The Los Angeles Rams claim their second Super Bowl title in franchise history, their first in the city of angels, after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in a 23-20 thriller.
On Sunday afternoon, Super Bowl 56 between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals kicked off at the luxurious So-Fi stadium in Inglewood, California, where for the second time in a row, the stadium hosted one of its home teams.
In a surprising fashion, The Rock introduced both teams in a fighting-style, similarly to how Michael Buffer presents boxing fighters on pay-per-view main events.
This game was overall filled with great defense from both teams Sunday night, but the game came down to one difference-maker above all else. A difference maker that no one expected to be the determining-factor in this game, let alone the Most Valuable Player of the night.
The Los Angeles Rams took a devastating blow midway through the game when Odell Beckham Jr., who scored the first touchdown of the game, had to exit the game with an injury, leaving the Rams with Cooper Kupp as their main wide-receiver option for the second half of the game. But, little did the whole world know, that this would result in an outcome no one predicted coming into Super Bowl weekend.
As soon as Odell was seen limping walking off the field, football fans on social media didn't take too long to conclude that the Lombardi trophy was certainly going to be handed to Cincinnati. But the NFL's Offensive Player of The Year had one more statement to make to cap off an already incredible year for the Washington-native.
Down the stretch of Sunday's big game, Kupp scores the game-winning touchdown with just 1 minute and 25 seconds left to go in the game, on top of a huge fourth-down conversion on the ground, and multiple monumental catches late in the game on their game-winning drive. Kupp also caused two defensive penalties late in the game against the Bengals, giving his team better field-position prior to scoring the game-winning touchdown.
Although Kupp ended up wrapping up a great individual season with a Super Bowl MVP, there were other heroes that deserve an enormous amount of recognition for Sunday's victory.
Two words. Aaron Donald.
As if football fans around the world needed additional confirmation of how much of a unique athlete Donald is on a football field.
You could make the case today that Aaron Donald is the greatest defensive player to ever live. His career to this point consists of making 8 Pro Bowls, 3 Defensive Player of the Year awards, 7 First-Team All-Pro selections, and was selected to appear on the NFL 2010's All-Decade Team list.
Coming into this week, Donald said that he believes that a Super Bowl championship was just about the only thing that his football resume needed in order to cement himself as legend that has always dreamt of becoming.
“It’s trying to find a way to get back and accomplish something I never accomplished before. I don’t know what it feels like to win the Super Bowl. I know what it feels like to be there, but I don’t know what it feels like to win. I feel like I accomplished a lot in a short amount of time in this league. The only thing I’m lacking now is being a world champion. To get to that point, we’ve got to win this week.” Donald said prior to the game.
Another potential Hall of Fame player that put up an impressive defensive performance on Sunday was Jalen Ramsey, who did not allow Cincinnati's Ja'Marr Chase to have the type of game that many football fans thought he would have, considering his recent performances in the playoffs.
Moral of the story: Cincinnati was simply unable to protect Joe Burrow. The Rams' front seven was too overwhelming for the second-year quarterback.
It wasn't all touchdowns and field-goals on Sunday evening, as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Eminem, and others put up an iconic performance during the halftime show.
The theme of the music performances were based on the stadium's hometown city of Los Angeles. decorating the middle of the football field with a map of Los Angeles under the performing stage, with the artists singing to West Coast hip-hop and rap music in front of the millions of viewers tuning into the big game.
It was "Still Dre". still L.A., and thanks to the Rams' victory, still the western "city of champions".