Cincinnati Bengals fall in Super Bowl LVI to Los Angeles Rams

LOS ANGELES — It wasn’t “third time’s a charm” for the Cincinnati Bengals as the franchise will continue to chase an elusive NFL championship.

The Bengals fell in Super Bowl LIV Sunday 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams.

For the Bengals, it was the team’s third appearance in the Super Bowl and first since 1989. The Bengals fell in both previous Super Bowl appearances, losing in Super Bowl XVI in 1982 and Super Bowl XXIII in 1989, both times to the San Francisco 49ers.

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The Bengals were led by performances from quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins. Burrow was 22-32 with 263 yards and a touchdowns. Higgins caught two touchdowns and 100 yards on four receptions.

However that wasn’t enough to beat the Rams who were led by quarterback Matthew Stafford. In his first Super Bowl appearance of his 13-year career, Stafford was 26-40 with 283 yards and three touchdowns.

Wide receiver Cooper Kupp finished the game with 92 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions. Kupp was named the Super Bowl MVP.

The Rams were without star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. for most of the game. Beckham left the game with a knee injury late in the second quarter.

Aaron Donald and the Rams’ defense had a huge game as well, sacking Burrow seven times. That ties a Super Bowl record.

The Rams’ victory is the second in franchise history but the first with the team being based in Los Angeles. The Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000 when the team was based in St. Louis.

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As a Los Angeles-based team, the Rams appeared in Super Bowl XIV in 1980, a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Super Bowl LIII in 2019, a loss to the New England Patriots.

The Rams finish the season with a 16-5 record while the Bengals fell to 13-8.