The Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl LVI Champions after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20. Matthew Stafford led the Rams down the field late in the game and Cooper Kupp won MVP. Let’s get into our 10 takeaways!
1. Cooper Kupp is the NFL’s Best Wide Receiver
You can’t stop Cooper Kupp, you can only hope to contain him. That’s what the Bengals did and it still wasn’t enough. For most of the game, the Bengals held down Cooper Kupp. Through the first half, he only had three receptions for 40 yards. Kupp had four receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown on the final drive alone. The Rams called Kupp’s name in the biggest moment and he delivered.
2. Aaron Donald Shows Why He’s The Best Defensive Player Ever
Some will say that it’s premature, but Aaron Donald is 100% in the conversation for best defensive player ever. He just turned 30 years old and has won defensive player of the year three times, has been 7x all-pro, and now has a Super Bowl ring. When the Los Angeles Rams needed a big play, they got it from Donald. It was Donald’s sack on 3rd-and-3 that held the Bengals to a field goal after the interception. It was Donald’s pressure on Burrow that led to the fourth down incompletion. He had himself a game and got a ring because of it.
"Aaron Donald's gonna make a play."
Sean McVay had no doubt AD would come up in the clutch @brgridiron
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 15, 2022
3. Stat Padford Shows His Big-Game Ability
Matthew Stafford didn’t win MVP, but he had a great game. He didn’t make “the mistake” that so many analysts predicted, expected, and likely wanted him to make. With the game on the line, like Joe Montana, not Burrow, he led the offense down the field to score the game-winning touchdown. Both interceptions weren’t entirely his fault. Stafford showed up when the Rams needed him and showed why they traded to get him. Not to mention, he pulled out the no-look pass with the game on the line.
This might be one of the best throws ever. To pull a no-look with the game on the line takes some stones. pic.twitter.com/hafB3qXtih
— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 14, 2022
4. Odell Beckham Jr. On Way To Big Game
You have to feel bad for Odell Beckham Jr. He was on the game’s biggest stage and tore his ACL in the middle of the second quarter. He had a touchdown reception to put the Rams up 7-0 and had 52 yards. The Los Angeles Rams offense went stagnant after Beckham went down. The final play to Kupp typically would have gone to Beckham. You could argue that he wins MVP if he doesn’t get hurt. Luckily, he has expressed interest in returning to LA.
5. Ben Skowronek Has Some Improving To Do
There was a point in the game when I asked, what is Ben Skowronek’s purpose? More times than not this season, Skowronek’s name was mentioned because of a mistake he made. Whether it was s drop in the end zone in the divisional round or committing a penalty. He’s a good blocker in the run game, but a drop led to an interception for the Bengals and then there were times when Stafford threw him the ball when he didn’t seem to put up much effort to go get it. He has potential, but with TuTu Atwell, Robert Woods, and Jacob Harris coming back next year, he might not make the roster.
6. McVay Coaches A Good Game
There are some who will complain about the Los Angeles Rams’ first down runs during the game. There was nothing in the run game and there was a period where that might have cost the Rams. However, McVay came out aggressive and it led to a 13-3 lead. With 5:37 to play and three timeouts at their own 30, McVay could have punted. Instead, the Rams went for it and got it. It’s likely the call that won the game. McVay is now the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl.
7. Big Whit Gets His Moment
Andrew Whitworth now gets to ride off into the sunset. The Rams left tackle might be the best free agent signing in NFL history. He caps off his career with a Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and a Super Bowl win against his former team. It doesn’t get much better than that.
8. The Bengals Lost Because of More Than One Call
It wouldn’t be a Los Angeles Rams game without some officiating controversy. On the Rams’ final drive, Logan Wilson was correctly called for holding on Cooper Kupp. However, we won’t discuss Jalen Ramsey getting his facemask dragged on Tee Higgins‘ touchdown. The Bengals had plenty of opportunities to win. A touchdown after the interception likely puts the Rams away at 24-13. Tyler Boyd dropped a pass on 3rd down that maybe converts. The Rams drove down the field on their next drive. They could have stopped Cooper Kupp on 4th-and-one. Lastly, after having 2nd-and-2, they failed to convert and turned the ball over on downs.
Refs again make them too big a part of the NFL's biggest game. Bengals fans: OMG this is so rigged. Meanwhile… No face mask call on Tee Higgins : ”refs are rigged for Bengals. Holding call on Logan Wilson: “refs are rigged for Rams!’ 😱🤪😂#SBLVI #SuperBowl #SuperBowlLVI pic.twitter.com/sSwRKJb96T
— Pete Adams (@AK_IceStorm) February 14, 2022
9. Ernest Jones is Going to Be Special
Ernest Jones had been out much of the last month with an injury. Jones led the Rams defense with six tackles in the Super Bowl. He was all over the field and was a blitz threat. It was Jones’ pass breakup on the Bengals first possession that forced a turnover on downs. Jones had a great game and it’s going to be fun watching him take that next step in 2022.
10. Enough with the Retirement Rumors
The Los Angeles Rams haven’t been Super Bowl Champions for 48 hours and Sean McVay is retiring and Aaron Donald is retiring. Let’s just enjoy this moment. It’s been 22 years since the Rams last won the Super Bowl. There will be plenty of time for rumors that likely amount to nothing.