Three takeaways from the Rams’ 23-20 victory over the Bengals in Sunday’s Super Bowl in Inglewood, California:
1. Aggressiveness wins in NFL
The Rams went all in to win the Super Bowl, giving away draft picks for players to get the job done now.
It paid off with their first championship in 22 years and should send a message to the rest of the NFL that teams don’t just fall into championships.
They have to go out and get them.
Even the Rams’ opponent is an example of that, led by the fearless Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ willingness to go for it on fourth down.
It’s easy to say the Rams are the best team that money can buy, but that sells short the importance of spending money the right way. The Rams definitely did that.
2. Terrible loss for Rams
Non-contact knee injuries are often among the worst, and it was obvious right away Odell Beckham Jr. was in trouble.
He went down with 3:54 left in the first half, his day quickly done after a strong start. He had caught two passes for 52 yards and a touchdown and was about to make his third reception when Beckham went down.
His departure allowed the Bengals to shift even more of their defensive focus to Cooper Kupp, limiting much of what the Rams hoped to accomplish and putting them in comeback mode.
The second half featured both quarterbacks going down with apparent injuries but coming back. Not exactly the visuals the NFL wants in its biggest game.
3. Big no-call
The Bengals opened the second half with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow to Tee Higgins to take a 17-13 lead.
It was a play that shouldn’t have happened. Higgins grabbed Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and tossed him to the field, a clear offensive pass interference that wasn’t called.
That the TD was allowed to stand changed the tenor of the second half, with the Rams being forced to play from behind throughout.
But the Rams were beneficiaries of a questionable pass interference call that set up their winning touchdown.