In the 2022 Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in a very close game all around.
After years of frustration with Jared Goff as quarterback, the Rams decided to go all-in by trading for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford for a 2021 third-round pick and two first-round picks in the next two seasons. At age 34, Stafford finally won his first playoff game and followed it up with clutch performances, ending the season with a last-second touchdown pass to win the Super Bowl.
Every Super Bowl winning team has at least one hero on the team, and wide receiver Cooper Kupp is without a doubt the hero for the Rams. After years of injuries and being unable to finish an entire season, he finally closed out this season in good health while also leading the NFL in every receiving category. In the playoffs, Kupp performed even better, catching 33 passes for 478 yards and six touchdowns. Two of those passes came at critical points in two games, where Kupp and Stafford led the offense near single-handedly down the field for the game-winning touchdowns earning Kupp the Super Bowl MVP award.
Even though Odell Beckham Jr. ended the season with a knee injury, he is a Super Bowl champion. After a rough start on-and-off the field, the Cleveland Browns decided to cut Beckham. He joined the Rams as a free agent and became a key contributor down the stretch. He scored the first touchdown of the Super Bowl, catching a 17-yard pass from Stafford, but unfortunately tore his ACL not long after.
Andrew Whitworth, the Rams star left tackle, is now one of the oldest NFL players to win the Lombardi Trophy. Whitworth played 11 seasons in Cincinnati before signing with the Rams in 2017 in hopes of winning a ring. The fact that he faced his former team, who ultimately lost due to not being able to protect their quarterback, is a wild story. Whitworth also won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. He is expected to retire now, but nothing officially has come out yet. If this is it, it has been a great career, one that could see Whitworth ending up in the Hall of Fame.
When you think of the Rams, one player always comes to mind: Aaron Donald. In just eight seasons, he has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards; only two other players share this achievement in the history of the NFL, Lawrence Taylor and J.J. Watt. Donald is already considered one of the best defensive players of all time, but he was always missing out on receiving the pinnacle of football achievement: a Super Bowl ring. In the second half of the game, he beat double teams and made clutch plays. He hit Bengals quarterback, Joe Burrow, on the final play that won the Rams the Super Bowl. This play is surely one of the most iconic in Super Bowl history.
Two years ago, safety Eric Weddle retired after an outstanding 13 seasons, which saw him go to the Pro Bowl six times. But with the Rams dealing with injuries at safety, Weddle came back for one last run. Despite his two year absence from the game, he did not miss a beat, being crucial in the conference championship game, where he led the team in tackles, which resulted in Weddle finally making it to the Super Bowl. Weddle was injured early in the Super Bowl, but returned with a brace on his arm. Weddle contributed four tackles, including one in the Bengal’s final drive. It was revealed after the game that Weddle tore his pectoral muscle.
When he was hired back in 2017, Sean McVay became the youngest head coach in NFL history at the age of 30. In his second season with the Rams, he led the team to the Super Bowl, where they fell to the New England Patriots. However, in his second appearance, McVay became the youngest head coach to ever win a Super Bowl at the age of 36. McVay has proven to be one of the better head coaches in the league, and it should not shock anyone to see him lead the Rams to future Super Bowl appearances.
The Super Bowl is always full of great stories when a group of players wins for the first time, the Rams being no exception. It took a lot for them to recover from losing the Super Bowl in 2019, and made it so much sweeter that they finally won it in 2022. It is very possible to see this group become even better next year, and maybe see them compete in a future Super Bowl.