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All-in approach pays off as the Rams win Super Bowl LVI at home

The Rams took bold step after bold step to win that game at SoFi Stadium, and that aggressive approach earned the franchise its second Super Bowl title. (Author: Gardener)

Rams- Super Bowl LVI turned out to be a huge disappointment for the Los Angeles Rams. With a disastrous start to the second half, they lost their lead. With Odell Beckham Jr. they had lost one of their best players to a knee injury. They were about to squander MVP performances from Aaron Donald and Von Miller, not to mention what could be their best championship shot for the foreseeable future. Then, as so often during the Rams' championship season, Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp came to the rescue. In a drive that will go down in NFL lore, Kupp converted a fourth down with an end-around, took three straight penalties and intercepted four passes from Stafford, the last of which was a 1-yard touchdown with 1: 25 remaining produced and completed a 79-yard drive that started at 6:13 a.m. The Rams were without a run and Beckham for most of the evening, so all 70,048 at SiFi Stadium knew where the ball was going as they lined up for fourth and first. Kupp's second goal of the night gave the Rams the lead. The Rams' return to the top of the NFL world is the perfect ending to a story that reads like a Hollywood script. They pledged their future, trading big draft picks to win Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium — the first season with fans at owner Stan Kroenke's $5 billion stadium — and it paid off with a 23- 20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the Rams won their second Super Bowl championship and their first Los Angeles title since 1951. They moved back to Los Angeles in 2016, a homecoming that followed a 21-year run at St. Louis followed, highlighted by a win in Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. They fell hard against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII after the 2018 season, setting the stage for eventual redemption. * Traded two first-round picks for cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Jacksonville Jaguars for cornerback Jalen Ramsey in October 2019. Second- and third-round picks for Miller on Nov. 1 for the Denver Broncos. Kroenke brought his team back to a highly saturated sports market, long owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers and their 24 combined world championships, which came with the promise of a new stadium and later led to a lawsuit from St. Louis, which ended with 790 million dollars was settled. The Rams capitalized on McVay after a poor and dull 4-12 season under coach Jeff Fisher in the team's first season in L. McVay, who has openly considered his future while trying to balance his work and personal life , is now the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl at 36. "A lot of people had been dancing in Los Angeles," Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said earlier this month. "No one was ready to say, 'I'm going to buy land, build a stadium, bring my team and really fly my flag, without knowing the outcome.' That first risk, followed by Sean McVay, those two risks got us where we are today." The way the Rams built their championship roster was very risky. They kept giving up high-end draft capital while trading for marquee after marquee player after marquee player -- Ramsey, Miller, receivers Sammy Watkins and Brandin Cooks, and cornerback Marcus Peters, to name a few. But their biggest trade of all was the blockbuster for Stafford, which gave them a much-needed upgrade over Goff - who they drafted first in 2016 after swapping places up 15 - and, they had hoped, the missing piece to one Super Bowl run. Stafford told ESPN after the trade he wanted to play in big games, having been winless in all three of his playoff appearances in 12 seasons with the Lions. He got that chance after leading the Rams to a 12-5 record and an NFC West title. He has proven himself worthy of the big stage by leading game-winning drives in the Divisional Round and the NFC Championship Game. Stafford looked like an early-season MVP contender as the Rams raced to a 7-1 start, but then he committed six turnovers as they lost three straight November games to later playoff teams. They also lost receiver Robert Woods to a season-ending knee injury during that slip, which immediately turned the addition of Beckham from a luxury to a necessity as the No. 2 wideout behind Kupp, NFL Offensive Player of the Year. The Rams won their next five games even though Stafford's turnover problems continued and a COVID-19 surge hit their dressing room, prompting the NFL to reschedule their Week 15 game with the Seattle Seahawks to a Tuesday. They had a chance to eliminate the San Francisco 49ers from playoff contention in Week 18 but blew a 17-0 lead at home - before a sea of ​​red-clad Niners fans who invaded SoFi - along the way to a sixth straight loss to their division rivals. The signings of Beckham and Miller further signaled their all-in approach for 2021. In 11 games, including playoffs, Beckham caught seven touchdown passes while Miller recorded nine sacks. Miller and Beckham were the latest stars to join an ensemble cast that included Kupp (who won the NFL's three-time crown in the regular season), Ramsey (who led the team with four interceptions) and Donald (who won another Defensive Player of the Year had) belonged -worthy season). All three were named First Team All-Pro. But the Rams might not have made it to Super Bowl LVI if some of their lesser-known players hadn't made it through the playoffs with big games. There was backup safety Nick Scott, who knocked out Tom Brady in the divisional round, and linebacker Travin Howard sealed the NFC Championship Game by coming down with an errant Jimmy Garoppolo throw that Donald's pressure forced. the 49ers and capped the Rams' rally after a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. "Coming back and beating your biggest rival in the biggest game in your new stadium to have the right to play a Super Bowl, that's Hollywood history," Demoff said. The Rams are unlikely to make a first-round pick until 2024 - which would mean seven years without that - after giving up their No. 1 picks of 2022 and 2023 in the Stafford trade. They parted ways with this year's second- and third-rounders for Miller, leaving them without a top 100 pick. They're also nearly $14 million over the 2022 salary cap, which will make it difficult to re-sign upcoming free agents like Beckham and Miller, and to retain high-priced starters like left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who is retiring anyway could. "It's not for the faint of heart," Demoff said of the approach the Rams have taken in building their roster. But the Rams needn't worry now about pulling off the sequel after nailing the perfect ending in Super Bowl LVI.

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Bengals stun Rams with long TD pass, take a 20-13 lead

Stay tuned as the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams battle it out in Super Bowl 56. (Author: Gardener)

RamsThe Cincinnati Bengals stunned the Los Angeles Rams with a touchdown bomb on the first play in the second half, and rookie kicker Evan McPherson added his second field goal later in the third half to lead the Bengals 20-13 in Super Bowl 56 After a touchback on kickoff in the second half, Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow connected with wide receiver Tee Higgins on a 75-yard touchdown to give the Bengals their first lead. For Higgins it was his second goal of the game. He caught a touchdown pass in the first half while running back to Joe Mixon. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. The Rams took an early lead when quarterback Matthew Stafford caught up with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the first quarter with a 17-yard touchdown pass and in the second with an 11-yarder to Cooper Kupp. A poor stop caused the Rams to miss the extra point attempt after Kupp's TD to hold the 13-3. Beckham later left the game with a knee injury. Playing at their home stadium, the Rams are looking to win their first Super Bowl title in 22 years when the team was based in St. Louis. The kick-off temperature at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, was a balmy 81 degrees, just short of a record for the warmest Super Bowl ever. The Rams led the Bengals 13-10 at halftime, with quarterback Matthew Stafford leading the stats. Stafford completed 12 of 18 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Odell Beckham Jr. led the Rams with two catches for 52 yards and a TD before leaving with an injury. Cooper Kupp caught three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. Cam Akers led the Rams with seven carries for 10 yards. For the Bengals, quarterback Joe Burrow passed Stafford's 12-for-18 line for 114 yards. Ja'Marr Chase caught three passes for 62 yards to lead Cinicnnati receivers. Joe Mixon ran 40 yards on seven carries and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass. Blige and Dr. Dre attend a press conference for the Super Bowl 56 halftime show. The Super Bowl is more than just the biggest football game of the year. That year, a string of hip-hop heavyweights led by N. rappers Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, along with the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" Mary J. cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, joined his teammates on "The Griddy" on. after Cincinnati Bengals saved Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford's interception by Jessie Bates III near the end of the first half of Super Bowl 56. Adding further insult to the injury, NBC's Al Michaels called out Hargreaves - one of the Bengals' inactive players for the game - adding, "He might be inactive for a while after that scene." Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. jumps over Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton for the first touchdown in Super Bowl 56. Odell Beckham Jr. appeared to be rewinding time for most of the Super Bowl half. Then came the scream, the flinch, the clutching of his left knee, the dreaded non-contact injury as the pain overwhelmed him too much to secure a narrow catch in second and ninth at 3:54 to close in the second quarter play. Tee Higgins #85 catches a touchdown pass from Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals over Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams during the second quarter of Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. Bengals running back Joe Mixon made his best impression of Joe Burrow in the second quarter when he threw the first touchdown pass of his career, a 6-yarder to wide receiver Tee Higgins. Mixon helped get the Bengals into goal position with his legs, but on a second-and-goal play, he took a throw from Burrow and swung far enough to give him a perfect pass for Higgins. The touchdown, at 5:47 before halftime, reduced the Bengals' lead to 13-10. It made Mixon the fifth non-quarterback to throw a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. The last time it happened was the famous "Philly Special," when Trey Burton, tight end of the Philadelphia Eagles, teamed up with quarterback Nick Foles for a win over the New England Patriots four years ago. The Bengals almost answered the Rams' first touchdown with one of their own in the final minute of the first quarter. Despite having to settle for a 29-yard field goal from Evan McPherson, the Bengals' result was set up by a 46-yard pass from quarterback Joe Burrow to rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase. Working against veteran Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Chase worked his way down the touchline to pull off a spectacular one-handed catch. Absolutely ridiculous doing this in the Super Bowl as a rookie. There are so many different potential storylines for this year's Super Bowl, from the quarterback fight to the coaching showdown between former teacher and student. Perhaps three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, taking on the Bengals' maligned line, will make the difference in the game. Or could star wideouts Ja'Marr Chase, Cooper Kupp, or Odell Beckham Jr. steal the show? USA TODAY Sports' NFL Editors and Writers share their insight into the pivotal story of Super Bowl 56. The calm before the storm at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals played in Super Bowl 56 compete against each other. Sunday will serve as a showcase for SoFi Stadium, owner Stan Kroenke's $5 billion home for the Los Angeles Aries. But the history and impact of SoFi Stadium is complex, as some heavily criticized tactics paved the way for the Inglewood, California project. Read more from USA TODAY Sports' Josh Peter on how the stadium has caused distress for thousands of residents. But that's the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium, where the same brand of beer costs $17 for the same size can at Sunday's game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. Other items at the concession stands on Super Bowl Sunday were associated with a similar sticker shock: SoFi Stadium had the most expensive hot dogs and beer in the NFL in 2021, according to the Team Marketing Report's 2021 NFL Fan Cost Index. As the home team in Super Bowl 56 — despite playing at the Rams' SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles — the Cincinnati Bengals wear their black jersey and white shorts with orange stripes. The black jersey is part of the Bengals' standard uniform when they play at Paul Brown Stadium. The Rams wear their white jerseys with blue numbers. With football's biggest day of the year comes parties, fandom, betting and - of course - Super Bowl squares. Odell Beckham Jr. #3 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. LOS ANGELES -- As Odell Beckham Jr. aims for his first championship ring, it's jarring to think he's no better than the third-best wide receiver playing in Super Bowl 56 -- at least based on how the 2021 season has played out. But players like Los Angeles Rams Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp and Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase are a long way from converging on the still vibrant legacy that OBJ somehow in just created eight NFL seasons. It was evident this week that there is a genuine peace in Beckham, 29, who exuded remarkable confidence while seeming fully aware of his august place in the league's pantheon. "Knowing the responsibility I have to set a standard, knowing that some of them look up to me, is why I feel the way I am now rather than the 23-year-old me ' says Beckham. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow looked sharp as he boarded the bus with his team ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl 56 match against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. He wore a grey-and-black suit with tiger stripes and a black hat. NFL Network co-host Rich Eisen compared Burrow's pregame hat to that of Walter White's Breaking Bad alter ego. The Bengals also shared a video of Burrow's locker upon arriving at SoFi Stadium. USA TODAY Sports has been super-charged coverage of the Super Bowl for the past two weeks. Here are some of the best reads to prepare you for the game. Super Bowl Predictions: Will the Bengals or the Rams Win? Super Bowl Matchup Breakdown: Who Has The Advantage In Each Facet Of The Game? Nate Davis explains how the game could be won. Did Sean McVay learn from his 'outcoaching' last Super Bowl?: The Rams coach opens up on how he balances learning from his previous Super Bowl disappointment with a focus on the future. In five seasons as Rams manager, Sean McVay has a 55-26 record and two Super Bowl appearances. How Kelly and Matthew Stafford made things work in Los Angeles: Kelly, the Rams quarterback's wife, gives an exclusive look at the challenges the Staffords' marriage faced after moving to Los Angeles. Bigspender: The Bengals' Mike Brown and Rams' Stan Kroenke are a study in contrasting ownership styles. Eric Weddle was retired - then he came back to shoot at a Super Bowl ring: How did the Rams get a 37-year-old who'd been retired 2 years fit for a Super Bowl run? Move on, Tom Brady: There's a new oldest active player in the NFL, and Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth is enjoying his senior status. How a transfer changed the course of college football, changed the history of the NFL: Joe Burrow's move from Ohio State to LSU changed the football landscape forever. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Super Bowl 56 Results, Live Updates: Bengals stun Rams with long TD pass, take a 20-13 lead

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Rams lead Bengals 13-10 in the second quarter

Stay tuned as the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams battle it out in Super Bowl 56. (Author: Gardener)

RamsIn Super Bowl 56 the offenses are used. The Los Angeles Rams lead the Cincinnati Bengals 13-10 in the second quarter with all three touchdowns through the air. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with a 17-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the first quarter and an 11-yarder to Cooper Kupp in the second. A poor stop caused the Rams to miss the extra point attempt after Kupp's TD to hold the 13-3. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. The Bengals answered the Rams' first goal just before the end of the first quarter with a field goal from Evan McPherson. And then, with a little trickery, Bengals running back Joe Mixon threw out a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tee Higgins from six yards to make the 13-10. Playing at their home stadium, the Rams are looking to win their first Super Bowl title in 22 years when the team was based in St. Louis. The kick-off temperature at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California was a balmy 81 degrees, but not a record for the warmest Super Bowl ever. The Bengals almost answered the Rams' first touchdown with one of their own in the final minute of the first quarter. Despite having to settle for a 29-yard field goal from Evan McPherson, the Bengals' result was set up by a 46-yard pass from quarterback Joe Burrow to rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase. Working against veteran Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Chase worked his way down the touchline to pull off a spectacular one-handed catch. Absolutely ridiculous doing this in the Super Bowl as a rookie. There are so many different potential storylines for this year's Super Bowl, from the quarterback fight to the coaching showdown between former teacher and student. Perhaps three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, taking on the Bengals' maligned line, will make the difference in the game. Or could star wideouts Ja'Marr Chase, Cooper Kupp, or Odell Beckham Jr. steal the show? USA TODAY Sports' NFL Editors and Writers share their insight into the pivotal story of Super Bowl 56. The calm before the storm at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals played in Super Bowl 56 compete against each other. Sunday will serve as a showcase for SoFi Stadium, owner Stan Kroenke's $5 billion home for the Los Angeles Aries. But the history and impact of SoFi Stadium is complex, as some heavily criticized tactics paved the way for the Inglewood, California project. Read more from USA TODAY Sports' Josh Peter on how the stadium has caused distress for thousands of residents. Blige and Dr. Dre attend a press conference for the Super Bowl 56 halftime show. The Super Bowl is more than just the biggest football game of the year. This year, a slew of hip-hop heavyweights led by N. rappers Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, along with "queen of hip-hop soul" Mary J. Blige joins Dre for the performance, as announced, a nearly 4-minute trailer released last month. But that's the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium, where the same brand of beer costs $17 for the same size can at Sunday's game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. Other items at the concession stands on Super Bowl Sunday were associated with a similar sticker shock: SoFi Stadium had the most expensive hot dogs and beer in the NFL in 2021, according to the Team Marketing Report's 2021 NFL Fan Cost Index. As the home team in Super Bowl 56 — despite playing at the Rams' SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles — the Cincinnati Bengals wear their black jersey and white shorts with orange stripes. The black jersey is part of the Bengals' standard uniform when they play at Paul Brown Stadium. The Rams wear their white jerseys with blue numbers. With football's biggest day of the year comes parties, fandom, betting and - of course - Super Bowl squares. If you're looking for a refresher on how to play this fun and easy party game, check out our guide to setting up your own game. Odell Beckham Jr. #3 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. LOS ANGELES -- As Odell Beckham Jr. aims for his first championship ring, it's jarring to think he's no better than the third-best wide receiver playing in Super Bowl 56 -- at least based on how the 2021 season has played out. But players like Los Angeles Rams Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp and Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase are a long way from converging on the still vibrant legacy that OBJ somehow in just created eight NFL seasons. It was evident this week that there is a genuine peace in Beckham, 29, who exuded remarkable confidence while seeming fully aware of his august place in the league's pantheon. "Knowing the responsibility I have to set a standard, knowing that some of them look up to me, is why I feel the way I am now rather than the 23-year-old me ' says Beckham. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow looked sharp as he boarded the bus with his team ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl 56 match against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. He wore a grey-and-black suit with tiger stripes and a black hat. NFL Network co-host Rich Eisen compared Burrow's pregame hat to that of Walter White's Breaking Bad alter ego. The Bengals also shared a video of Burrow's locker upon arriving at SoFi Stadium. USA TODAY Sports has been super-charged coverage of the Super Bowl for the past two weeks. Here are some of the best reads to prepare you for the game. Super Bowl Predictions: Will the Bengals or the Rams Win? Super Bowl Matchup Breakdown: Who Has The Advantage In Each Facet Of The Game? Nate Davis explains how the game could be won. Did Sean McVay learn from his 'outcoaching' last Super Bowl?: The Rams coach opens up on how he balances learning from his previous Super Bowl disappointment with a focus on the future. In five seasons as Rams manager, Sean McVay has a 55-26 record and two Super Bowl appearances. Spotlight on the NFL's coaching revolution: The meeting between Sean McVay and Zac Taylor will not only be a reunion between former coach and protégé, but also an indicator of where the league's coaching movement is headed. How Kelly and Matthew Stafford made things work in Los Angeles: Kelly, the Rams quarterback's wife, gives an exclusive look at the challenges the Staffords' marriage faced after moving to Los Angeles. Bigspender: The Bengals' Mike Brown and Rams' Stan Kroenke are a study in contrasting ownership styles. Eric Weddle was retired - then he came back to shoot at a Super Bowl ring: How did the Rams get a 37-year-old who'd been retired 2 years fit for a Super Bowl run? Move on, Tom Brady: There's a new oldest active player in the NFL, and Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth is enjoying his senior status. How a transfer changed the course of college football, changed the history of the NFL: Joe Burrow's move from Ohio State to LSU changed the football landscape forever. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Super Bowl 56 Results, Live Updates: Rams Lead Bengals 13-10 in Second Quarter

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Everything you need to know about Super Bowl 56

Your essential guide to Super Bowl 56 as the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams attempt to provide a Hollywood ending to an exciting season. (Author: Gardener)

Super BowlOne way or another, it'll be a Hollywood ending to a riveting NFL season with Super Bowl 56, which will offer either the final act of a true underdog story or the conclusion of an ambitious all-star gamble. With another lineup of all-stars also set to make the halftime show a blockbuster, everything is set to be a night like no other in Los Angeles. Absolutely no one believed the Bengals would get this far with just six wins in two previous seasons combined - and in fact, no team had a worse record in the two years before reaching the Super Bowl. With sophomore quarterback Joe Burrow and college teammate Ja'Marr Chase, the Bengals were an offensive team full of outstanding big plays. Aside from Burrow and Chase, the Bengals have a roster that's more befitting of a low-key franchise that's never won the Super Bowl and hasn't even won a playoff game in 31 years up to this season. In contrast, since returning to LA from St. Louis in 2016, the Rams have really taken the Hollywood issue to heart, embarking on an ambitious plan of blockbuster trades to inject established star players into key positions. They've played four Super Bowls in their 86-year history — having started in Cleveland in 1936, moving to LA in the 1940s and St. Louis in the mid-'90s before returning to LA — but they've only had one won. in 2000. Owner Stan Kroenke spent $5.5 billion to build the stunning SoFi Stadium and bring the Super Bowl back to LA, where it was first played in 1967, before the game was even known as the Super Bowl was - for some reason "the AFL". NFL World Championship Game' didn't catch on as a title. Most north London fans will be about as happy about Sunday's Kroenke's Rams win as Manchester United fans were about last year's Glazers Super Bowl win with Tampa Bay. Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow are only the second pair of quarterbacks to both be drafted top picks overall and meet in the Super Bowl. A decade with struggling Detroit gave Stafford little chance to shine, but the fact that the Rams paid such a high price for a 34-year-old shows how desperate they were to win a Super Bowl. Burrow is only a sophomore but walks and talks like a man destined for the big stage — and his 7-0 record in college and NFL playoff games shows you he usually delivers when the use is highest. He's tough - he's recovered from a brutal knee injury and has been sacked more times this season than any other QB in the league, but he keeps getting up to win. His presence on the field is closest to that of Tom Brady, who, incidentally, won his first Super Bowl in his sophomore season and as a huge underdog. At wide receiver you have the Rams' Cooper Kupp - who has enjoyed a season in which he topped the charts in catches, yards and touchdowns - against Bengals rookie Chase, who has taken the league by storm. There's also intrigue on the sidelines, with Rams head coach Sean McVay taking on a former assistant to Bengals boss Zac Taylor, who was on LA's staff for his last Super Bowl appearance three years ago. It's been an exciting season all year, with a record 35 games won in the very last play and all four games in a crazy divisional round of the playoffs decided by walkoff wins. The Bengals had two walk-off wins to reach the Super Bowl and are known for their second-half comebacks, with a talent for tactical changes at the break. They surpassed their opponents in the third quarter of the season with a league-best 73 points, and as they showed with a big wobble against Brady's defending champions, the Buccaneers, the Rams can struggle to finish games. With an extra-long half-time break to allow Taylor to work his tactical magic, don't turn it off prematurely. As the Super Bowl returns to Los Angeles for the first time in almost 30 years, the NFL has kicked off with a halftime show starring Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre pulled out all the stops. With 43 Grammys combined, it's another all-star cast for this Hollywood epic and a homecoming for Lamar, Dre and Snoop Dogg. * After 54 years without a team playing a Super Bowl at home, the Rams are second on the go after the Buccaneers won in Tampa last year. * This is only the second time two QBs who were drafted number one overall have met in the Super Bowl - Peyton Manning and Cam Newton were first at Super Bowl 50. * The Bengals have won in two previous Super bowls played. Both lost to the 49ers while the Rams have won one of their four previous appearances. * With Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, 38, and his opponent Sean McVay, 36, this is the youngest head-coaching Super Bowl match ever. * If the Rams win, Sean McVay will become the youngest ever Super Bowl head coach, beating Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin's record of winning at the age of 36 years and 323 days. * The pre-match underdogs have won six of the last 10 Super Bowls. * If the Rams beat the Bengals, they will become the third franchise to win Super Bowls despite being based in two cities, after the Colts -- Baltimore and Indianapolis -- and the Raiders, who won in Oakland and Los Angeles.

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Bengals-Rams analysis, play-by-play, NFL title game highlights

Stay tuned as the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams battle it out in Super Bowl 56. (Author: Gardener)

56The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams face off in Super Bowl 56 Sunday night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Playing at their home stadium, the Rams are looking to win their first Super Bowl title in 22 years, back when the team was located in St. Louis. This is the team's second Super Bowl appearance in the past four seasons, losing to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 905 yards and six touchdowns in the Rams' three playoff games this year. Led by sophomore quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals are in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1988. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. With football's biggest day of the year comes parties, fandom, betting and - of course - Super Bowl squares. If you're looking for a refresher on how to play this fun and easy party game, check out our guide to setting up your own game. #3 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. LOS ANGELES -- As Odell Beckham Jr. aims for his first championship ring, it's jarring to think he's no better than the third-best wide receiver playing in Super Bowl 56 -- at least based on how the 2021 season has played out. But players like Los Angeles Rams Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp and Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase are a long way from converging on the still vibrant legacy that OBJ somehow in just created eight NFL seasons. It was evident this week that there is a genuine peace in Beckham, 29, who exuded remarkable confidence while seeming fully aware of his august place in the league's pantheon. "Knowing the responsibility I have to set a standard, knowing that some of them look up to me, is why I feel the way I am now rather than the 23-year-old me ' says Beckham. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow looked sharp as he boarded the bus with his team ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl 56 match against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. He wore a grey-and-black suit with tiger stripes and a black hat. NFL Network co-host Rich Eisen compared Burrow's pregame hat to that of Walter White's Breaking Bad alter ego. The Bengals also shared a video of Burrow's locker upon arriving at SoFi Stadium. USA TODAY Sports has been super-charged coverage of the Super Bowl for the past two weeks. Here are some of the best reads to prepare you for the game. Super Bowl Predictions: Will the Bengals or the Rams Win? Super Bowl Matchup Breakdown: Who Has The Advantage In Each Facet Of The Game? Nate Davis explains how the game could be won. Did Sean McVay learn from his 'outcoaching' last Super Bowl?: The Rams coach opens up on how he balances learning from his previous Super Bowl disappointment with a focus on the future. In five seasons as Rams manager, Sean McVay has a 55-26 record and two Super Bowl appearances. Spotlight on the NFL's coaching revolution: The meeting between Sean McVay and Zac Taylor will not only be a reunion between former coach and protégé, but also an indicator of where the league's coaching movement is headed. How Kelly and Matthew Stafford made things work in Los Angeles: Kelly, the Rams quarterback's wife, gives an exclusive look at the challenges the Staffords' marriage faced after moving to Los Angeles. Eric Weddle was retired - then he came back to shoot at a Super Bowl ring: How did the Rams get a 37-year-old who'd been retired 2 years fit for a Super Bowl run? Move on, Tom Brady: There's a new oldest active player in the NFL, and Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth is enjoying his senior status. How a transfer changed the course of college football, changed the history of the NFL: Joe Burrow's move from Ohio State to LSU changed the football landscape forever. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Super Bowl 2022 Score, Live Updates: Bengals-Rams Analysis, Play-by-Play, NFL Title Game Highlights

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How Matthew Stafford got to Super Bowl 2022: playoff history, years played in Detroit, move to Rams

After 12 seasons without a playoff win in Detroit, Matthew Stafford rewrote the script in Los Angeles and led the Rams to a 3-0 postseason record. (Author: Gardener)

Matthew StaffordBefore becoming quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams ahead of the 2021-22 season, Matthew Stafford spent 12 years with the Detroit Lions. With a 0-3 record in postseason appearances over his time at Detroit, Stafford was saddled with a reputation as a talented quarterback who couldn't win games when it counted. In one season in Los Angeles, Stafford flipped that script. The Rams have won three straight postseason contests with a 20-17 comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship, in which Stafford made great throws, rushed for 337 yards and two touchdowns. In the game against the 49ers, Stafford led his 44th career win (playoffs included), which always puts him in eighth place. The stage is set for Super Bowl LVI as the Los Angeles Rams are ready to take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, February 13 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. 2022 NFL Playoff Results and Beyond To appreciate Stafford's turnaround, it's important to consider the lost seasons before his time in Los Angeles. After a distinguished career at the University of Georgia, Stafford was the #1 draft pick in the 2009 NFL draft by the Lions. While Stafford didn't make a lasting impression for Detroit in the postseason, he rewrote the Lions' record books. During Stafford's 12 years with the Lions, Detroit set a winning record only four times and made the playoffs only three times, never winning a division title and never advancing to the wild card round. At 33 and after 12 years with a team, Stafford became part of the biggest offseason trade in the NFL upon the conclusion of the 2020 season. The Lions traded Stafford to the Rams for QB Jared Goff and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 and a third-round player in 2021. The trade benefited both parties as it gave a rebuilding Lions team plenty of draft capital and Stafford a chance to advance into the postseason. The Rams, who have adopted a "Super Bowl or Bust" mentality, won't have a first-round pick in the NFL draft until 2024 because they traded away picks to acquire players who can help the team win now. RELATED: How to Watch Super Bowl 2022: Live Stream Online Without Cable, TV Channel, Time for NFL Game Rams vs. Bengals In his first season with the Rams, Stafford was one of the league's top QBs. He finished the regular season with 404 completions in 601 attempts for 4,886 yards, which was good for third overall. Stafford finished the league level on points with 17 interceptions but also finished second overall in the regular season with 41 touchdowns. Stafford's success continued into the postseason as he led the Rams to their second Super Bowl appearance in four years. RELATED: Rams Super Bowl Story: When was the last time Los Angeles won the Super Bowl? Rams head coach Sean McVay has also been instrumental in the team's success. With his appearance in Super Bowl LIII, when the Rams lost to the New England Patriots, McVay became the youngest head coach in Super Bowl history. While last year's Super Bowl was the oldest coaching match in the game's history with Bruce Arians and Andy Reid (both 68 years old at the time), this year's Super Bowl will be the youngest coaching match in history as Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is just 38 years old. McVay is causing a stir in the NFL because of his youth in the coaching ranks. Together, however, McVay and Stafford have a chance to do something no one has done before: win a Lombardi Trophy.

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Here's everything you need to know about Rams vs. Bengals

Here's everything you need to know about the Super Bowl (Author: Gardener)

RamsHAPPY SUPER BOWL SUNDAY EVERYONE! Since you'll likely have several hours to burn between now and game time, I thought it wise to launch a newsletter today that will give you enough reading material to kick off, and if it doesn't get you to kickoff then I suggest suggest just reading it multiple times until it's actually time for the kickoff. This Super Bowl is close to me for a number of reasons, the main one being that my dad (Jim Breech) used to play for the Bengals. He actually MISSED MY BIRTH to play in Super Bowl XVI, so I've been connected to both the Super Bowl and the Bengals more or less since the day I was born. Most of my family flew in from Cincinnati to watch the game, and they don't believe in sleep. I know I've mentioned this 19 times this week, but I'll mention it again: I'll be at the game today and if you want to see what kind of Super Bowl shenanigans I'm getting into, be sure to follow be sure to follow us on Twitter or Instagram. I promise to keep sharing photos until my phone breaks or is confiscated. Remember this is a Super Bowl newsletter so you will only receive Super Bowl news today. If you are with family and/or friends today, ask them all to sign up for the newsletter. There's going to be an interesting twist at the Super Bowl this year, and that twist is that both announcers have pretty strong ties to one of the teams that play in the game, and that team is the Bengals. The game will air on NBC and the two announcers - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth - both have ties to the city of Cincinnati. The biggest tie belongs to Collinsworth, who actually PLAYED for the Bengals. Not only did he spend his entire eight-year career in Cincinnati, but he's also one of only SEVEN players in franchise history to have played in the team's two previous Super Bowls (trivia: can you name all 7?). Collinsworth has been pretty honest all week that this won't be a normal game for him. On a separate note, this will likely be Michael's last game with NBC as his contract expires after Sunday's game. The Bengals' first Super Bowl appearance was to announce John Madden's Super Bowl debut, and that Super Bowl appearance will likely feature Michael's final Super Bowl appearance. Here's how you can watch Michaels and Collinsworth call Super Bowl LVI: Although the game won't air on CBS, we'll have plenty of coverage for you, especially before kickoff. If you love spending Super Bowl Sunday watching as much pregame coverage as possible, you've come to the right place. I will also be in the stands with my family to let everyone know how crazy things are getting during the game, with pictures and comments on social media. Trivia Answer (Bengals players play in both of Cincy's previous Super Bowls): Cris Collinsworth, Jim Breech, Eddie Edwards, Anthony Munoz, Max Montoya, Turk Schonert, and Reggie Williams. Since my dad is on this list, answering this trivia question basically earned me a bonus in pocket money every week when I was a kid. The Bengals are back in the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years and surprisingly they will be the home team for tonight's game despite being played at Rams Stadium. It could also feel like a home game, and that's because it won't come as a total surprise if the Bengals fans outperform the Rams fans at the game. In the last 48 hours I've seen Bengals fans EVERYWHERE in L. Anyhow, here's everything else you need to know about the Bengals before they head into today's game. For more Bengals news, visit our team hub by clicking here. This is only the second time in NFL history that a team has played a Super Bowl at its home stadium. That had never happened two years ago, but then the Buccaneers were allowed to play at home last year. The Rams are hoping this year's game goes the same way, and that's because Tampa Bay dominated in a 31-9 win over the Chiefs. Anyway, here's everything else you need to know about the Rams heading into today's game. For more Rams news, visit our team hub by clicking here. I've shared Super Bowl picks with you from every CBS Sports writer over the past two weeks, but since there's a 100% chance you won't remember any of these specific picks, I'll rehash everyone's picks here and as I write this newsletter, it only makes sense that I give my choice top billing. I'm expecting the BENGALS to win 27-24, but if you're a regular reader of this newsletter you already know that because the Bengals' biggest homer on CBSSports.com would definitely not be playing the Bengals. However, many people have decided against the Bengalis, although I have begged them not to. Although the point spread has fluctuated between Rams -3.5 and Rams -4.5 over the past two weeks, it appears to have settled at Rams -4 as we move towards kick-off. Here are our nine writers' picks taking on the Rams: Jonathan Jones: Rams 28-24 over Bengals Will Brinson: Rams 27-9 over Bengals (full pick) Tyler Sullivan: Rams 28-23 over Bengals (full pick) Dave Richard : Rams 24-20 over Bengals Jamey Eisenberg: Rams 27-24 over Bengals Jared Dubin: Rams 26-23 over Bengals (full pick) Jordan Dajani: Rams 27-24 over Bengals (full pick) Cody Benjamin: Rams 29-26 over Bengals (Full Pick) Jeff Kerr: Rams 30-23 over Bengals (Full Pick) John Breech: Bengals 27-24 over Rams (Full Pick) Pete Prisco: Bengals 31-30 over Rams (Full Pick) Jason La Canfora: Bengals 31 -30 Over Rams (Full Selection) Ryan Wilson: Bengals 21-10 Over Rams Patrik Walker: Bengals 30-27 Over Rams Bryan DeArdo: Bengals 20-16 Over Rams Here. If you plan to bet on the game, here are my six favorite props, and in news that probably won't surprise you, three of them are foosball props (all odds via Caesars Sportsbook): 1. Tie game after 0-0 ( -130): This prop has scored in five of the last seven Super Bowls and I think it will score again tonight. I think we're going to see at least one trick play and this prop will hit (This prop could also hit if one of the quarterbacks hits a big one and has to leave the game for a game or two, allowing the backup QB to throw a pass) . 3. Joe Mixon OVER 25.5 yards (-110): Mixon has surpassed that number five straight games and I think we'll see it again on Super Bowl Sunday. When Burrow is pressured, Mixon is his check-down guy and as we've seen over the past few weeks, he has no problem beating the check-down guy. 4. Both teams hit FG 35 or more (+110): These two coaches love to score field goals and I think we'll see both guys get at least one try from 35 yards or more. 5. Longest Field Goal of the Game: Bengals (-115): As you may have noticed in the playoffs, the Bengals trust Evan McPherson from almost every distance, so I wouldn't be surprised if he hits a long field goal today. However, Rams kicker Matt Gay has struggled in recent weeks. It won't come as a surprise if Sean McVay is conservative today when it comes to attempting long kicks. 6. First shot on goal of the game: Bengals Field Goal (+400). The Bengals have been able to move the ball up and down the field this postseason, but they've struggled in the red zone, so I think they'll end up shooting a field goal for their first points. You can also bet that the first scoring game will be a Rams field goal (+400) and then if the first points of the game come down to a field goal you will definitely win money. For more props, be sure to click here for our monstrous props guide, which may be the most comprehensive I've read. I was going to list 56 facts about the Super Bowl LVI here, but it probably would have taken me three days, and with the Super Bowl only a few hours away, that didn't add up, so I did what any resourceful person would do: Me reduced it to 13 facts. * This is the first Super Bowl in NFL history not to involve a top 3 seed from either conference. Since the Rams and Bengals both start the game in fours, they will also draw the Packers (2) and Steelers (6) for the highest combined seeding since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975. * The Rams are the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in five different decades (1970s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s). Not even the Patriots, who made eleven Super Bowl appearances, can match that. * The Bengals and Rams have a combined record of 22-12 (.647 winning percentage), which is the worst combined winning percentage in a Super Bowl in NFL history. The previous record belonged to the Cardinals and Steelers, who had a combined record of 21-11 (.656) en route to Super Bowl XLIII. The Steelers and Rams also had the same combined record en route to Super Bowl XIV. * This marks the first Super Bowl since 1999 (Titans vs. Rams) where both quarterbacks went into the postseason without career playoff wins and then made it to the Super Bowl. * This is only the second Super Bowl in NFL history to tie two former top picks as starting quarterbacks. Joe Burrow (No. 1 overall in 2020) and Matthew Stafford (No. 1 overall in 2009) will join Peyton Manning (1998) and Cam Newton (2011), who met in Super Bowl 50. * Sean McVay (36) and Zac Taylor (38) will come together to give us the youngest head coaching matchup in Super Bowl history. If the Rams win, McVay will become the youngest coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl (Taylor would be the second youngest to win a Super Bowl, behind only Mike Tomlin). * Joe Burrow was fired more than any other QB in the NFL this season (51 times), which is notable because this year marks the first time in NFL history that the most-sacked QB led his team to the Super Bowl . * On the Rams' side, Matthew Stafford led the NFL in interceptions, marking only the third time in NFL history that a QB led his team to a Super Bowl in a year where he led the league or Association. * Winning the coin toss may not be as good today because the coin toss winner LOST seven STRAIGHT SUPER BOWLS. The Rams will get the call today, which means there will be a lot of pressure from the player deciding whether to call head or tail. * Joe Burrow will be the 10th QB named Joe to start a Super Bowl, which will tie Tom as the most common play for a Super Bowl starting QB. * The Super Bowl will be the Bengals' first Sunday game of the year to start after 4:30 p.m. ET. They are the first team in 33 years to reach the Super Bowl without playing a single Sunday or Monday primetime game at any point during the season. The last team to do that: The 1988 Bengals. * The Rams are only the second team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, but many other teams have played the game in their home state. Prior to this year, this had happened five times with the Raiders (Super Bowl XI, Super Bowl XXXVII), Rams (Super Bowl XIV), 49ers (Super Bowl XIX), and Buccaneers (Super Bowl LV), all playing in their home state (The Bucs were the other team playing at their home ground). * As the home team, the Bengals have opted for black, which means they'll have a big unity trend if they want to win: The team in white has won 14 of the last 17 Super Bowls. For more details on the unified situation leading up to the game, please click here. Please feel free to use any or all of these fun Super Bowl facts to wow people today. It's so hot here that the National Weather Service issued multiple heat warnings this week, marking the first time the city has been hit by a heat warning in February since 2006. What does this mean for the game? * Super Bowl LVI could be the hottest Super Bowl ever. Sunday's high is forecast at 84 degrees, and if that's the temperature at kick-off, it would make Super Bowl VII the hottest on record (this game was also played in Los Angeles). If the temperature even hits 80, it would only be the third Super Bowl to surpass that mark. Although this game is played "indoors", technically it's not indoors. Basically, depending on the weather, wind (and even rain) can get into the stadium. Click here to learn more about the stadium's unique design. Expected temperature: 80 degrees at kick-off to 67 degrees at the end of the game. Alright everyone enjoy watching the Super Bowl and just as a friendly reminder I'm going to be tweeting a storm of SoFi today so if you'd like to get in on the action be sure to click here.

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What will be the defining story of the Bengals vs Rams matchup?

There's no shortage of interesting storylines between the Bengals and Rams in their Super Bowl slant, but what will prove game-changing? (Author: Gardener)

BengalsThe long wait is over and it's finally time for Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium to begin. The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams have been preparing for their title fight for two weeks, allowing ample time to analyze the game's biggest plot points. Of course, there's the quarterback fight between Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford. How about the coaching showdown between the former teacher and the student in Sean McVay vs. Then there's the question of whether three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald will destroy the Bengals' maligned line. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. With that in mind, we asked USA TODAY Sports NFL editors and writers: What will be the defining story of Super Bowl 56? Super Bowl titles often elude highly talented quarterbacks. Such is life in a league where 96.7% of teams fail to reach the ultimate goal each season, players sacrifice their bodies and watch their health plummet instantly. Few quarterbacks as capable as Matthew Stafford will set a losing record spanning a dozen years. Rams head coach Sean McVay's quest for a quarterback change seemed bold last offseason, with McVay dropping Jared Goff from the 2016 first round even after the Rams reached the Super Bowl following the 2019 season with him. And yet, as the Rams return to the big game -- or should we say, the big game returns to the Rams at their home stadium SoFi -- McVay's belief in Stafford's ability to improve the team is vindicated. NFL fans with diverse interests will be rooting for the quarterback, who has long suffered from Detroit's ineptness, as he attacks the final game that stands between him and a Lombardi Trophy. At 33, Stafford has released his most successful career campaign. NFL fans and media are drawn to the suspense of his car chase in what could be his happiest 13th year. Donald is considered by some to be the best player in football, but we still consider the quarterback position to be the most important. However, Donald's game in the Super Bowl could be so dominant that we need to create some sort of special category for him, a whole new level of uniqueness. I think it will involve the chess game between Sean McVay and Zac Taylor and the adjustments each makes. We've seen the Bengals fall into big holes and scrape their way back into the second half of games and then pull off wins. Is it reductive to pin this game down to the quarterback game? It feels like Joe Burrow is moving early and often, the right side of his line can't keep up with whatever the Rams throw at them. And if he can lengthen the plays, there could be an excellent opportunity to attack downfield with Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. But expecting Burrow to dodge defenders all night seems like a tall order, so Cincinnati could be witnessing the limitations of their current offensive setup. Meanwhile, the Rams seem to have found a much more manageable demand for Matthew Stafford: play offense and keep everything on schedule, but make defense pay when things collapse. While Stafford has been a little wild at times this season with his 17 interceptions, Los Angeles put offense squarely in his hands and should do the same on Sunday. Although the Bengals' adaptability and lack of an easily exploited weak link in defense could keep them close, Stafford appears well-placed to cap a 13-year career that began with him being No. 1 for the Detroit Lions was . This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Super Bowl 2022: What will be the defining story of the Bengals-Rams matchup?

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villain no more? Ahead of the Super Bowl, the Rams praise Odell Beckham Jr. as a model teammate

Odell Beckham Jr. was once known as the NFL's most explosive player -- in more ways than one. Now many say that perception has not caught up with reality. (Author: Gardener)

Odell Beckham Jr.LOS ANGELES -- As Odell Beckham Jr. aims for his first championship ring, it's jarring to think he's no better than the third-best wide receiver to play in Super Bowl 56 -- at least based on how the 2021 season has gone. But players like Los Angeles Rams Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp and Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase are nowhere near as close to the still vibrant legacy that OBJ somehow created in just eight NFL seasons. It was evident this week that there is a genuine peace in Beckham, 29, who exuded remarkable confidence while seeming fully aware of his august place in the league's pantheon. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. "I appreciate you saying I'm only 29 because a lot of the conversations I've had are really trying to make me feel like the old head," he told USA TODAY Sports, when he was asked about his influence on so many young players. "Knowing the responsibility I have to set a standard, knowing that some of them look up to me, is why I feel the way I am now rather than the 23-year-old me .” I remember when I was in Cleveland, (Browns rookie) Anthony Schwartz came up to me and said, "Yeah bro, I remember seeing you in high school." And I say, 'You don't have to tell me that, I don't have to hear that.' It's crazy because my 29 feels like I've been in the league for 12 years. I feel like so much has happened - ups and downs, good and bad - it feels like a very long career in a short amount of time." Selected 12th overall by the New York Giants in 2014, costing a hamstring injury Beckham entered the first month of his rookie season against the Dallas Cowboys - everyone knew who OBJ was after he caught cornerback Brandon Carr with a hand from 43 yards It was the epitome of a viral highlight and changed everything for Beckham: "It was after the catch, I literally watched life change. I watched how people treated me," he mused. "Everything changed after the catch. More than seven years later, Beckham stars in his first Super Bowl Meanwhile, he was a Pro Bowler; sometimes a sideshow; traded from the Giants to the Browns; often injured — including a cruciate ligament tear that ended his 2020 season early — and cut by Cleveland last November for reasons no one could satisfactorily explain. Yet despite the theatrics over the years and the polarizing image OBJ has cultivated, that portrayal doesn't seem to tally with reality. SUPER BOWL 56 BREAKDOWN: Who will come out on top as Rams and Bengals take the field? MOVE OVER, TOM BRADY: Rams' Andrew Whitworth is delighted with his new status as the NFL's oldest active player. Ask anyone in the Rams about Beckham and there's a continuous line connecting the answers. Reality.' From the outside, you thought he was a selfish player, a guy who just wanted to play and didn't care about his teammates," Rams receiver coach Eric Yarber said. "But in reality he's not a selfish player - he loves his teammates, he plays for his teammates. He's preparing just like the rest of the guys. The effort he puts on the field is like all greats - you don't have to push him. He wanted to be coached and he wanted to get better, he wanted to be a good teammate. It wasn't like, 'Give me the ball, give me the ball.' "Odell has been a great teammate since he's been here," Van Jefferson said of Be Better Off And I'm Learning From Him. He came straight into the game, he learned the playbook as well as he had to and he's played all over the field. He's definitely one of my favorite teammates I've ever had. Receiver and return specialist Brandon Powell adds, "When a player like that of this caliber comes up to you and says, 'Man, you're going to put one in the house,' or 'I need a big return from you,' that just gives you additional motivation. It's like, "This is Odell Beckham, one of the best receivers in the game, he believes in you." That gives an extra boost: "It was a great feeling to be on a team with him, just to have a player like that." Even Kupp, who has perhaps the most impressive season that a receiver has ever had with 170 catches and 2,333 yards 20 TDs in 20 games - is amazing. “That he does what he does – that he produces the way he did – speaks volumes for the player he is, the teammate he is, the football intelligence that he has to be able to do that stuff to learn and be able to go out and do it. It was so impressive to watch him work," Kupp said, noting how quickly Beckham synthesized coach Sean McVay's playbook while trying to fill the void left by receiver Robert Woods' season-ending knee injury had arisen. "I just have a lot of respect for him and the football player that he is -- and that's not just what he does on the football field, it's how he handles it that was jettisoned from Cleveland. He wasn't worried about debunking naysayers when he came to LA, and knew better than to expend so much energy trying to live up to outlandish expectations that he would hurt himself again. "The perception of me will go into the room before I enter the room," he said. "If I carry that energy and try to be someone they don't think I am instead of just being me, it's never going to go right. MORE: SoFi Stadium, site of Super Bowl 56, is a billionaire dream for three and a nightmare for thousands 'ONE HELLUVA STORY': How Kelly and Matthew Stafford found happiness and a Super Bowl in LA What is the source of the Beckham Admiration Society, especially as it might not be obvious to outsiders? "OBJ is quite possibly the most influential football player, other than Tom Brady, that we've seen in the NFL since maybe Michael Vick," Andrew Hawkins, former Bengals receiver turned NFL Network analyst, told USA TODAY Sports. "A lot of people don't understand that, but you have to be aware that when OBJ comes into a dressing room, it's not just a football player that comes into a dressing room - it's an icon. "It's a lot of these guys in the locker room - especially young people - that's someone they looked up to. When OBJ became OBJ — I was at soccer camps, I saw all the little kids, all rocking blonde Mohawks, trying to catch the ball with one hand, trying to dress like him, look like him, like him to dance. Beckham, who has more than 15 million followers on Instagram, understands how important football camps have been to him and the importance of his desire to personally coach and mentor each youngster. He donated his Super Bowl tickets to the Watts Rams, a local youth team sponsored by Beckham's Rams. "It's why I do this," OBJ said, "It warms my heart." "Boys like you are what keep me going." 🎥 @obj surprises @WattsRams with tickets to #SBLVI + Rams reveal two new murals at Dymally High School! pic.twitter.com/YovHxLq11e - Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) February 5, 2022 And maybe that says more about who Beckham is. “There's a lot of talk about who he is as a teammate, but you never hear any of his teammates say he's a bad teammate. That's rare," Hawkins said. "He's the easiest target in the NFL, but you don't hear it because it's just not true. He's not a bad teammate. Beckham knows it can get hot. "In the world we live in, it's easier to sell something that has little more drama than the honest and good stories," he says. "To me, he's a generational talent," said Cincinnati receivers coach Troy Walters. "Anytime someone is a generational talent and can do the things that they do on the field - with ease - people are attracted to it. "He's got a great personality, always seems excited, happy and happy to play the game and that rubs off on his peers and people want to be like him." Like Beckham, the Bengals' newest star hails from Louisiana and attended LSU... like Beckham. OBJ spent time with Chase's 2019 national championship team, but now the young standout can't wait to finally share a field with his Rookie of the Year predecessor. "It's going to be an amazing experience to see him play (in person) for the first time," said Chase. "I didn't see him play when he was with the Browns, but I'm looking forward to seeing him." Beckham had a modest regular season with the Rams, catching 27 catches for 305 yards and five TDs in eight games. But even though Kupp is quarterback Matthew Stafford's main target, OBJ again resembles a No. 1 receiver in the playoffs, where he had 19 grabs for 236 yards and one point tally in three contests. Excellent hand-eye coordination. I just think a change of scenery helped him." Beckham was massive in winning the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, his 113 yards marking the first time he'd surpassed the century mark in more than two years. His joy on on the field was obvious, but Beckham also took time to comfort Niner's All-Pro Deebo Samuel, who was taking the loss hard. "This whole thing was a full-circle moment for me," OBJ said and Noted that the Super Bowl will be his first game against the Bengals since tearing his knee in Cincinnati on Oct. 25, 2020 and enduring the challenges that followed: "Once you play with that joy in your heart, only good ones come." Things are happening." Today , he's a man who's only too happy to share his testimony. He's a man awaiting fatherhood, his first child is about to be born any moment — albeit Be ckham fervently hopes he can attend the birth and play in the Super Bowl. Finally, this could be the time when the perception of OBJ as the all-time great of rea could be cemented. "I am truly blessed and grateful for this opportunity, but the job is definitely not over yet. I just want to hold on and be able to lift that trophy and share that memory with brothers," he said. I just want to find a way to take advantage of that, man, and be able to call myself world champion.” Ahead of the Super Bowl, Rams praise Odell Beckham Jr. as a model teammate

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Winners, grades, reactions and highlights from February 11th

Goldberg returned a week ago to host a showdown with Universal Champion Roman Reigns at the Elimination Chamber, and he made another appearance on Fox on Friday night to hype the blockbuster main event... (Author: Gardener)

February 11thGoldberg returned a week ago to host a showdown with Universal Champion Roman Reigns at the Elimination Chamber, and he appeared again on Fox on Friday night to hype the blockbuster main event. What did the WCW icon have to say about his upcoming showdown with The Tribal Chief, and would Reigns have an answer for the Hall of Famer? That question surfaced over a broadcast that also featured Charlotte Flair defending her SmackDown Women's Championship against Naomi and the latest in the Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura feud. WWE Official Sonya Deville opened the evening show after sustaining an injury to her left arm following Ronda Rousey's Fujiwara armbar last Friday night. She announced that she had sought a $100,000 fine against Rousey. This came out to Adam Pearce, who revealed an email from Vince McMahon himself preventing Deville from further abusing her powers and engaging in Naomi's SmackDown Women's Championship match against Charlotte Flair later that night. If she insisted, her job would be "seriously jeopardized". This brought out Naomi, who correctly explained that the email said nothing about not touching the WWE Official. Naomi beat Deville to close the segment. Vince McMahon writes the longest emails of all time. Additionally, this was an apt segment, stopping some of Deville's abuses of power for good, giving Naomi a moment of revenge, and setting up a match for later in the night that was supposed to be relatively one-on-one. For Naomi, it was a segment that was months in the making. It was nice to see her step through the eye with confidence, confronting Deville and showing her the lack of respect the WWE official has shown her since last September. Last week's match was so nice that WWE Creative booked it twice. Kingston and Big E dominated early and often, putting an exclamation mark on their offense as they went into the commercial break. During the timeout, Angel and Humberto took control, putting Big E down and cutting him off from his tag team partner. A hot day with Kingston sparked a babyface comeback. In a cool spot, Big E lifted Humberto for a powerbomb and Kingston came off the top rope with a double stomp. Los Lotharios were a great team, despite their lack of consistent TV push, and what better way to give them some much-needed credibility than to have them clean-slap two former WWE Champions in the middle of the ring. While maybe it wasn't on the level of their match a week ago, it was still a hell of a fun competition that further demonstrated the teams' exceptional chemistry and set the stage for a potential rubber match in the near future. Hopefully the strength of the ring at work doesn't encourage WWE to overexpose the matchup as it's a rare one that could bring a freshness to the blue brand's tag team division they desperately need. Backstage, Michael Cole interviewed Roman Reigns about the Tribal Chief's Universal Championship defense against Goldberg at Elimination Chamber. Undeterred by the Hall of Famer's accomplishments, he claimed, "If I was in WCW, everyone would win... because they'd still be in business." When the topic of conversation turned to Brock Lesnar, Reigns laughed it off and asked why they were still talking about him. The championship leader ended the segment by promising "Goldberg" Goldberg in the Elimination Chamber that he vows to crush the legendary figure just as he has crushed so many throughout his career. Could his hubris come back to cost him at WrestleMania? when they fight for the grand prize in professional wrestling one last time? Originally planned Although it was supposed to be a dungeon style match, the showdown between Aliyah and Natalya was nothing more than another duel between the two. Nattie grabbed intense early on but Aliyah absorbed it and fended off a sudden and abrupt end at The Queen of Harts catching her in the famous sharpshooter and forcing the tapout. After the match, Natalya tried to add more penalties, but Xia Li parried, deflecting heel and standing upright. The match was too short to be meaningful and inexplicable The disappearance of the advertised condition showed how invested the creative team was in the competition. At the very least, Li's arrival hints at a new rivalry for Natalya, which should help make Li a real star of the main roster. Hopefully this doesn't spell the end for Aliyah, who is a great underdog babyface. Sami Zayn presented the latest installment of his In Zayn Live Podcast. He threw a video of Johnny Knoxville visiting the WWE pop-up shop in Los Angeles and slandering Zayn merchandise. From there, Rick Boogs and Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura made their way to the ring just seven days before The Artist defended his title against Zayn Arm. Not at all. Nothing about this feud feels like a program for one of the most important titles in the company. Instead, it feels like the setting where Knoxville reappears and pulls off a WrestleMania program with Zayn. While Madcap Moss was knocked out by a black eye, Happy Corbin went it alone on Friday and fought Cesaro in singles. A back-and-forth match ensued in which neither had a lasting advantage. Moments later, the undefeated and obnoxious heel flattened the Swiss Cyborg with End of Days for the pinfall win. Backstage, Drew McIntyre interrupted Moss' eye exam and revealed their match in Elimination Chamber will be a Falls Count Anywhere match. This was a really fun little match that came out of nowhere. Corbin is an underrated worker and his style paired well with Cesaros, making for a better match than it should have been. The revelation that Moss and McIntyre's match at the Premium Live Event will be a Falls Count Anywhere match kicks things up a notch, having just witnessed the Day 1 fight, this will all be McIntyre, and it will be enable him to challenge Roman Reigns coming out of the Elimination Chamber. Michael Cole sat down with Goldberg, who dismissed the idea that Roman Reigns could beat him in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at the Elimination Chamber. He vowed to beat Reigns, win the Universal Championship and defeat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Back in the arena, Naomi stepped into the ring for her shot in history when she challenged Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship. The challenger started red-hot, overpowering The Queen early and controlling the early moments of the game heading into the break. Flair hit back, wrestling the advantage by slowing the pace and grounding the challenger. Naomi exploded with a blockbuster for a close two count, but Flair sent her knees in first before another break ensued. The resilient Naomi found herself able to put pressure on the champion while seeking her first title reign in five years. She hooked Flair into the turnbuckle, but the powerful Flair powerbombed her opponent to the mat for a two count. Flair missed a moonsault, ate his knees on another attempt, and Naomi provided the rear view for a dramatic near-fall that blew the New Orleans crowd out of their seats. Near falls from a headscissor and a split leg moonsault led fans to believe Naomi would dethrone the Queen. Later, Naomi tried another rearview, only Flair blocked her and delivered Natural Selection for the win. After the match, Naomi unloaded on a boastful Sonya Deville only to be jumped by Flair. Ronda Rousey parried and cleared the ring with a big bang to end the show. This was one hell of a legitimate match-of-the-year nominee. Flair and Naomi tore down the house with a wildly dramatic match that had fans believing a title change was imminent. It's a testament to the cast themselves, but positive proof that the months of positioning Naomi as the likable babyface forced to overcome unfair treatment at the hands of WWE official Deville worked. The loss didn't hurt Naomi in any way. If anything, the emotions she displayed throughout the match will only make her more popular with fans who appreciate how much she loves wrestling. The post match hints at a tag team match pitting Naomi and Rousey against Flair and Deville. If so, that would be a blockbuster encounter, hot enough in the US to headline a premier live event.

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