Los Angeles Rams beat Cincinnati Bengals to win Super Bowl on home field
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) - The Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 on Sunday (Feb 13) to win their second Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
With the win, the Rams, whose last National Football League title came 22 years ago when they were based in St Louis, joined last year's Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only teams to win a Super Bowl on their home field.
Cooper Kupp caught two touchdowns including the game winner from Matthew Stafford with 1min 25sec left in the fourth quarter, and Aaron Donald wrapped up Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to seal the win.
“I dreamed this, man,” an emotional Donald said after the game. “I feel amazing.
The Rams gave up a 13-10 half-time lead but with receiver Odell Beckham Jr. forced out of the game with a knee injury, Stafford and Kupp delivered Los Angeles their Hollywood ending under the lights at SoFi Stadium, their gleaming US$5.5 billion (S$7.4 billion) home.
“I’m so proud of this team, so many guys on our team deserve this, guys that have given their heart and soul to this team,” said Stafford, who joined the team from Detroit last offseason. “That game today is the story of this season, it’s up and down, it’s tough but we got it done.”
Around 100 million Americans were expected to tune in for the biggest annual event on the US sporting calendar, the first NFL championship game of the post-Tom Brady era.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp was named the Most Valuable Player after catching two touchdown passes.
With his team trailing late in the game, Kupp came to the rescue in a 79-yard drive during which he converted a fourth down and caught four passes, including the game-winning touchdown with 85 seconds left.
Kupp’s first score of the game came early in the second quarter, when quarterback Matthew Stafford found him in the back right corner of the end zone to put the Rams ahead 13-3.
The 28-year-old Kupp’s performance, which saw him catch 8 of 10 targets for 92 yards, was made even more impressive given an injury to Rams receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the second quarter that allowed the Bengals secondary to double-team him.