The 2022 NFL season has come and gone and the Super Bowl with it. This season has been fun, challenging and full of surprises.
This year's championship game was between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams. A star studed team versus an underdog. An offensive-minded team versus a Super Bowl favorite from before the season started respectively.
The Rams traded for their new Quarterback Matthew Stafford as soon as the offseason started last year. Their midseason acquisitions of Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller were the icing on the cake of arguably the most well-rounded roster in the NFL.
The Bengals were long shots when the season opened, only having won six games in the previous two seasons. Their improvements throughout the year were based on a high-powered offense and being in the bright place at the right time. Both teams would have great games leading to the Super Bowl, and after the conference championship week's dust settled, we had the matchup of Super Bowl LVI.
The game started off as expected, both offenses would take their shots early. A 17-yard fade would give Odell Beckham Jr. and the Rams an early lead, marking the superstar's first Super Bowl touchdown in as many appearances for him. The Bengals would match the excitement with a huge 46-yard bomb to Ja'Marr Chase, who burnt Jalen Ramsey on the right sideline. The Bengals would kick a field goal to put points on the board. Soom after Matthew Stafford would find Cooper Kupp in the end zone, this time extending their lead but botching a crucial extra point attempt leaving the score at 13-3. Before the half would end, the Bengals got creative and while inside the red zone, would have Joe Mixon throw a beautiful touchdown pass to Tee Higgins. the Rams would take a 13-10 lead into the locker room at the half.
The halftime show was given remarkable publicity this year, being headlined by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar, with an appearance by 50 Cent as well. The choreography from the background dancers was phenomenal, and the scenery depicting houses with Chevy Impalas in the front was neat. These all-time great performers set a new scale to which every halftime performer from now on will look up to.
It was clear that one team took more from the halftime show than the other and that team was the Bengals. On their first play from scrimmage in the second half, Burrow and Higgins would connect for a 75-yard touchdown thanks to a missed pass interference call courtesy of Tee Higgins. This strike would be immediately followed by the Rams proceeding to throw an interception on their first play of the half. The Bengals would only leave their next drive with a field goal, more importantly they would swing all of the game's momentum for what would be a hard fought second half of the game.
The 4th quarter would start with a Bengals lead but it would only be by 4 points after a Rams field goal. This quarter would showcase the defenses. Aaron Donald and the Rams front seven would contain Joe Burrow to pedestrian numbers, and the Bengals d-line would eliminate any rushing attack the Rams tried. Seven straight drives would end by punt, but with no turnovers, both teams were bending but not breaking.
This would all lead to one spectacular drive that would showcase the Rams true explosiveness. In the last six minutes of the game, Matthew Stafford would lead his team down the field and including 4 receptions to Cooper Kupp, would finally have his Super Bowl moment. A 1-yard fade would connect to Kupp for a touchdown that would seal the deal for the Rams with a minute left on the clock.
On the final possession for the Bengals, Aaron Donald would get constant pressure, and on fourth down would cause an incompletion; winning the game.
The final score was 23-20 for Los Angeles.
The Super Bowl MVP was given to Cooper Kupp, who tallied 8 receptions, 92 yards and 2 touchdowns. Matt Stafford would finish the game 26 of 40, 283 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His counterpart, Joe Burrow had a great day despite the loss, going 22 of 33 with 263 yards and a touchdown. The Rams would get 7 sacks throughout the day, with 5 being in the second half alone, and 2 coming from Aaron Donald.
This Super Bowl might go down as somewhat boring, after the sluggish was that was the second half. Burrow, Stafford, Kupp and Beckham made for great hype leading to the event, but with the strong defenses at play, the game was more critical than exciting.
We will be continuing the coverage and review of the big game and the 2022 season for the following weeks. Make sure you stay tuned with fansonlysportz.com for more sports media content.