Surprise, it’s a Draft Post! Just kidding, it’s my “Better Late than Never” Super Bowl edition!!! Final post of the 2021 season (yes we’re past the Combine, past Easter, the snow is gone, give me a break). As a Rams fan, this was probably the most consequential FMQB post I could have ever done, so yes not only did I miss it, but I’m over 2 months past when I should have written this; but I had to get it in. Yes, seems like a lifetime ago that the game happened, but I’ll do my best to talk through it.
I was/am elated that the Rams are Super Bowl champs this year! From a personal perspective, my interest in football kicked into high gear in 1999 with Kurt Warner’s magical run, and the Rams 1st Super Bowl win. I then held onto this team through 15+ years of not even medocrity, but bottom of the barrel football. So this makes this Super Bowl win that much sweeter.
The Bengals were gutsy going for it on 4th down on their 1st drive and missing it. I was actually so confident they were going to punt that I ran to get a snack and by the time I came back saw the Rams had it at midfield! They would score that drive to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Rams would score later in the 2nd to go up 13-3, but then miss the extra point. Something that was arguably a turning point, as we’d see later in the game (forced the Rams to score a TD the final drive vs. a FG).
The Bengals would score with some trickeration and RB Joe Mixon tossing a TD pass, so headed into halftime the Rams up 13-10.
As a fan perspective, I felt pretty good going into halftime. It seemed like the Rams Defense was holding them even though only sacking Burrow once. I was nervous seeing OBJ go down (you could tell it was ACL immediately), but overall felt pretty confident.
That confidence lasted a whopping 16 seconds and just 2 plays. On the 1st play of the 2nd half, the Bengals hit a bomb for a 75 yard TD to take the lead. The very next play, Stafford threw an INT and the Bengals had the lead and the ball on the 17 yard line. They’d kick a FG that drive, but suddenly a 3 point lead was a 7 point deficit just 5 minutes into the half.
I can tell you my cautious optimism essentially turned into nervousness and feeling downright depressed for a majority of the 2nd half. Ironically the Bengals wouldn’t score the rest of the game (next 25 minutes of game time). But the Rams offense would also majorly stall withough OBJ in the game (went from 2TD’s in 4 possessions with him on the field, to only 10 points the final 9 possessions).
And actually, as tough as it is to say since it was the Super Bowl, most of the 3rd and 4th quarters were pretty benign and boring. After starting the half with TD, FG, FG, both teams would go on to do 3 and out Punt, 3 and out Punt, 3 and out Punt, 3 and out Punt, 5 plays Punt, 3 and out Punt, 7 plays Punt. A big part of it was defense, and Burrow would be sacked 6 times in the 2nd half alone!
Final Rams Drive:
The Rams got the ball back with 6:13 in the 4th with their timeouts. Realistically, probably 2 drives at best to score and needed a TD due to that missed extra point. Cooper Kupp completely took over and put the Rams offense on his shoulders. A gutsy call on 4th and 1, but they handed to Kupp on a sweep and he rattled off 7 yards. On the rest of the drive, Kupp had 4 catches for 39 yards and a TD.
The Rams got it to the 8 yard line at the 2 minute warning, a ton of time left. I am fully aware the refs had a part in these final plays, seeing that the Rams got 7 shots at the endzone after getting 1st and goal. The 3rd down call clearly the biggest. But was also crazy the TD that got nullified by Kupp when he got absolutely blown up in the endzone. I was convinced he was concussed on that play (still am). Eventually, for reasons unknown by the Bengals D, the Rams got Kupp 1 on 1 at the 1 yard line; a no brainer. Backshoulder throw for the TD!
By this point, I wasn’t cheering, my first instinct was that 1:25 was still way too much time, and they only needed a FG. The Bengals were at midfield by 54 seconds, seemed like 1 first down would be plenty to get into range. But after 2nd and 1, 3rd and 1, and finally 4th and 1, the defense was holding. The Rams were winning the line of scrimmage every single play, but still seemed hard to process that this 4th and 1 was essentially a game deciding play. Of course it would come down to the best defensive player in the NFL making a play. Despite being flung around and a desperation throw, Aaron Donald blew up the play and forced Burrow to throw it short, sending the Rams to victory! Honestly, it was sort of an odd ending, I didn’t even cheer, it just sort of happened and you wondered if that was it.
For the Record:
- Matthew Stafford became only the 3rd QB to win the Super Bowl his 1st year with a new team
- Say what you want about the Refs on the final drive, but after the Bengals kicked their FG with 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, they only had 50 more yards of offense in 5 drives and 25 minutes of game time.
- Al Michaels, pretty much the voice of Sunday Night Football for 2 decades, is done at NBC. Sounds like he is going to Amazon so we’ll still hear him, but end of an era for sure.
- Was baffled but scared about the retirement rumors for Sean McVay (36) and Aaron Donald (30).
- Personally I found it hilarious that the Bengals Kicker stayed out to watch the halftime show, but understandably his coaches were not happy.
Stats of the Week:
- Sean McVay became the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl
- Matthew Stafford had a winning percentage of .448 before joining the Rams. As a Ram he is .705. He was also 0-3 in the playoffs, but is now 4-3.
- 2 of the last 4 Super Bowl MVP’s have been WR’s
Best WR Season of All Time:
There are only 2 Wide Receivers in the history of the game to win the Triple Crown (#1 in TD’s, receptions and yards in a season), Offensive Player of the Year, and Super Bowl MVP. Jerry Rice did it in his career, and Cooper Kupp just did all 3 in the same season!
Memes of the Week
AND finally, not relevant anymore but it was funny for 1 month…