“Rams investment Buys Super Bowl Trophy”
The stars came out and the end of the Super Bowl, and the LA Rams raised the trophy thanks to what few star players they had left on the field in their (23-20) come from behind win over the Bengals.
Matthew Stafford dragged his team on a 16-play 79-yard drive. It took a heroic effort from wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who caught 4-passes, was targeted 4-other times that resulted in penalties and ran a jet sweep on a 4th down play that kept that last drive going.
And it was the relentless play of defensive tackle Aaron Donald that changed the game’s fortunes in the second half. Not just his final play, a quarterback sack hit forcing a 4th down incompletion with 20-seconds left that ended the Bengals come back hopes, but his pressure all night long..
It was a hard earned win for LA. It was a devastating setback for the Bengals, who rallied from a 13-3 deficit, took the lead, but then fell apart, in a mixed bags of quarterback sacks and 4th quarter penalty flags that got the Rams to the 1-yard line.
The mood swings in the game were wild.
The Rams defense took over the game in the 3rd quarter, changing their rush packages to batter Burrow. LA’s rush destroyed the right side of the Cincinnati offensive line, winding up with 6-sacks in the second half and changing the chemistry of the game.
The Rams survived their own trauma too. Tee Higgins got a 75-yard TD catch to start the second half when the refs did not throw a flag when Higgins grabbed Jalen Ramsey’s face mask to get to the deep down the sideline pass.
The Rams offense saw the wheels fall off when wide out Odell Beckham suffered a knee injury in the 2nd quarter. That coupled with the loss of two tight ends nearly cripped the LA offense.
How bad was it? Stafford threw 2-interceptions on two pass plays in a row. Stafford went (2-for-8) right after Beckham went down. They went 6-possessions with 1-first down till that 16-play end of game drive.
The Rams run game failed badly leaving Stafford to do it by himself, and he did, coupling with the 145-catch Kupp time and time again at crunch time. The tight ends disappeared and their third receiver Van Jefferson seemed overwhelmed with the the responsibilities..
It was so tough on Burrow. In 1-stretch in the second half, the Bengals ran 19-plays, had 11-yards of offense, and gave up 6-sacks.
Then the Bengals fell apart on the final drive with a helmet full of pass interference and holding penalties to their secondary.
You give Stafford extra downs, extra snaps you lose. You give Kupp the chance to run extra routes, he scores. 1-TD wiped out by off setting penalties, coming back and catching the game winning TD shortly thereafter.
Outside of a 46-yard pass and a 75-yard tainted TD, the Bengals did little on offense.
And despite the stars wearing Rams horns, they became a somewhat pedestrian offense, just grinding out plays to go the length of the field to win the game.
Staffored ends 13-years of futility, getting his ring.
Donald, a certain Hall of Fame player, reaches the pinnacle of his profession.
Kupp got the MVP award, not bad for a kid from 1AA-Eastern Washington.
Coach Sean McVay gets to the Super Bowl for a 2nd time in 5-years and gets the ring. He will lose at least 4-assistant coaches from his staff likely tomorrow
For the Bengals, the future is very much ahead of them if they can keep Burrow standing upright. He finishes the year being sacked 70-times, and yet they had a chance to win or tie the game in the final minute, not bad for a 2nd year QB.
Whether you like or dislike Stan Kroenke, he paid the price for his team to get there, trading 9-straight first round picks. And he paid 5B of his own money and damages to St Louis, to get SoFi Stadium built.
It was an ugly Super Bowl, but by the end of the night, the Rams earned it, as the stars came out.. The guys they invested in, got them the victory, in the Rams house.