quarter started off with an extreme turn of events in the Bengals’ favor. The first play out of halftime, Burrow launched a pass to Higgins for a 75-yard touchdown. The score was now 17-13 Bengals. Immediately after, Stafford threw an interception to the Bengals defense when a Rams receiver tipped the ball in the air. The Bengals responded with a field goal, making the score 20-13 Bengals. The Rams then kicked a field goal in response, which ended the third quarter with a score of 20-16, Bengals lead. 

The fourth quarter featured primarily defense until there was only two minutes left. The Rams found themselves in the Bengals’ red zone – inside their 20 yard line – with the game on the line. Stafford tossed up a one-yard fade to Kupp, who caught it, allowing the Rams to go up 23-20. The Bengals had the ball down three with little time left, and were not able to execute. The game was over, and the Rams won. “I’m happy the Rams won because Matthew Stafford deserved a ring after such a successful career with Detroit,” junior Ethan Kuan said.

Following the game, Kupp was named Super Bowl’s Most Valuable player (MVP) with eight catches, 92 yards, and two touchdowns. Kupp, having led all receivers in catches, yards, and touchdowns in the regular season, also won offensive player of the year, and capped his terrific season off with a Super Bowl MVP. “He had one of the best wide receiver seasons ever,” Kuan said.