Rams complete comeback win over Bengals in Super Bowl

Cooper Cupp TD in Super Bowl 2022

In an NFL postseason dominated by close games, the Super Bowl delivered another exciting finish as the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals with a touchdown drive to take the lead at the end of the game. The Bengals had a chance to tie the game with a little over a minute left, but Aaron Donald got to Joe Burrow on fourth down at midfield to end any chance for the Bengals.

While the ending was exciting, both offenses struggled for long stretches in the game. The Bengals couldn’t protect Joe Borrow, and the Rams struggled behind a head-scratching game plan by Sean McVay. Many of us knew the Bengals would have trouble blocking the Rams front, but we didn’t expect McVay to continue calling running plays on first down when it was clear the Bengals were stopping the run. It’s one thing to have a game plan based on Cincinnati struggles against the run, but it’s quite another to continue running the ball on first down when the Bengals were obviously keying on the run.

Matthew Stafford was excellent on the final drive, and that’s exactly what you expect from a top-tier quarterback. His no-look pass to Cupp was nothing short of sensational. Cupp was amazing during the game, including a critical fourth down conversion on a WR sweep that kept the last drive alive. He certainly deserved the Super Bowl MVP trophy, though Donald would have been a worthy choice as well.

Going into the game, we felt that the Bengals would come up short and we laid the 4.5 points. Of course that pick didn’t pan out. In many ways the Bengals were outplayed, and the Rams should have won comfortably. Of course that changed when the officials gifted the Bengals a 75-yard touchdown pass to start the second half when they missed a blatant facemask call on the DB. Can we call this a bad beat for that reason? Oh well . . .

The Bengals have been playing with fire all season long and it finally caught up to them in this game. Joe Burrow ranks among the highest sacked quarterbacks in NFL history, yet the Bengals were a few plays away from getting a Lombardi Trophy. In many ways they were fortunate as they played recklessly all year long. They’re risking the long-term health of one of the top, young quarterbacks in the NFL. Of course the Bengals could crow about their selection of Ja’Marr Chase instead of an offensive lineman in the 2021 NFL Draft, as Chase has emerged as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. But it was risky to not take a lineman, and they were lucky Burrow escaped this season without a major injury. Everyone knows they will address the line in the offseason, but there’s no guarantee this team will be back given the level of QB talent in the AFC.

One last thing about the game . . . the NBC crew of Chis Collinsworth and Al Michaels were an embarrassment in how they handled references to Odell Beckham, Jr. and his departure from Cleveland. Both are pros but they made ridiculously false characterizations of what happened. Beckham forced his way out of Cleveland, and the Browns did him a favor by releasing him in a way that let him pick his next team. Collinsworth and Michaels instead characterized it as Beckham being “cast aside” by the Browns. It was truly a pathetic performance.

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