ANKARA (Anadolu/PNA) – The Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI for the National Football League (NFL) title Sunday night.
The Cincinnati Bengals, which finished the AFC Conference with 10 wins and seven losses, met with the Los Angeles Rams, which had a 12-5 record in the NFC Conference this season at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, which is also the home field of the Rams.
With a packed crowd of over 70,000, fans in attendance received a KN95 mask. Fans attending the game were also required to show proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test that was taken within 48 hours, or a negative antigen test that was taken within 24 hours.
After making a strong start to the game, the Rams finished the first quarter with a 7-3 lead. They extended their lead to 13-3 early in the second quarter.
The Bengals responded with a trick play, taking the score to 13-10 with less than six minutes remaining in the second quarter. The Rams made an interception in the next play while trying to make a 3rd down conversion. The first half ended with the Bengals down by 3 points.
The Bengals made a strong start to the second half with a 75-yard touchdown on their first play with only 12 seconds into the third quarter, taking the lead with a 17-13 score. The Rams turned over the ball with quarterback Matthew Stafford making his second interception of the game.
While the Bengals extended their lead to 20-13 with a field goal, the Rams responded with a field goal, which made the score 20-16. It was a defensive teams’ show from then on through the fourth quarter as there were multiple sacks on both teams’ quarterbacks.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams made a 4th down conversion with wide receiver Cooper Kupp carrying the ball as a tailback as he cut through the opposition defense. He followed his good performance by making two consecutive plays to carry the Rams to the red zone. With 1:38 remaining in the game, Kupp caught a touchdown but it was overturned due to offsetting penalties. Kupp, however, made a catch later and helped the Rams retake the lead with 23-20.
With 1:25 left in the game, the Bengals got the final possession, but their young quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked by the Rams’ 30-year-old defensive tackle Aaron Donald in the final play.
With the final score 23-20, this marked the first Super Bowl victory for the Rams since the 1999 season when they played in St. Louis. They had previous championships when they had played in Cleveland in 1945 and 1951 before the NFL merger and Super Bowl format.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has become the youngest head coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl at 36 years and 20 days old.
This also marked the second consecutive year that a team playing the Super Bowl at its home field lifted the Lombardi Trophy.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp was awarded the most valuable player (MVP) of the game. He also became the first player since 2005 to lead the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, a feat known as the triple crown.
Kupp had 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns during the regular season. His catches and yards have gone down as the second-most in NFL history.
Hip-hop, rap and soul artists Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Sean Forbes and Warren Snipe took the stage during the half-time show. (Anadolu)