LA Rams Lift the Lombardi: Super Bowl 56 Recap

LA Rams Lift the Lombardi: Super Bowl 56 Recap

Last Sunday night the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 56. With a final score of 23-20, the game was very intense and very much a defensive stalemate with many ups and downs for both teams. If you’ve read my other sports articles you know that I chose to break the game down by quarters so I can give a good in-depth analysis on what happened and any score changes. 

Quarter 1:

The Rams got the ball first and came out slow on their first drive. The Bengals quickly asserted their defensive presence by sacking Rams QB Matt Stafford for a seven yard loss, then wrapping up RB Darrell Henderson for another three yard loss. The Rams would then punt to the Bengals on fourth down. The Bengals also chose to come out a little slower, aware of the threat that is the Rams defense, you could tell they wanted to play a little more conservative. Surprisingly, the Bengals went for it on fourth down and Joe Burrow narrowly threw a pick. On the Rams second drive, they had their game plan figured out.  After starting with good field position and a few decent gains, Stafford threw the first touchdown to WR Odell Beckham Jr. (aka Poopy OBJ) making the score 7-0.

Yes, J Chizzy did catch this. Also Ramsey is burnt toast

A couple back-and-forth drives later, the Bengals got in field goal range. This was facilitated by the fact that WR Ja’marr Chase (J Chizzy) turned Rams CB Jalen Ramsey into burnt toast and hauled in a 46-yard one-handed catch. Cornerbacks getting absolutely torched was a recurring theme throughout this game. So the Bengals brought out kicker Evan McPherson, he of course nailed the 29-yarder to make the score 7-3. That brought us to the end of the first quarter.

Quarter 2:

Now this is where things start to get interesting. The Rams opened the second quarter with a long pass from Stafford to OBJ, where Bengals CB Eli Apple got burnt to a crisp. A couple strong run plays later, Stafford unloaded an 11-yard dart to WR Cooper Kupp in the back of the endzone. Eli Apple also gave up this touchdown, this was just an awful night for him, and it only gets worse.  The Rams attempted a fake field goal to go for two points and kicker Matt Gay threw and absolute dime TO THE DEFENSE. Unfortunately, the Bengals special teams could not return the pick. Thus, making the score 13-3. Odell went down on this drive with an apparent ACL injury, he was not able to return to the game (stop the NFL from using turf fields!). Here’s where Joe Brrrrr really starts to kick into gear. He starts cutting up the Rams defense pass after pass Then when the defense is on their heels, Joe Mixon starts running like a grown man, breaking off several big gains. When they were finally in scoring range, they brought out the trickery. A flip to Joe Mixon, who then passed the ball to a wide open WR Tee Higgins in the back of the endzone. The score was now 13-10. On their next drive, Matt Stafford did what he always does. After a few successful plays, he decides to launch a ball 57 yards right to Bengals safety Jessie Bates III, who intercepted the ball in the endzone. The Bengals received a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct on this play because an ineligible player ran onto the field to celebrate. While both teams had one more possession in the half nothing happened. That’s the half. 

Quarter 3:

After a really, really good half time show, the stage was set for a big second half. The Bengals came out firing. On their opening drive Joe Shiesty threw a 75-yard bomb to Tee Higgins for a touchdown. This made the score 13-17. There was a questionable pass interference call on this play, however, the refs really adopted a “let them play” philosophy. Matt Stafford and the Rams then came out and Stafford continued rolling. In his first pass attempt he threw a strike TO THE DEFENSE. The Bengals offense was able to turn that pick into a field goal, now mounting a 20-13 lead. The Rams took the field and pieced together a pretty solid drive, however, the Bengals defense held up and only allowed a field goal making the score 20-16. The rest of the third quarter was just back-and-forth punting, building the intensity going into the fourth quarter.

Quarter 4:

Kupp’s go ahead TD, literally on Eli Apple’s head

The first four drives of the fourth quarter all resulted in punts. While this didn’t make for a great game to watch, it did make for an intense closing of the game. With six minutes to go, the Rams pieced together a solid drive and Eli Apple continued to get cooked, allowing the Rams to easily move down the field.After approaching the goal line Stafford rifled a pass to Cooper Kupp scoring the go-ahead touchdown giving them the lead 26-20. In the closing minutes of the game, the Bengals had one last chance. They made it to mid-field but unfortunately turned the ball over on 4th & 1 because of an awful play call by Bengals coach Zac Taylor. 

 

Joe Brr, Steve Kerr, Matt LaFleur, it don’t matter… Rams winnin the Super Bowl”

— Sean McVay (Rams Head Coach)

Recap:

On the whole this was a really great Super Bowl, and while it didn’t turn out like a lot of people wanted it to, it was still a very exciting game. Cooper Kupp received MVP after his two touchdown performance to cap off an incredible season. Also, I did correctly predict the winner (if you read my last article) and the Rams almost covered the -3.5 spread as well. Now the wait begins for 6.5 long months till football season returns.