Updated: Sep 6
Super Bowl LVI Recap
Written by: Fernando Jeronimo
Super Bowl 56 took place at SoFi Stadium, home of the Rams and Chargers but who would have thought that after 54 Super Bowls, two teams would be playing in their home stadium. Last season, the Buccaneers and Tom Brady made it to the Super Bowl and now this season it is the Rams who repeat it. This year marked the longest season in NFL history since the league added Week 18.
The Bengals came into this game after completing an impressive comeback against the Chiefs after trailing 21-10 at the end of the first half. The Bengals ended up storming back to tie the game to force overtime where the Bengals picked off Patrick Mahomes on the Chiefs opening drive which ended up leading to Evan McPherson’s game-winning field goal. Looking at the NFC side of things, the Rams ended up facing the 49ers in the NFC Championship and were trailing 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter. It looked as if it would be the 49ers were going to pull of the second upset on the road and beat the Rams for the 7th straight time. Instead, the Rams managed to score in their final three possessions and hold off the 49ers to punting and throwing a game sealing interception.
The Bengals came into this season haven’t won a playoff game since 1991 but Joe Burrow wanted to change that this season. This is their third Super Bowl appearance ever for the franchise and hoping to make it their first franchise win. Both Super Bowl appearances they lost to Joe Montana and the 49ers in the 1980s. As for the Rams this is their second appearance in the last five seasons and hoping to bring back their second championship for the franchise. Both Matthew Stafford and Burrow were picked first overall in the NFL Draft and would make just the second time that both Super Bowl starting quarterbacks were both former number one picks (Last – Super Bowl L with Peyton Manning v. Cam Newton).
It has come down to the final game that everyone wishes to be at and only one would be crowned Super Bowl Champions. The Bengals started off with winning the coin toss (Note: The team that wins the coin toss has lost seven straight Super Bowls) and decided to differ to the second half. Rams started off with the ball to open the game and in seven plays, ended up punting the ball. As for the Bengals they ended their first drive you could say three and out but decided to take the risk in the very beginning of the game on fourth down and one at LA 49 but Burrow through it incomplete to JaMarr Chase.
Next drive for the Rams, they marched down the field to score a touchdown within four minutes as Stafford passed it for 17 yards to Odell Beckham Jr. Extra point was good and Rams now lead 7-0 with just under seven minutes to go in the first quarter. The next two drives would end up leading to punts in just five plays each possession. The Bengals started off slow but ended up putting up three points from 29 yards out for McPherson as he splits the up rights to make it 7-3 Rams. The Rams would come back and answer one better as Stafford would find his top target in Cooper Kupp for an 11-yard score. The extra point would end up turning into a two-point conversion attempt since Hekker muffed the snap. The Rams would fail to convert the two-point attempt but still lead 13-3.
Start of the second quarter the Bengals ended up answering right back with what would be the longest drive of the whole game, just over seven minutes for 75 yards. Joe Mixon would pass short to Tee Higgins for six yards for the score with the extra point being good, Rams still lead 13-10. That would be about it for the second half as both teams would not be able to score with one of the drives being the next one after the Bengals score being a turnover for the Rams as Stafford threw an interception that was thrown deep intended for Van Jefferson. That drive would also be the last time we would see Beckham since he buckled his knee and would end up being ruled out for the rest of the game and it is believed that he tore his ACL on the same knee.
The third quarter got a little interested with the Bengals having three plays on their first drive where Burrow connected with Higgins for a 75-yard score to lead for the first time 17-13. Rams would throw another interception and the Bengals would answer with a McPherson 38-yard field goal to add to their lead. Bengals would lead 20-13 at this point. Matt Gay would answer for the Rams with a 41-yard field goal to still trail 20-16.
After seven consecutive punts after that it came down to the final two drives where the Rams ended up driving 72 yards for a Cooper Kupp one yard score to take the lead 23-20. Bengals came into their final drive with Burrow a little injured from his recent drive as he went down awkwardly. Fourth down and one Burrow drops back, pressured by Aaron Donald, in desperation throws as he is falling to Samaje Perine but lands incomplete to turn the ball over and to give the Rams their second ever franchise championship. The final score would end up being 23-20 Rams and Cooper Kupp with top his immaculate season as being the Super Bowl MVP.