Rams v.s. Bengals: Super Bowl 56 recap


Jack Beyer, Sports Writer

Super Bowl Sunday: one of the best days for NFL fans as they gather with friends and family to watch some good football, but it is not just any normal game. It is the best of the best. For years, we have seen Tom Brady and the New England Patriots make it to the Super Bowl. In recent years, we have seen Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs make a long run in the playoffs. But this year, it was different. Witnessing the insanity of the playoffs, fans have watched the rise and fall of the teams. 

The Green Bay Packers had an early exit after a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs lost in the AFC championship to the Cincinnati Bengals. The playoffs had the fans going crazy as each game came down to the last play. The Bengals had two walk-off kicks, the LA Rams upset a super tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the craziness wouldn’t come to a halt. At the end of the day, there had to be two winners. One from the AFC and one from the NFC.

 In Super Bowl 56, the Cincinnati Bengals traveled to Los Angeles, CA to take on the Rams, at their home stadium. In case you missed the game because your boss wouldn’t give you the day off, here is a recap of Super Bowl 56.

Matthew Stafford vs Joe Burrow. Many local fans didn’t really know who to root for. Stafford was deserving of a ring after being on the unsuccessful Detroit Lions for 12 years. Fans just wanted Burrow to win because he was strongly considered “the coolest quarterback” in the entire league. This was one of the most favored games that we had come across all year.  It did not disappoint. With nearly 101.1 million people watching, and a beautiful intro from celebrity Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the first quarter kicked off with the Rams receiving the ball.

Both of the teams first drives ended in punts, until the Rams got the ball back and drove down the field. A Stafford scramble and a Cooper Kupp first down reception put the Rams inside the redzone to set up for a 25-yard touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr. to put the Rams up 7-0. Then towards the end of the first quarter, Burrow hit Ja’Marr Chase on a 46-yard bomb which he caught one-handed to put them inside the 15-yard line. Unfortunately, the Bengals weren’t able to capitalize off the big play and had to settle for a field goal to make the score 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. 

Heading into the second quarter, Stafford picked back up right where he left off, completing a pass to Beckham Jr. on a skinny post route for a large gain. Moving right back to the air completing a pass to Darrell Henderson Jr. on a wheel route for another large gain. A few plays later, the offense ran a play-action rollout pass play and then scored on a Cooper Kupp reception, making the score 13-3 after a miscommunication on the extra point. The Bengals offense had to answer back quickly, and they did. After multiple receptions from the receiving trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins and some power runs by running back Joe Mixon, it was able to put them inside the 10-yard line. The Bengals went deep in their playbook and pulled out a play they liked to call “The Cincinnati Special.” Burrow went under center to get the ball, tossed it to Mixon as if it was a run play, who then threw it to Higgins who was in the corner of the endzone to score. With the extra point good, it put the Bengals only three points behind the Rams with the score being 13-10 with under six minutes left before halftime. The Rams got the ball back and one of the most tragic things happened, Odell Beckham Jr. went down. He limped off the field, but later took his pads off and was ruled out for the rest of the game. It was later found that Beckham Jr. tore his ACL, the same ACL he tore in October of 2020. With a late interception from the Bengals defense, the game went to halftime with the Rams up 3. 

After the halftime performance, the Bengals came back on fire, looking to get points on the board right away. They received the ball at tat the 25-yard line after a touchback. Burrow quickly dropped back and threw a pass to Tee Higgins. He then jumped over cornerback Jalen Ramsey and ran it in for a touchdown, only 25 seconds into the third quarter, making the score 17-13. Many thought it was offensive pass interference, but the referees missed the call and the score stayed. 

The Rams got the ball back, but immediately turned it over after a Bengals interception from cornerback Chidobe Awuzie. They quickly got to work after a Joe Burrow fourth down conversion and multiple receptions from the receiving trio, but they weren’t able to take advantage of the opportunity and had to settle for a field goal making the score 20-13. The Rams got the ball back, hoping to have more offensive production after the interception as they turned to the run game. To say the least, it did not work. Stafford and the offense had to return to the passing game plan. However, even after multiple receptions they had to settle for a field goal which put them down by four, 20-16. After a continuation of failed offensive drives, the quarter ended with the Bengals ahead of the Rams 20-16.

The Rams had the ball to start the fourth quarter, but the drive ended in a punt giving the ball back to the Bengals. The defensive battle continued, having both teams end their drives in punts until the Rams got the ball back with under six minutes left. Stafford completed multiple passes getting the offense inside the five-yard line. Stafford went into a Pro-I look, dropped back and threw a jump ball to Cooper Kupp. Kupp jumped over cornerback Eli Apple and got both feet in for the touchdown to make the score 23-20. For the first time since the beginning of the third quarter, the Rams took the lead. The Bengals looked to get in field goal range to tie the game and send it to overtime, but Rams defensive linemen Aaron Donald quickly got to Burrow, on 4th down, forcing him to throw it incomplete and ending the game. 

The Rams were Super Bowl champions. After an amazing game by Cooper Kupp, he earned himself Super Bowl MVP with 8 receptions for 92 years and two TDs. Kupp was the first player since Jerry Rice to win the “triple crown” consisting of offensive player of the year and Super Bowl MVP.

After a great NFL season, fans are already looking forward to next year, especially with all of the changes that are happening around the league. With multiple teams having head coach vacancies, a lot of teams are going in with a ton of potential, to try and clinch a playoff berth, and secure a spot in Super Bowl 57.