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Rams beat Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI


Rams beat Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI

Cooper Kupp won MVP thanks to an eight catch, two-touchdown performance.Image: Getty Images

Patience is a virtue — sometimes you have to wait an entire half for a makeup call. And yet I don’t think the Rams are complaining after beating the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, in their home stadium, to win their first Super Bowl in Los Angeles.

After opening the second half with one of the worst no-calls in Super Bowl history and a five-minute,10-point swing, the momentum of the game seemed like it was shifting the Bengals’ way. Odell Beckham Jr. was out, Matt Stafford was playing scared, and it looked like the Rams were letting the game slip out of their hands in their home stadium.

And then — the final drive. How to pick a play of the game from those final minutes? Is it the defensive holding makeup call for Tee Higgins’ egregious uncalled facemask on Jalen Ramsey (or is it the facemask itself)? Is it Cooper Kupp’s jet sweep on 4th-and-1? Kupp’s game-winning catch to cap off a 15-play, 4:48 drive that gave the Bengals under 90 seconds to attempt to engineer a game-winning drive?

It’s hard to choose a single moment from the drive to label as the play of the game today, but Stafford and Kupp’s ability to get downfield and make the plays when it mattered most after being held to a field goal in the second half of the game — arguably with the help of the refs at a very significant moment — was the turning point in tonight’s thriller.

Obviously, we can’t overlook Aaron Donald’s explosive interior pass rush, ending in a sack that finished the game despite a last-second desperation throw from Joe Burrow that landed in the vicinity of a receiver — Donald’s entire performance today was just incredible. But Kupp, whose unlikely journey to get here has been well-documented throughout the postseason, will take home the MVP trophy after his 8 catch, 92-yard, two-touchdown game, stepping up after the WR2 OBJ went out with a knee injury toward the end of the first half.

Kupp, a 28-year-old receiver who was a third-round draft pick out of Eastern Washington, capped a remarkable year in which he captured…

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