Rams rally to win Super Bowl 23-20 over Bengals

Rams rally to win Super Bowl 23-20 over Bengals
Cooper Kupp (10) of the Los Angeles Rams makes a touchdown catch over Eli Apple (20) of the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images via CBC News)

The Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl champions.

Cooper Kupp caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford with 1:25 remaining and the Rams beat the Bengals 23-20 to win the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

Kupp had four receptions for 39 yards on that drive, including the last three. He also had a key 7-yard run off right end on fourth-and-1 from the LA 30-yard line.

Stafford completed 7 of 11 for 57 yards on the 15-play, 79-yard series.

The Los Angeles Rams offense has been stuck in neutral since late in the third quarter.

The Rams got within 20-16 of the Cincinnati Bengals on Matt Gay’s 41-yard field goal but have gone three-and-out on three straight possessions. It is the second time in the playoffs the Rams have had three straight three-and-outs, but they had a 14-0 lead over the Arizona Cardinals in the wild-card round when it happened last time.

The Cincinnati Bengals are minutes away from the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

That is if the Bengals can keep Joe Burrow upright.

The Bengals lead the Los Angeles Rams 20-16 through three quarters despite Burrow getting sacked five times in the third alone. It was the first time since at least 2000 that a quarterback has been sacked at least five times in a quarter in the playoffs.

Burrow now has been sacked six times in this game. It’s the fifth time in Burrow’s short career and third time this season he has been sacked at least six times.

The No. 1 pick overall of the 2020 draft now has been sacked a record 18 times this postseason, and he has been sacked 69 times all season.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has become the sixth player to throw for 6,000 yards in a single season.

He joins Drew Brees, who had 6,404 yards in 2011, Peyton Manning with 6,387 in 2013, Eli Manning had 6,152 and Tom Brady 6,113 in 2011 and Dan Marino with 6,085 in 1984. Stafford needed 209 yards to reach 6,000, and he got that with a 16-yard pass to Brycen Hopkins in the third quarter.

Three plays later, the Rams tried their version of the Philly Special with Cooper Kupp throwing to Stafford. But they didn’t connect, and Matt Gay kicked a 41-yard field goal with 6:02 left in the third. That pulled the Rams within 20-16 of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cincinnati rookie Evan McPherson has matched Adam Vinatieri for the most field goals in a single NFL postseason.

McPherson made his second of the Super Bowl with a 38-yarder with 10:15 left in the third quarter. That gave the Bengals a 20-13 lead over the Los Angeles Rams as they got points off Matthew Stafford’s second interception.

The rookie the Bengals drafted with the fifth pick out of Florida now has 14 field goals this postseason. That matches the NFL record set by Vinatieri in 2006.

Super Bowl 56 has turned in favor of the Cincinnati Bengals with two big plays all in the span of the first 22 seconds of the third quarter.

The Bengals scored a touchdown on their first offensive play of the quarter. Joe Burrow moved to his right and then up before throwing deep to Tee Higgins, who caught the ball as Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey fell. Higgins ran to the end zone to finish off the 75-yard TD for a 17-13 lead.

On the Rams’ first play to start the next drive, a pass from Matthew Stafford intended for Ben Skowronek bounced to Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie at the Los Angeles 32.

Evan McPherson hit a field goal to put the Bengals up 20-13.

That interception gives the Bengals eight this postseason, most since the Green Bay Packers had eight in 2010.

There was about as much hip-hop as a stadium can hold at Super Bowl halftime, with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar splitting a fiery medley of their hits as expected, and a surprise appearance by 50 Cent.

It was a rare Super Bowl halftime show performed in the daylight, but it still had a feeling of a nightclub at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, with a set made up to look like the houses of nearby Compton and South LA.

Dre and Snoop opened the show with “Next Episode” and “California Love.”

50 Cent, not among the announced performers, started his “In Da Club.”

Blige was decked out in silver sparkles and surrounded by backup dancers as she sang a medley of her hits.

Eminem was surrounded by a rock band as he performed “Lose Yourself,” at one point taking a knee in apparent tribute to Colin Kaepernick’s protests.

The set was surrounded by what looked like a lit-up cityscape from above, with classic convertibles and a replica of the sculpture outside the Compton Courthouse.

The crowd had lanyards with LED lights that flashed in coordination with the show’s beats.

Rams coach Sean McVay isn’t ready to talk about playing the second half of Super Bowl 56 without wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

McVay was asked during his halftime interview about playing without Beckham. The receiver hurt his left leg late in the second quarter, the same leg he tore the ACL in during the 2020 season. McVay didn’t say anything about Beckham’s status, which has been announced as questionable to return.

The Rams coach says they have to make some adjustments and have got to be able to make some plays. McVay said the Rams had some opportunities they didn’t capitalize on.

Los Angeles leads the Bengals 13-10 at halftime. Cincinnati gets the ball first to start the third quarter after winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half.

The Los Angeles Rams lead the Cincinnati Bengals 13-10 at halftime of Super Bowl 56.

Matthew Stafford has thrown for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He may be without one of his top targets in the second half with Odell Beckham Jr. questionable to return after hurting his left leg with 3:50 left in the second quarter. That’s the same knee Beckham tore his ACL in during the 2020 season. The wide receiver went to the locker room, and he has two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Cooper Kupp has three catches for 40 yards and the Rams’ other TD.

Joe Burrow has thrown for 114 yards for Cincinnati. Running back Joe Mixon threw for the Bengals’ lone TD on a pass to Tee Higgins.

Cincinnati safety Jessie Bates got the game’s first turnover, working his way in front of Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson in the end zone. Stafford rolled out left on third-and-14 and threw deep from around midfield. Officials flagged Cincinnati for unsportsmanlike conduct, not for taunting but for a player wearing a hoodie not in uniform who ran into the end zone to celebrate. That forced Cincinnati to start at its own 10 with 2 minutes left in the half.

Stafford tied for the most interceptions in the regular season with 17. He now has two in the postseason. The only quarterback to have the most interceptions in the regular season and win a Super Bowl was Eli Manning in the 2007 season with the Giants.

Los Angeles Rams receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered an injury to his left leg on a noncontact play with 3:50 remaining in the second quarter.

Beckham was running toward the right side of the field on a crossing route, but it appeared as though his foot got caught in the turf. He dropped a pass thrown by Matthew Stafford and clutched his leg as he fell to the turf.

Beckham was looked at by trainers on the field before being helped off. He was looked at briefly in the medical tent on the Rams’ sideline before heading to the locker room.

Beckham, who was signed by the Rams after being released by Cleveland at midseason, had two receptions for 52 yards. He scored Los Angeles’ first touchdown when he beat Mike Hilton in the right corner of the end zone for a 17-yard score.

The Cincinnati Bengals have answered the Los Angeles Rams with their first touchdown to pull within 13-10 in the second quarter.

Running back Joe Mixon got the ball and ran to his right before throwing to a wide-open Tee Higgins in the end zone for a 6-yard TD with 5:47 left.

That capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive by the Bengals that chewed up 7:04 off the clock.

After the extra point, Bengals’ fans celebrated loudly chanting “Who Dey!”

Mixon joined some exclusive company as only the fifth non-quarterback to throw a TD pass in the Super Bowl. He joins Trey Burton for Philadelphia against the Patriots in 2018, Antwaan Randle El in 2006 for Pittsburgh against Seattle, Lawrence McCutcheon in 1980 for the then-St. Louis Rams against the Steelers and Dallas’ Robert Newhouse in 1978 versus Denver.

Matthew Stafford is off to a nearly perfect start, and the Los Angeles Rams have a 13-3 lead over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Stafford capped a 75-yard drive with an 11-yard TD pass to Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp with 12:51 left in the second quarter. None of the Bengals even touched Kupp coming off the line as he was wide open for his 21st TD catch this season, including the playoffs.

That puts him in exclusive company. Jerry Rice had 22 TDs in both 1987 and 1989. Randy Moss has the NFL record with 24 TD catches in 2007.

Stafford is 9 of 10 for 127 yards and two TD passes. His passer rating is perfect at 158.3.

Stafford is just the second quarterback with a perfect passer rating through four drives of the Super Bowl since 2000. Matt Ryan also was perfect for the Falcons against the Patriots in 2017.

A botched snap by the Rams on the extra point led to a flurry with the Bengals recovering the ball.

The Los Angeles Rams lead Super Bowl 56 and the Cincinnati Bengals 7-3 after the first quarter.

Bengals rookie Evan McPherson kicked a 29-yard field goal with 28 seconds left to keep Cincinnati from going scoreless through the first 15 minutes. The field goal was McPherson’s 13th made field goal this postseason, putting him one off the NFL record of 14 set by Adam Vinatieri in 2006.

Cincinnati had first-and-10 at the Rams 11 after an amazing one-handed catch by Pro Bowl receiver Ja’Marr Chase. The Offensive Rookie of the Year tracked the ball as he ran downfield covered by three-time All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey and caught Joe Burrow’s pass with his right hand for a 46-yard reception.

But the Bengals couldn’t pick up even a yard on three plays before sending McPherson out for the field goal.

This is the third straight Super Bowl where both teams scored in the opening quarter. That had happened twice in the previous 12 Super Bowls.

Playing a Super Bowl anywhere near Hollywood means the stars will come out, and they certainly have with the hometown Los Angeles Rams trying to win their first championship in 22 years.

Charlize Theron danced in her seat wearing a Rams ballcap, while Jennifer Lopez sat regally in her seat watching.

LeBron James is at SoFi Stadium with the Los Angeles Lakers having an off day along with Lakers legend Kareem-Abdul Jabbar. Pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win the 2020 World Series, is on hand watching his high school buddy Matthew Stafford play quarterback for the Rams.

The crowd also includes country singer Kenny Chesney and actors Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Chris Tucker and Kevin Hart.

The Los Angeles Rams have the first score of Super Bowl 56.

Matthew Stafford capped the Rams’ second drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. with 6:22 left in the first quarter. Beckham caught the ball over Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton, then the wide receiver celebrated his TD with a quick moonwalk. Beckham signed with Los Angeles on Nov. 11 after being cut by the Cleveland Browns.

Stafford is 4 of 4 for 47 yards and a 155.2 passer rating to start the game.

The Rams only had to go 50 yards in six plays over 3 minutes, 35 seconds because the defense forced the Bengals to turn the ball over on downs to end Cincinnati’s opening possession.

Make it nine straight Super Bowls where neither team has scored on its opening drive.

The Los Angeles Rams started on offense and finished with 1 yard thanks to a sack by Pro Bowl defensive end Trey Hendrickson of Matthew Stafford.

Cincinnati went for it on fourth-and-1 at midfield, and linebacker Ernest Jones broke up Joe Burrow’s pass to turn the Bengals over on downs.

The Bengals are looking to score their first touchdown in the first half of a Super Bowl after being shut out in the franchise’s two previous Super Bowls. Cincinnati scored only 17 points on the opening drive all season, which tied for second fewest in the NFL. They had scored 10 points in the playoffs.

The Cincinnati Bengals have won the coin toss and have deferred to put the Los Angeles Rams on offense to start Super Bowl 56.

It just may not be the omen Bengals’ fans want.

The last seven coin-toss winners wound up losing the Super Bowl. The last team to win the coin toss and the Super Bowl? Seattle beat Denver in 2014.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford called tails with Los Angeles technically the visiting team. The coin tossed by Billie Jean King came up heads.

King was on hand for the coin toss as the NFL recognized the 50-year anniversary of Title IX enacted in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments providing equal funding for men and women for the first time at high schools, colleges and universities receiving federal funding.

She was joined by the team captains for the California School for the Deaf Riverside Cubs, members of the high school girls flag league of champions and girls youth tackle football players from the Inglewood Chargers and Watts Rams.

King tweeted out video of her practicing the coin toss before kickoff. King wrote “Pressure is a privilege” and she noted the tip to bend her knees actually helped a lot.

Quickie Mickey” slowed it down for the Super Bowl.

Mickey Guyton, who told The Associated Press this week that she’d earned the nickname for singing “The Star Spangled Banner” in a tight 1:30, sang it in about 1:50 on Sunday before the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals took the field.

Oddsmakers had put the over/under on the anthem length at 1:35.

“I don’t want to ruin anybody’s sports bets, but let’s just say it’s the Super Bowl, so it most likely won’t be as fast,” the Grammy-nominated country singer told the AP.

She was still faster than the Super Bowl average of around two minutes.

It’s hot at SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl 56. Just not the hottest ever for this game.

The temperature is 82 ahead of kickoff between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals after having cooled off from 85 a couple hours before kickoff. California has been dealing with a heat wave over the past week with temperatures reaching into the low 90s in the region.

That’s short of the record of 84 set on Jan. 14, 1973, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Getting into this Super Bowl at the last minute will mean a big hit to the wallet.

StubHub says the get-in price Sunday was $3,800, a jump of 10% from Saturday, and the average price for tickets sold was $6,136. That’s a dip of 8% from Saturday.

The site still had more than 1,400 tickets available Sunday morning.

Fans from California have bought nearly 40% more tickets over the last 24 hours and also nearly 35% of new tickets sold in that span.

The Cincinnati faithful have been busy with buyers from Ohio accounting for 8% of sales.

Kickoff at Super Bowl 56 is less than an hour away with both teams warming up on the field at SoFi Stadium.

Joe Burrow is leading the Cincinnati Bengals with Matthew Stafford all decked out in the Rams’ modern throwback white jerseys. This is the first Super Bowl berth for each.

Burrow is the fastest to go from No. 1 overall pick to starting in this game.

Stafford had never won a playoff game before this postseason after the Rams traded for him. Stafford comes in with 49,995 yards passing and 323 TD passes. That’s the most ever for a quarterback making his first Super Bowl appearance. Stafford needs only 209 yards passing to become the sixth player to reach 6,000 in a single season.

The “Who Dey!” fans are making themselves known inside SoFi Stadium.

The concourses are packed with people with Bengals jerseys and they are outnumbering Rams jerseys by almost a 4-to-1 margin. The most popular jersey is that of Joe Burrow’s No. 9.

The Bengals faithful aren’t waiting for kickoff either. They’re walking around breaking into chants of “Who Dey!” inside the house of their opponent.

Super Bowl 56 could make history at kickoff before either the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals begin the opening drives.

The temperature two hours before kickoff was 85 degrees with the chance for the gauge to go even higher by the time the ball is kicked off. That would make this the hottest Super Bowl ever, topping the record of 84 set on Jan. 14, 1973, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

California has been dealing with a heat wave with eight locations in the region posting record temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s earlier this week.

The Associated PressThe Associated Press

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