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Home / Joe Burrow

Super Cooper! Kupp leads Rams to Super Bowl LVI victory

Los Angeles won its first NFL championship since the 1983 season and third all-time Sunday as Matthew Stafford threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp with one minute, 25 seconds to play to give the Rams a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

The Rams drove 79 yards on 15 plays in 4:48 for the winning score after allowing 17 unanswered points to trail 20-13 with 4:45 left in the third quarter after leading 13-3.

On the winning touchdown Cincinnati was in man coverage, “no help over the top, and Coop did a great job winning on his route,” Stafford said. “I tried to put it in a good spot, and he made a great catch.”

The Bengals’ attempt to tie the score ended when Joe Burrow threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-1 from the Rams’ 49-yard line under a heavy rush by Aaron Donald with 39 seconds left.

Kupp was selected as the game’s MVP for catching eight passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns, all game highs.

Stafford completed seven of 12 passes for 57 yards on the wining drive, including four to Kupp for 39 yards.

The Rams converted two of three third downs and their lone fourth down on the drive.

Kupp ran for 7 yards around right end on a fourth-and-1 on the fourth play of the series, one play after Cam Akers was stopped for no gain.

“Sometimes you go with a gut feel,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of his play call. “I felt like based on the way they had played some of those short yardage situations that Kupp would have a chance to circle the defense. They defended it really well, but it was a great player making a great play. We don’t make that play, we’re not sitting up here winning that game for sure. Big- time play.”

On the next set of downs, Stafford completed a 6-yard pass to Brycen Hopkins on a third-and-2 play.

A defensive holding penalty against Cincinnati linebacker Logan Wilson gave the Rams a first down after facing a third-and-goal from the Bengals’ 8-yard line.

The Rams had seven snaps inside Cincinnati’s 10-yard line on the winning drive, with Stafford throwing two incomplete passes, the Bengals being penalized for holding and pass interference, offsetting penalties nullifying an apparent 4-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Kupp, and Stafford being stopped for no gain on a quarterback sneak on the play before the touchdown pass.

“That last drive was a special drive, one I’ll never forget,” Stafford said. “It was so many great plays by so many great players.”

The Rams made a Super Bowl-record-tying seven sacks — two each by Aaron Donald and Von Miller and one each by Leonard Floyd, Ernest Jones and A’Shawn Robinson,

The Rams outgained Cincinnati, 313 yards to 305, led 18-15 in first downs and 30:47-29:13 in time of possession before a crowd announced at 70,048 including basketball legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal, Lakers star LeBron James, actress Jennifer Lopez, actors Matt Damon and Tobey Maguire and rapper Jay-Z.

Stafford completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions and was sacked twice. He had a 89.9 passer rating on a scale from 0 to 158.3 with a rating over 100 considered superior.

Burrow competed 22 of 33 passes for 263 yards and one touchdown. He had a 100.9 passer rating.

In addition to the winning touchdown, the Rams scored only one other time on their final nine possessions, a 41-yard field goal by Matt Gay with 5:58 left in the third quarter that cut the Bengals’ lead to 20-16.

The Rams opened the scoring on their second possession on Stafford’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr., culminating a six-play, 50-yard drive where Stafford completed all three of his passes for 40 yards and also ran for seven yards.

Beckham suffered a knee injury in the second quarter and was sidelined for the rest of the game.

Cincinnati scored its first points three possessions later on Evan McPherson’s 29-yard field goal, four plays after Burrow’s 46-yard pass to Ja’Marr Chase that advanced the ball to the Rams’ 11-yard line.

The Rams increased their lead to 13-3 12:51 before halftime on Stafford’s 11-yard pass to Kupp. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful. Gay was unable to get off the kick and a pass by holder Johnny Hekker, the Rams’ punter, was intercepted.

The Bengals began to chip away at the deficit on Joe Mixon’s 6-yard pass to Tee Higgins with 5:47 left in the second quarter, the first touchdown pass thrown by a running back in a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XIV in 1980 when Lawrence McCutcheon threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Ron Smith for the Rams in their 31-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cincinnati took its first lead on Burrow’s 75-yard touchdown pass to Higgins on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.

Stafford threw his second interception on the Rams’ first play of the ensuing drive. The Bengals converted the interception by cornerback Chidobe Awuzie into Evan McPherson’s 38-yard field goal.

Los Angeles’ other NFL championships were won by the Rams in 1951 and the Raiders in January 1984 when they defeated Washington, 38-9, to win Super Bowl XVIII.

The Rams’ only previous Super Bowl victory came in Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000 when they were based in St. Louis. They also won the NFL championship in 1945, their final season in Cleveland.

The Rams have won two of their five Super Bowl appearances and one of three representing Los Angeles.

“I think the biggest thing that I’ve realized about this group is that you’re reminded of your real purpose,” McVay said. “There’s a difference between passion and purpose. The purpose is when you’re doing it because you want to see the other people that you love and care so much about succeed more than yourself. Everybody’s got some innately selfish things, but I am so proud to be associated with this group.

“Whether it’s Aaron Donald, (offensive lineman Andrew) Whitworth, Stafford, (defensive back) Eric Weddle, Von Miller, Odell or (injured receiver) Robert Woods, I love this group so much. I love these coaches and that drives you to try and be your best with the framework of your role. I think that’s what made this team special.”

The Rams are the second team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium, following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9, at Raymond James Stadium in Super Bowl LV.

Cincinnati was attempting to complete the second-best turnaround for a Super Bowl champion. They were 4-11-1 in 2020, including a 2-4 record to conclude the season when then-rookie quarterback Joe Burrow was sidelined because of a knee injury. The worst record for a team in the season before winning a Super Bowl was 4-12 by the 1998 Rams.

The victory made McVay the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl at 36 years, 20 days old. Mike Tomlin was 36 years, 323 days old when he guided the Steelers to a victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.

Stafford became the third quarterback to win a Super Bowl in his first year with team, joining Trent Dilfer of the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 and Tom Brady of the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.

Each member of the Rams will receive $150,000 while each member of the Bengals will receive $75,000.

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