The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, 23-20. They say close games come down to a handful of plays. Here are 10 plays that won the Super Bowl for the Rams.
1. Ernest Jones‘ 4th Down Stop
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) February 13, 2022
The Cincinnati Bengals came out playing aggressive. On their first fourth down of the game, they went for it. If the Bengals convert there, they likely get points on their opening drive. Instead, Ernest Jones came up with a huge pass breakup and the Rams took over at midfield. For a rookie, Jones had a great game after being hurt for the month of December. This play set up the next play that I’m about to discuss.
2. Touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr.
An Odell Super Bowl touchdown has been a long time coming pic.twitter.com/cb78sv2Afu
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) February 13, 2022
After getting a stop on fourth down, the Los Angeles Rams offense started moving. On 3rd-and-3, Stafford took a shot to Odell Beckham Jr. It was perfectly placed and Beckham high-pointed the ball to come down with it. Before his injury, Beckham had two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. He was in for a MVP performance. The Rams only got a quarter and a half out of him, but it was enough.
3. Beckham Reception on 3rd-and-11
Odell Beckham has 7 TDs in half a season with the #Rams
He gained 35-yards here on 3rd and 11.pic.twitter.com/N2Vffv1B0j
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 14, 2022
Like I said, it really sucked to see Odell Beckham Jr. go down as early in this game as he did. He came up in big moment early on as the Bengals were focused on Kupp. At their own 24 yard line, the Rams faced a 3rd-and-11. Stafford found Beckham coming across the field and he took it for 35 yards to get the first down. This play set up the next play that I’ll discuss.
4. Cooper Kupp‘s First Touchdown
Cooper Kupp Anytime Touchdown Scorer was the most-bet #SuperBowl prop.
It cashes in the first half 💰 pic.twitter.com/WmjmsbzLmX
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) February 14, 2022
After the Los Angeles Rams offense finally got moving, there didn’t seem to be anything that could stop them. The Rams took command of this football game and looked like they could run through the Bengals. This is a great play and shows the attention to detail from Kupp. He sells the run puts his head down as to not give up where he’s going. He ends up wide open in the back corner of the end zone.
5. Aaron Donald Sack on Third Down
Rams bring an LB over the center to get CIN in a 5-0 call to get a 1 on 1 with Donald on the sack pic.twitter.com/mQrlNhTGpu
— SyedSchemes (@syedschemes) February 14, 2022
This play doesn’t get talked about a lot, but it might be the play of the game. If the Bengals convert and get a touchdown on this drive, the Rams have a long road back and might be done. This was a chance for Cincinnati to take over and put the Rams away. Instead, Aaron Donald had different plans. This sack holds the Bengals to a field goal and keeps the Rams alive.
6. Kupp’s Fourth Down Conversion
— Connie Carberg (@ConnieScouts) February 14, 2022
This might be one of the gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history. There are five minutes left and the Los Angeles Rams have three timeouts left. They are at their own 30-yard line. If the Rams don’t pick this up, it might as well be game over. Sean McVay does what so many coaches overthink and don’t do. He put the ball in the hands of his best player. Kupp picks this up and it sparks the game-winning drive. It was bold, but a game-winning decision.
7. Stafford “No-Look” Pass
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
The Los Angeles Rams needed an explosive play. The Bengals were covering Kupp well which made things difficult for the Rams offense. This is when Stafford got creative and pulled out a no-look pass in his arsenal with the game on the line. Stafford focuses in on Brycen Hopkins, forcing Von Bell to come down and open a passing lane. Kupp comes in behind and Stafford, still looking at Hopkins, rips a pass past Bell’s ear. The Rams picked up 22 yards and ended up in scoring range.
8. 15 Wanda Now X Fade
COOPER KUPP FOR THE LEAD!
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) February 14, 2022
This was the play-call on second down from the one yard line. The Los Angeles Rams were trailing 20-16 and needed a touchdown to take the lead. This is another “get the ball into the hands of your best player” moments. The Rams had man coverage on the outside to Cooper Kupp on Eli Apple. That’s a matchup the Rams take all day. Stafford threw a perfect pass and Kupp hauled it in for the go-ahead score.
9. Aaron Donald’s Stop on Third Down
See, this play hurts my soul.
Why run directly at Aaron Donald here?
Why run directly at Aaron Donald here, with Perine and not Joe Mixon?
I don’t get it. pic.twitter.com/jTzQwZ0ga5
— Drew Garrison (@DrewGarrison) February 14, 2022
After having second-and-two, the Bengals have third and one. If they convert here, it’s very likely that they get the game-tying field goal and the game goes into overtime. Donald sheds his block and tackles Perine with one arm. Again, to make this play in this moment is one of those “GOAT” moments for Donald. This is a fantastic play by a great player.
10. Aaron Donald’s Pressure on 4th Down
Wow, Burrow came sneaky close to a miracle conversion to Perine on the Donald closer. pic.twitter.com/NNNV0YjyzZ
— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) February 15, 2022
This is the play that won the game for the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams big time players made big-time plays in this game. This is just one of them from Donald. He doesn’t get credit for a sack here, but it’s eerily similar to the play he had in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams needed Donald to make a play in this moment and he did. Because of that, the Rams are Super Bowl champions.