On Sunday Feb. 13, Super Bowl LVI took place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, featuring the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals and the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams. The Rams were victorious, winning their first Super Bowl title since 1999 and second overall, defeating the Bengals 23-20. Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp was named Super Bowl MVP due to his stellar performance, which included 92 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought the game was everything that we expected it to be,” said junior Kenny Kearns. “Two good teams going at it and giving it all they have to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.”
The game was broadcasted on National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and it was estimated that an average of 112.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the game – the most for a Super Bowl since 2017 and a 14% increase from last season’s Super Bowl.
The main storyline around this game surrounded the two quarterbacks- Matthew Stafford from the Rams and Joe Burrow from the Bengals. Stafford was in his first season with the Rams after being traded in the offseason from the Detroit Lions, where he spent the first 12 years of his career. Burrow was playing in the Super Bowl just one year after tearing his ACL on Nov. 22, 2020.
The Rams struck first when Stafford connected with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for a 17-yard touchdown with 6:22 left in the first quarter. Unfortunately, Beckham Jr. went down with a knee injury later in the first half, which ultimately led to him being out for the rest of the game. As the teams went into the locker room for halftime, the Rams were ahead 13-10.
As both teams were preparing for the second half, fans were treated to a halftime performance from Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar. This performance included special appearances by 50 Cent and Anderson Paak.
“The Super Bowl halftime show was a throwback to the past as it paid homage to the hip-hop and rap stars of the late 90s and early 2000s,” said junior Laura Regan. “The set featured iconic locations such as ‘Tam’s Burgers’ and ‘Randy’s Donuts’ that filled the people of Los Angeles with nostalgia.”
The second half began with Burrow throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tee Higgins on the very first play, putting the Bengals up 17-13. The Rams were held to just three points for almost all of the second half until they got the ball with 6:13 left in the 4th quarter down 20-16. Stafford and the Rams offense drove 79 yards, with the drive culminating in a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kupp with 1:25 left, putting the Rams ahead 23-20.
The Bengals attempt at a potential game-tying or go-ahead drive would be thwarted when Joe Burrow’s pass fell incomplete on 4th and 1 from the Rams 49-yard line with 43 seconds left.
“I thought the Super Bowl was great because of its historic significance when it came to Cooper Kupp,” said freshman Anthony Pizzirusso. “Not only did he win the MVP, but he also became the fourth wide receiver in the Super Bowl era to win the Triple Crown.”
The “Triple Crown” occurs when receivers lead the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. The last time this feat was accomplished was in 2005.
The biggest off-season questions for the Rams will be if defensive lineman Aaron Donald and Beckham Jr. return next season. Beckham Jr. is a free agent and Donald has said he will contemplate retirement. With the 2022 NFL season starting on Sept. 8, the Rams could look different next year as they hope to repeat as Super Bowl champions.