Super Bowl LVI 2022 highlights: best plays of the game
Our pick of the best of the action in one of the most competitive Super Bowl games in recent years, as the Rams brought home their second ever title
The big show in Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium was worth every bit of the hype and hyperbole. The contest between these two perennial underdog teams proved to be one of the closest, one of the best matched and most exciting Super Bowls in recent memory.
Several infamous plays have gotten lots of attention in the wake of the Rams 23-20 victory over the Bengals, but there was more to this game than just a no-call face mask vs. a phantom holding call.
There were big moments on both sides of the line of scrimmage that reminded the fans exactly why these two teams were in the Super Bowl to start with. Here are five of the best.
Stafford creates space
Early in the game, the Rams had 2nd & 11 from midfield and Matthew Stafford was flushed from the pocket. He scrambled out of the grasp of the Bengals pass rush and made up nine of the needed yards. A few plays later, he hit Cooper Kupp in the flat and Kupp showed why he was voted the game’s MVP, shedding four tacklers on his way to a 22 yard gain.
Beckham goes up for one
Later in the first quarter, with the game still stalemated at zero, Stafford dropped back on a 3rd & 3 and put a perfect pass into the corner of the end zone for Odell Beckham Jr. Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton provided excellent defense, Beckham simply did what he is known for: he made a great catch. No one-handed antics this time, the ball was placed between his two hands, but OBJ made a wonderful catch over perfect defending.
Ja’Marr Chase hauls in with one hand
OBJ didn’t need to make any one-handed heroics in Super Bowl LVI, but his counterpart on the Bengals, and fellow LSU alum Ja’Marr Chase did. With a minute to go in the first quarter, Cincinnati had the ball on their own 43 yard line. Burrow took a shot long towards a very well covered Chase. Wearing Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey like a cheap suit, Chase reached out one mitt and hauled the ball in, being brought down at the four yard line. Rookie of the year, indeed.
Kupp gets Apple to bite
At the top of the second quarter, with the Rams in possession on the eleven yard line, Cooper Kupp lined up off the tight end for a play-action pass. Kupp sold the block before peeling off to run a post route. Bengals cornerback Eli Apple was completely fooled and caught entirely flat-footed when Stafford hit Kupp for a touchdown. The conviction to the block shown by Kupp was the key to the play and once again, the MVP showed his mettle.
Aaron Donald holds the Bengals to three
As the second quarter got underway, the Bengals had all the momentum. After coming out of the blocks with the now-infamous face mask no-call touchdown to Higgins, they got an interception and marched it down the field. Looking to score a second touchdown in succession, the Bengals had the Rams on the ropes when, on 3rd & 3 from the twelve, Aaron Donald sacked Joe Burrow for an eight yard loss. The Bengals kicked a field goal and the game was kept within reach for the Rams, allowing Stafford and the offense the chance to sway the tide. Without Donald’s defensive stand, the Bengals take a lead that LA would be unlikely to recover from. In a very real sense, this was a game-changer.