Feb 14, 2022 - Sports

Rams get a Hollywood ending

Andrew Whitworth raises his arm in celebration after Super Bowl LVI.

Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Andrew Whitworth. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In an era of perpetual rebuilds and "trusting the process," the Los Angeles Rams went all-in on the present. One Hollywood ending later, they're Super Bowl champions.

ICYMI: The Rams beat the Bengals, 23-20, in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, becoming the second straight NFL champion to celebrate on their home turf.

  • MVP: Cooper Kupp concluded his historic season with another tour de force (8 catches, 92 yards, 2 TD), setting the record for most receptions in a single postseason (33).
  • Zoom out: This is the Rams' second Super Bowl title, and L.A.'s first since 1983 (Raiders). The Bengals, now 0-3 in Super Bowls, remain one of 12 teams without a ring.
  • Key play: Matthew Stafford's go-ahead TD to Kupp with 1:25 left capped an epic 15-play, 79-yard drive.

By the numbers: It was an incredibly even game on the stat sheet. Both teams had 13 drives and finished with nearly the same exact number of plays (Rams 66, Bengals 61) and yards (Rams 313, Bengals 305).

  • 7 sacks: Joe Burrow was sacked a Super Bowl record-tying seven times, upping his postseason total to an NFL-record 19. Overall, he was sacked 70 times this season, third-most ever.
  • 36 years old: Sean McVay, 36, passed Mike Tomlin by about 10 months to become the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl.
  • 8 in a row: For the eighth straight Super Bowl, the team that lost the coin toss won the game. Wild.
  • 17 of 21: For the 17th time in the past 21 Super Bowls, the underdog covered the spread (Bengals +4). Also wild.

Between the lines: Star power isn't a foolproof recipe for success, but Sunday ultimately boiled down to the best players on the field stepping up when it mattered most.

  • Aaron Donald, perhaps the greatest defender to ever play the game, bulldozed Cincy all night and made the game-sealing play.
  • Kupp was L.A.'s entire offense on their final drive. Sometimes football is simple: let your superstars cook.

Looking back ... Sunday capped the most thrilling postseason in NFL history. The scores of the final seven games: 19-16 (walk-off), 13-10 (walk-off), 30-27 (walk-off), 42-36 (OT walk-off), 27-24 (OT walk-off), 20-17, 23-20.

Looking ahead ... The Chiefs (13-2) open as Super Bowl favorites next season, followed by the Bills (7-1), Rams (10-1), Bengals (12-1), 49ers (14-1), Packers (15-1), Cowboys (16-1), Bucs (18-1), Titans (20-1) and Ravens (20-1).

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