Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - In a venue built for champions, the Los Angeles Rams carried off the crown jewel: a Super Bowl trophy.
It took a precise 79-yard drive capped by Cooper Kupp’s 1-yard touchdown reception with 1:25 remaining for a 23-20 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals to give the Rams their first NFL title since the 1999 season — and their first representing Los Angeles since 1951.
They did it in their home, the $5 billion SoFi Stadium, making the Rams the second consecutive host to win the championship after Tampa Bay became the first a year ago.
The winning series, during which game MVP Kupp’s 4-yard touchdown reception was negated by offsetting penalties, ended soon after with the NFL Offensive Player of the Year easily beating Eli Apple in the right corner of the end zone for the winning score.
Kupp had four receptions for 39 yards on the championship drive.
Even with that brilliant, decisive march to the Lombardi Trophy, it was LA’s "fearsome fivesome" that made the difference. Led by Aaron Donald and Vin Miller, they sacked Joe Burrow a Super Bowl record-tying seven times, shutting down the Cincinnati offense after a 22-second spurt to start the second half gave the Bengals the lead.
Fittingly, Burrow was under pressure on fourth-and-1 and threw incomplete, setting off a football fiesta this city has not seen since the LA Raiders won the 1983 championship.
The 10 quick points at the outset of the third quarter put Cincinnati ahead for the first time. Tee Higgins’ 75-yard score made it 17-13 and was followed one play later by Chidobe Awuzie’s pick. Evan McPherson tied Adam Vinatieri’s postseason record with his 14th field goal, a 38-yarder.
Higgins beat All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey on the first play of the second half — the receiver clearly tugged Ramsey’s face mask on the play. After Matthew Stafford was intercepted on the next play, the Bengals got McPherson’s field goal.
Then they tried to hold on as all of southwest Ohio held its breath.
But LA’s relentless pass rush, led by its two biggest stars, Donald and Miller with two apiece, allowed nothing more.
Then came the 15-play march in which Kupp also converted the fourth down with his run.
Kupp even earned the MVP honor despite often being double-teamed after fellow wideout Odell Beckham Jr. went out with a knee injury in the second period.
Super Bowl MVP 2022
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player.
Kupp had eight receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 1-yard reception from Matthew Stafford with 1:25 remaining to give the Rams a 23-20 lead that gave them to their second Vince Lombardi Trophy. Kupp had four catches for 39 yards on the final drive along with a 7-yard run on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive.
Kupp set a postseason record for receptions with 33.
"I don't feel deserving of this," Kupp said. "The guys standing here challenged me, they pushed me. I am just so grateful."
Super Bowl coin toss Billie Jean King
The Cincinnati Bengals have won the coin toss and have deferred to put the Los Angeles Rams on offense to start Super Bowl 56.
It just may not be the omen Bengals’ fans want.
The last seven coin-toss winners wound up losing the Super Bowl. The last team to win the coin toss and the Super Bowl? Seattle beat Denver in 2014.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford called tails with Los Angeles technically the visiting team. The coin tossed by Billie Jean King came up heads.
King was on hand for the coin toss as the NFL recognized the 50-year anniversary of Title IX enacted in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments providing equal funding for men and women for the first time at high schools, colleges and universities receiving federal funding.
She was joined by the team captains for the California School for the Deaf Riverside Cubs, members of the high school girls flag league of champions and girls youth tackle football players from the Inglewood Chargers and Watts Rams.
King tweeted out video of her practicing the coin toss before kickoff. King wrote "Pressure is a privilege" and she noted the tip to bend her knees actually helped a lot.
Super Bowl LVI flyover
The traditional military flyover at SoFi Stadium featured some of the Air Force's oldest and newest aircraft.
"In honor of the Air Force's 75th Anniversary year, the service will conduct a first-of-its-kind flyover over SoFi Stadium during the national anthem," the NFL explained.
The formation for the Super Bowl included a P-51 Mustang, A-10C Thunderbolt II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, and a F-35A Lightning II.
Super Bowl LVI halftime show
Eminem and Dr. Dre perform during the Super Bowl LVI Pepsi Halftime Show on February 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images))
Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar brought hip-hop to the center stage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show.
Blige was the only return performer among the group — she was part of an ensemble cast that featured Aerosmith, NSYNC, Britney Spears and Nelly back in 2001.
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg kicked off the show, with a surprise appearance coming shortly after from 50 Cent as he rapped — while hanging upside down — his 2003 hit ‘In Da Club’ with a crowd of dancers behind him.
Mary J. Blige sparkled with her backup dancers in silver sequin outfits. She slowed things down and belted out her 2001 hit "No More Drama" from atop one of the halftime stages.
Kendrick Lamar moved the show to the turf area, rapping "Alright" in the midst of a crowd of male dancers wearing all-black suits with sashes reading "Dre Day."
Eminem’s "Lose Yourself" came next, while his co-headliners were seen dancing and bobbing their heads. Dr. Dre played his iconic "Still D.R.E." melody on the piano before rapping alongside Snoop Dogg.
Super Bowl LVI commercials
For some Super Bowl viewers, the commercials are almost as entertaining to watch as the game itself. According to USAToday, ad inventory was sold out last year with some companies paying $6.5 million to run a commercial during the big game.
Super Bowl LVI temperature
It’s hot at SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl 56. Just not the hottest ever for this game.
The temperature is 82 ahead of kickoff between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals after having cooled off from 85 a couple hours before kickoff. California has been dealing with a heat wave over the past week with temperatures reaching into the low 90s in the region.
That’s short of the record of 84 set on Jan. 14, 1973, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
FOX11 Los Angeles, FOX7 Austin, and the Associated Press contributed to this story
This story was reported from Washington, D.C. and Detroit.