Kupp’s heroics spark Rams to 23-20 Super Bowl LVI win over Bengals

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandon Powell rushes against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sun Feb 13, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Sunday, February 13, 2022

A late touchdown pass, combined with a stellar defensive stand, helped the Los Angeles Rams win their second Super Bowl in franchise history Sunday at their own stadium in Inglewood, Calif., holding off the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

Cooper Kupp snared a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford with 1:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, letting the Rams surge ahead from a 20-16 deficit. In what became the game-winning drive, Kupp also had a 7-yard run to convert a key fourth-down play, caught key passes and drew two defensive penalties.

Kupp, the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, finished with eight receptions for 92 yards and two TDs. Kupp became a primary target for Stafford after Odell Beckham Jr. left with a knee injury in the second quarter. For his clutch efforts, Kupp was selected as the game’s most valuable player.

The Bengals had one last possession and reached midfield, but on a fourth-down play with 39 seconds remaining, the Rams’ Aaron Donald forced Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow to throw a wild, incomplete pass.

That play clinched the Rams’ first Super Bowl championship while residing in Los Angeles, having won the 1999 title in St. Louis. The Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles after winning the 1945 NFL championship, and the L.A, Rams last won an NFL crown in 1951.

Cincinnati took its first lead of the game on the first play of the third quarter, when Burrow found Tee Higgins on a deep route for a 75-yard score. Replays showed that Higgins got away with grabbing L.A. cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s facemask on the play.

An interception set up a Evan McPherson 38-yard field goal that gave the Bengals a 20-13 lead at 10:19 of the third quarter, and the Rams responded at 6:02 of the third with a field goal of 41 yards by Matt Gay. The game turned into a defensive battle for most of the fourth quarter.

The Rams opened the scoring at 6:26 of the first quarter on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Beckham. McPherson’s 29-yard field goal in the final minute of the first quarter put Cincinnati on the board.

Stafford’s first TD pass to Kupp, from 11 yards out, put the Rams up 13-3, but missed the extra point on a botched hold. At 5:52 of the second quarter, Joe Mixon threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Higgins on the halfback option, pulling the Bengals to within 13-10 at the half.

Stafford threw for 283 yards, completing 26 of 40 passes for three touchdowns and two interceptions. Cam Akers was the Rams’ leading rusher with 21 yards on 13 carries.

Burrow, who was sacked for a Super Bowl record-tying seven times, completed 22 of 33 passes for 263 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Mixon ran 15 times for 72 yards, and Higgins caught four passes for 100 yards and two TDs. Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd each caught five passes for Cincinnati.

The Bengals are winless in three Super Bowls – the Bengals’ previous losses came in XVI (1981 season) and XXIII (1988 season), both against San Francisco,

Super Bowl LVI podcast with Charlie O: Rams have homefield; Bengals looking to win their first Super Bowl

Super Bowl LVI to be held at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles with kick off at 3:00pm PST between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams on Sun Feb 13, 2022 (image from Wikipedia)

On the Super Bowl LVI podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Charlie the last time the Los Angeles Rams were in the Super Bowl they got laid out by the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady in 2019 some three years ago. Are these Rams much more equipped and ready for today’s game than they were in 2019?

#2 Talk about the advantages the Rams have playing in their own stadium, the Rams even got to practice in the Southland for the last two weeks never leaving California how is that for another advantage?

#3 Charlie, the Cincinnati Bengals make their third Super Bowl appearance the last time they were here was in 1988 and 1982 before that losing both times to the San Francisco 49ers.

#4 The Bengals are looking for that first Super Bowl win in franchise history and they have confidence with quarterback Joe Burrow on their side whose pulled a rabbit out of the hat four out the last five games to get here.

#5 Lastly NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that diversity in the NFL needs to improve when that will happen on the head coaching level is anyone’s guess. The NFL is trying to push for Byron Allen to become the first black NFL owner who is trying to purchase the Denver Broncos.

Charlie O does Headline Sports every other Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Super Bowl LVI podcast with Jessica Kwong: Can Bengals beat the odds; Rams Stafford key in guiding Rams to big game

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow shakes fans hands after the Bengals advanced to Super Bowl LVI. The Bengals had defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Sun Jan 30, 2022 in the AFC Championship. (AP News photo)

On the Super Bowl LVI podcast with Jessica:

#1 Jessica, the Cincinnati Bengals (13-7) coming into Sunday’s Super Bowl have won four out of their last five games wins that got them to the Super Bowl a lot of the credit has been going to quarterback Joe Burrow who has led the club into the red zone and executing the score.

#2 It’s been a long while since the Bengals have got to the Super Bowl the last time they were here was in 1988 and before that in 1982 both times they faced the San Francisco 49ers (12-8) and lost this Sunday they want to be able to hoist that trophy.

#3 Jessica in that last Bengals game for the AFC Championship they just edged one of the league’s best the Kansas City Chiefs (14-6) in a three point 27-24 win. A win that really demonstrates the poise of this team to get this far.

#4 The Los Angeles Rams are coming off a three game winning streak entering Super Bowl LVI this Sunday. They narrowly beat the 49ers 20-17 for the NFC Championship title. The Rams last Super Bowl appearance was in 2019 and are looking to capture a win in this Super Bowl.

#5 Jessica, talk about Rams quarterback Matt Stafford who went 31-45 for 337 yards, and two touchdowns in that win against the 49ers. After 16 years with the Detroit Lions and in his second year with the Rams he takes them to the Super Bowl.

Join Jessica every other Wednesday for Headline Sports at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Super Bowl LVI podcast with Tony Renteria: Rams feeling right at home for Sunday’s big game

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matt Stafford throws a first half pass against the San Francisco 49ers on Sun Jan 30, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles during the NFC Championship (AP News photo)

On the Super Bowl LVI podcast with Tony R:

#1 Tony, the Los Angeles Rams will feel right at home for this Super Bowl it’s the first time a team will be playing in their very own stadium for a Super Bowl. The closest that happened was when the San Francisco 49ers played at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto against the Miami Dolphins but it wasn’t their real stadium which was Candlestick Park at the time.

#2 Tony, the Cincinnati Bengals (13-7) coming into Sunday’s Super Bowl have won four out of their last five games wins that got them to the Super Bowl a lot of the credit has been going to quarterback Joe Burrow who has led the club into the red zone and executing the score.

#3 It’s been a long while since the Bengals have got to the Super Bowl the last time they were here was in 1988 and before that in 1982 both times they faced the San Francisco 49ers (12-8) and lost this Sunday they want to be able to hoist that trophy.

#4 Tony, in that last Bengals game for the AFC Championship they just edged one of the league’s best the Kansas City Chiefs (14-6) in a three point 27-24 win. A win that really demonstrates the poise of this team to get this far.

#5 The Los Angeles Rams are coming off a three game winning streak entering Super Bowl LVI this Sunday. They narrowly beat the 49ers 20-17 for the NFC Championship title. The Rams last Super Bowl appearance was in 2019 and are looking to capture a win in this Super Bowl.

#6 Tony, talk about Rams quarterback Matt Stafford who went 31-45 for 337 yards, and two touchdowns in that win against the 49ers. After 16 years with the Detroit Lions and in his second year with the Rams he takes them to the Super Bowl.

Join Tony each week for the Sacramento Kings podcasts Thursdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Super Bowl LVI podcast with Bruce Magowan: Bengals Burrow has come a long way; Rams Stafford has waited 16 years for this

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (left) and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matt Stafford (right) will be battling it out for the Vince Lombardi Trophy Sun Feb 13, 2022 in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles (image by Fox News)

On the Super Bowl LVI podcast with Bruce:

#1 Bruce, the Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matt Stafford had himself a season after spending 16 consecutive seasons with the Detroit Lions that never even sniffed the Super Bowl Stafford goes to Los Angeles and leads them under center and into the Super Bowl in his first year in LA.

#2 The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow who guided the Bengals into the post season on a cliffhanger ending the regular and playoffs games winning the last six of seven games. Now Burrow guides the Bengals into the Super Bowl he’s been quite a story.

#3 So Bruce next Sunday is the big day just wanted to get your prediction as the Cincinnati Bengals who have not been in the big game in decades since 1988 and the Los Angeles Rams who were there in 2019.

Join Bruce every other Sunday for Headline Sports podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Super Bowl LVI podcast with Tony Renteria: Joe Burrow gets some lift off as Bengals prepare against Rams

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) gets some lift off from teammate Tyler Shelvin after the AFC Championship game on Sun Jan 30, 2022 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City (AP News photo)

On the Super Bowl LVI podcast with Tony Renteria:

#1 Tony the Cincinnati Bengals lots of hard work to get here winning six of their last seven games and Joe Burrow under center talk about the hard work ethic of Burrow and the Bengals to get this far.

#2 The Bengals in that last game against the Kansas City Chiefs a nail biter and Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes is no easy customer but once again the Bengals and Burrow persevered.

#3 Tony, talk about the job that Bengals wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Samaje Perine have done. Each player caught a touchdown pass against the Chiefs last Sunday.

#4 The Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matt Stafford has come a long way 12 years with the Detroit Lions long and suffering and gets a shot at the Super Bowl in his first year under center with the Rams.

#5 Tony how much is it an advantage for the Rams playing in their own stadium SoFi in the Southland it really seems like a custom made situation for the Rams?

Join Tony Renteria for the Super Bowl podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Super Bowl LVI podcast with David Zizmor: Battle of quarterbacks Stafford and Burrow get ready to slog it out in the Southland

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (left) and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matt Stafford (right) preparing to battle it out for Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sun Feb 13, 2022 (image by MARCA)

On the Super Bowl LVI podcast with David Zizmor:

#1 David, taking a look at Cincinnati Bengals (13-7) quarterback Joe Burrow he’s had some miracle games and Burrow has led the Bengals to winning six out of their last seven games. The Bengals are underdogs in this Super Bowl but Burrow has beaten the odds throughout those six wins to get here.

#2 Dave, talk about the Los Angeles Rams (15-5) quarterback Matt Stafford has led the Rams to winning eight of their last nine games and led the Rams in that miracle comeback game against the San Francisco 49ers (12-8) last Sunday in the NFC Championship in LA at SoFi Stadium. Stafford has certainly come a long ways from his struggling days with the Detroit Lions to getting to the Super Bowl with

#3 Dave, talk about the advantage the Rams have here they are the first team in Super Bowl history to host the Super Bowl in their own stadium the closest any other football team to do it was in 1985 when the San Francisco 49ers played at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto against the Bengals. With the Rams in their own stadium how big of a difference does this make?

Join David for the Super Bowl LVI podcasts Wednesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Rams edge 49ers 20-17 to win the NFC Championship, will face the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could only hide his face after the 49ers collapsed in the fourth quarter in a giveaway to the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in the NFC Championship (AP News photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — For a second consecutive the team from the host city will be playing in the Super Bowl.

Matt Gay’s 30-yard field goal with 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter was enough to propel the Los Angeles Rams to a 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday evening at SoFi Stadium.

In a game that went back and forth, the Rams scored the final 13 points of the game and Travin Howard’s interception of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with 1:09 left in the game booked LA’s ticket to Super Bowl LVI where they will face off against the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals, who earlier defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 24-21 in overtime.

The Rams pulled a Vincent Gambini, as the 7th time was the charm in finally being able to beat the 49ers

“We came up short today,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. “And that’s a part of sports and a part of life, so you gotta deal with it. Those guys are hurting now, but they’ll rebound, they’ll be strong like before.”

Neither offense could get going on their opening possession which resulted in a three and out for both teams.

Los Angeles got inside the red zone in their second possession, but Jimmy Ward intercepted a tipped ball inside the endzone off of quarterback Matthew Stafford and returned to the 23-yard line.

San Francisco wasn’t able to capitalize on the turnover as their drive stalled near midfield.

The Rams then went on a long drive that consumed over nine and a half minutes of possession. Stafford engineered an 18-play drive that started at their own three-yard line. The drive was capped off with a 16-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who was able to get behind the 49ers’ secondary in the endzone.

The 49ers answered back immediately on their next drive. They only needed four plays to even the game when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo connected with hybrid superstar Deebo Samuel with a wide receiver screen at the line of scrimmage. Samuel performed his magic as he raced down the field before diving for the pylon for a 44-yard touchdown reception.

It was the first offensive touchdown for San Francisco in more than six quarters since they scored in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card game.

Los Angeles was on the verge of responding back on their next drive. However, two big drops, one by Kupp and the other by Ben Skowronek that went off his hands in the endzone stalled the Rams drive at the 49ers 36-yard line.

Matt Gay’s 54-yard field goal attempt missed badly wide right with 1:55 remaining in the first half.

The 49ers responded by going 36 yards on eight plays which resulted in a Robbie Gould 38-yard field goal to end the first half 10-7.

The 49ers defense dominated the third quarter in the trenches as they held the Rams runing game in check. The big momentum turner was the Niners defense stopping Stafford’s quarter back sneak attempt on 4th and 1 near midfield.

Garoppolo rewarded the defense’s effort by marching the offense down the field 58 yards on 10 plays that was capped off by an outstanding reach of a reception by tight end George Kittle for a 16-yard touchdown to put the 49ers up 17-7 with 1:59 left in the third quarter.

Stafford then led the Rams on a seven play, 75-yard drive where he finished it off with an 11-yard touchdown reception to Kupp, his second of the game to cut the lead to 17-14.

Gay kicked the 40-yard game tying field goal with 6:49 left in the fourth quarter as the Rams went 63 yards on nine plays. The key play on that drive was the first play when Stafford threw deep down the middle of the field and Jaquiski Tartt had the ball fall in and out of his hands for a would-be interception. The next play Stafford hit Odell Beckham Jr. with a 29-yard reception and Jimmy Ward was flagged for unnecessary roughness.

“For me that’s something I was thinking about all week, I know I can make that play,” Tartt said. “That was a big opportunity for me, and the team and I just felt like I let my brother down.”

The Rams defense didn’t allow the 49ers offense to score in the fourth quarter as they were able to plug the gaps and not allow San Francisco’s run game to gain any momentum. They also were able to pressure Garoppolo into forced throws as they chased him out of the pocket during the 49ers final two drives.

“I think we won the line of scrimmage,” said Stafford. “Our guys on the outside made plays. It’s a team effort. That’s what it’s all about.”

Los Angeles kept the 49ers defense on the field for the majority of the game. They ran 42 plays in the first half and won the time of possession battle 35:39-24:21. The Niners defense had a difficult time getting off the field on third down that allowed the Rams offense to extend drives into 49ers territory.

“It was a roller coaster of a year, it really was,” Garoppolo said. “We fought through it. We’re a resilient team and that’s what good team do; you fight through things like that (so) you come up better from that.”

Stafford, who will be playing in his first Super Bowl after 13 seasons, finished the game 31 of 45 for 337 yards, two touchdowns, one interception a QB rating of 96.2. Kupp led all wide receivers with 11 catches for 142 yards to go along with his two touchdowns. Odell Beckham Jr. had a productive game with nine catches for 113 yards. Cam Akers, who returned to the lineup, chipped in with 48 yards on 13 carries.

Garoppolo, who might have played his game in San Francisco, finished 16 of 30 for 232 with two touchdowns, one interception and a QB rating of 87.1. Samuel led the 49ers in receiving with four catches for 72 yards, but only contributed 26 yards on the ground on seven carries. Brandon Aiyuk had a quiet game with four catches for 69 yards. Elijah Mitchell had just 20 yards on 11 carries.

GAME NOTES: San Francisco finished 3-for-9 on third down conversions. Los Angeles was 11-for-18.

Despite the loss, San Francisco is 6-1 in their last seven games against Los Angeles.

The attendance, which consisted of a majority of 49ers fans, was 73,202. The normal capacity for SoFi Stadium is 71,500.

Rams tight end Tyler Higbee left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury and did not return to the game.

Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles suffered a knee injury in the first half, and he did not return as well as linebacker Dre Greenlaw who suffered a calf injury.

NFL Championship podcast with Charlie O: Can underdog 49ers pull it off against Rams; Bengals Burrow has tall order vs. Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould boots one through the uprights for the game winner against the Green Bay Packers on Sun Jan 22, 2022. The 49ers visit the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles Sun Jan 30, 2022 in the NFC Championship (AP News photo)

On the NFL Championship podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Charlie you’ve seen it San Francisco 49ers (12-7) quarter Jimmy Garoppolo has pulled it off leading the 49ers to five straight victories to get them to the NFC Championship against the Los Angeles Rams (14-5).

#2 The 49ers defense for the most part has been given much of the credit for keeping the 49ers in some tight games.

#3 Rams quarterback Matt Stafford has 4886 yards passing, 41 touchdowns for this season what a difference a season makes ever since coming over from Detroit.

#4 The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has had quite a season in his last game he threw for 348 yards and one interception in the Bengals narrow 19-16 win. How do you see him throwing against the Kansas City Chiefs (14-5) today?

#5 What can you say about Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes that already has been said. Mahomes led the Chiefs to a seven point 42-36 win over the Buffalo Bills win last Sunday. How do you see Mahomes and the Chiefs fairing against the Bengals today?

Join Charlie O every other Sunday for Sportstalk at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: 49ers T Williams a question mark for this Sunday against Rams

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Jordan Willis (94) gets a hand on the punt by Green Bay Packers punter Corey Bojorquez (7) that the 49ers later returned for a touchdown to tie the game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Sun Jan 23, 2022. The 49ers prepare to meet the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sun Jan 30, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 David, talk about San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams who most likely will sit out this Sunday with a badly sprained ankle. Williams was seen in the locker room after last Sunday’s game in Green Bay standing on crutches.

#2 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went 11 for 19 passing for 131 yards and was intercepted once against Green Bay. The game against Green Bay was said to be mostly won by the defense that said how do you see Garoppolo heading the offense against the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday.

#3 Dave, talk a little bit about Rams quarterback Matt Stafford and the job he’s done with the Rams a whole lot different team than when he was with the Detroit Lions.

Join David for the 49ers podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com