by Dr. Valerie Wardlaw
The Los Angeles Rams ended a six-game losing streak to their division rival, the San Francisco 49ers, winning the NFC Championship game, 20-17, and will now face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. The Rams will host Super Bowl LVI on their home field, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, becoming the second team in NFL history to do so. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first team to host the big game at home and the first team to win a Super Bowl at home, beating the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9. SoFi Stadium, home to both the Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers will make history as the stadium host its very first Super Bowl.
The Rams can thank wide receiver Cooper Kupp who led all players in Sunday’s matchup with 142 yards and two touchdowns on 11 catches as the Rams rallied to overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Odell Beckham Jr., a newly acquired lethal weapon for the Rams finished the game with 113 receiving yards, the first time this season he has surpassed 100 yards. During the post-game interviews, Beckham appeared with a new teammate and friend Von Miller, stating, “Everything about this place is right, and it’s done right. It’s just an incredible opportunity that I feel like I’m just trying to make the most of. Here we are playing in the Super Bowl, one game away from our dreams. Just keep going.” Beckham was released from the Cleveland Browns on November 5 and signed with the Rams on November 11, a move that Miller helped to orchestrate citing a long-standing desire of both men to play together. The Rams can also thank seven-time all-pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald who pressured 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throughout the game forcing his last interception, a shovel pass tipped by receiver Brandon Aiyuk, falling into the arms of Rams linebacker Travin Howard, an interception that sealed the win for the Rams. Donald, a team leader reportedly grabbed his men on the sideline asking them – how badly do you want it?
Despite Sunday’s loss, 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel had one of his best seasons yet, finishing with 1,405 receiving yards, 365 rushing yards, and a total of 14 touchdowns including one touchdown in the championship game. Recognizing the outstanding play of Samuel, Odell Beckham embraced a disappointed Samuel as he sat on the bench after the loss.
The Rams have four Super Bowl appearances under their belt, with their last appearance in 2019 against the New England Patriots in a 13-3 loss. The Rams have claimed one Super Bowl title when they were the St. Louis Rams, a team led by two members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – quarterback Kurt Warner and wide receiver Marshall Faulk
Super Bowl LVI will be the third appearance for the Cincinnati Bengals and they’re first since 1989. The Bengals have never won a Super Bowl.Kickoff time for Super Bowl LVI is at 6:30 PM/ EST on NBC, February 13, 2022, SoFi Stadium. This year’s Pepsi’s halftime show will feature Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar, all on the stage for the first time.