Superbowl: Rams vs. Bengals

Written by: Ryan

Edited by: Jagat

Visual by: Macy

The Los Angeles Rams looked to be no match for the Cincinnati Bengals as the beginning of last week’s Super Bowl was taking shape. Just seconds into the third quarter, the Rams conceded a touchdown putting them behind by 4 points. To make matters worse, star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. went down with an apparent knee injury. This injury, which is believed to be an ACL tear, may sideline him for an entire season.

However, as they had done many times in the regular season, quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Cooper Kupp came to the rescue. In a drive that will go down in Super Bowl history as both incredible and controversial, Kupp drew three straight flags and four receptions, ending in a touchdown with 1:25 left on the clock. Aaron Donald, who had an MVP worthy performance of his own, sealed the game, continuing his pressure on Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow and forcing him to throw the ball away, along with the Bengals’ Super Bowl hopes. The Rams won 23 to 20.

A Hollywood script-esque ending to an amazing season for the Rams.

The series of events that led to this story book triumph are one of fantasy as well. In 2016, Rams owner Stan Kroenke moved the team from St. Louis all the way to Los Angeles, a highly saturated sports market boasting historic franchises such as the Lakers and Dodgers. The Rams also took a chance on their coach Sean McVay, who had a rough 4-12 season in his first season with the team as an assistant coach. However the risk paid off — McVay is now the youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl at just 36 years old.

The Super Bowl ring is just another accomplishment for Cooper Kupp, who capped off arguably the best offensive season in history. Kupp led the league in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, won offensive rookie of the year, the Super Bowl, and the Super Bowl MVP. The only other person to do all of these things in an entire career, let alone one season, is  hall of fame wide receiver Jerry Rice.

For the Bengals, and Joe Burrow specifically, this game was a huge disappointment. The Bengals offense also broke records, but not the ones that a team wants, with Joe Burrow being sacked a record seven times in the game. Whether this can be attributed to the excellence of Aaron Donald and Von Miller, a lackluster offensive line, Joe Burrow’s lack of awareness, or a combination of the three, the Bengals offense definitely has much to work on.

Outside of the game, there were many stars shining on the field at halftime. A show for all hip-hop and rap enthusiasts, headlined by an all-star lineup of rappers Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Anderson Paak, and Kendrick Lamar. Hip hop finally had its moment to shine at the Super Bowl halftime show, which is usually headlined by pop and RnB artists, but considering the game’s venue in Inglewood California, home to many rap legends, this decision was easily justified.

The superbowl as a whole served as a historical turning point for the NFL, with viewership being the second most in history, concluding a several years long stretch with declining viewership. The Rams won their second Lombardi Trophy, and first in Los Angeles, adding to the legacy of the historic city. The Bengals, on the other hand, had an amazing season with an elite young core in Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. They will likely be back in the next few years to redeem themselves.