A recap of Superbowl LVI


Photo by Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

The Vince Lombardi Trophy on display.

Mimi Osborne and Kirstin Palasz

   On February 13, 2022, the Super Bowl LVI commenced between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams. The match took place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, which naturally brought in a mob of local Rams fans. The energy was unrivaled as the Rams defeated the Bengals 23-20.

   The Bengals, led by quarterback Joe Burrow, were the victors of the AFC North division with a record of 10-7. The Bengals’ appearance in the championship game is all the more impressive considering that they finished with a league-worst record in 2019 and have a head coach who is only 38 years old. Coach Zach Taylor played in the Canadian Football League before making his transition to the NFL where he served as an assistant with multiple franchises. In the 2020 draft, Taylor held the first overall draft pick and selected the Heisman Award winning  Burrow; however, he suffered a knee injury early into the season and did not see the field much. Because of this, many Bengals fans consider the 2021 season to be his first real NFL experience. During the regular season, Burrow was joined by rookie-sensation Ja’Marr Chase whose 1,455 receiving yards broke the record for most receiving yards by a rookie in a single season. In addition to the outstanding seasons held by Burrow and Chase, running back Joe Mixon finished third in rushing yards and fourth in touchdowns in the league. This is the third appearance for the Bengals in the Super Bowl, and the first since 1988. 

   The Rams, led by quarterback Matt Stafford in his first year with the team, were the victors of the NFC West division with a record of 12-5. 36-year-old Sean McVay is the current youngest coach in the NFL and, going against Coach Taylor, will make up the youngest pair of Super Bowl head coaches in the game’s history. Stafford, who was traded from the Detroit Lions to the Rams this past off-season, made his Super Bowl debut. Cooper Kupp, star wide receiver, had arguably the best single season ever by a wide receiver, leading the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Stafford and Kupp’s historic season was completed alongside Aaron Donald, defensive lineman, and cornerback Jalen Ramsay, who anchored an incredibly strong defense for the Rams. Between the two, they hold a combined thirteen Pro Bowl appearances, ten All-Pro honors, and three Defensive Player of the Year awards. This is the fifth appearance for the Rams in the Super Bowl, having won once before. The Rams and Coach McVay looked to make a statement after their embarrassing Super Bowl outing a few years ago where they lost to the Patriots after scoring only 3 points. 

   The game itself was heated. This was the first time in NFL history that both teams entered as the No. 4 seed, showing the scrappiness and talent from both sides, and also the great parity in the league. Odell Beckham Jr. scored a touchdown in the first quarter, giving the Rams an early lead over the Bengals. With a field goal from the Bengals, the score at the end of the first quarter read 7-3. By the second quarter, both teams scored another touchdown and the score was 13-10 with the Rams still in the lead. In the third quarter, the Bengals took the lead with a touchdown and field goal to bring the score 20-16; however, the lead was fleeting as Kupp scored a final touchdown during a long drive in the fourth quarter. And the game ended on a defensive stand anchored by Aaron Donaldfor a final score of 23-20. With such a stressful game, it is no shock that fans put referees and their questionable calls under the microscope. Darius Duff ‘22, an avid football watcher, mentioned, “I was surprised with the officials decision on bailing Cooper Kupp out with a pass interference call.” 

   In a survey sent out to the Lake Forest Academy community with 98 responses, the Rams were favored to win with 50 votes. With 51% of the school picking the Rams to win, the other 49% were let down by the Bengals performance. 


Marking the Rams’ second Super Bowl win, the Super Bowl LVI was a memorable game for Los Angeles fans and, if nothing else, an exciting game for all football fans.