INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams traded for quarterback Matthew Stafford in the offseason and it paid off big time.

Stafford drove the Rams 79 yards and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp with 1:25 left in the fourth quarter and Los Angeles beat Cincinnati 23-20 to win Super Bowl LVI.

Stafford, who was acquired in an offseason trade from the Detroit Lions, was 26 for 40 for 238 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Kupp had eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

The Rams rallied after the game turned in favor of the Bengals on two big plays in the span of the first 22 seconds of the third quarter.

The Bengals scored a touchdown on their first offensive play of the quarter. Joe Burrow moved to his right and then up before throwing deep to Tee Higgins, who caught the ball as Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey fell. Higgins ran to the end zone to finish off the 75-yard TD for a 17-13 lead.

On the Rams’ first play to start the next drive, a pass from Matthew Stafford intended for Ben Skowronek bounced to Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie at the Los Angeles 32.


McPherson hit a field goal to put the Bengals up 20-13.

The Rams responded on their following drive when Matt Gay kicked a 41-yard field goal.

Los Angeles started the game fast when, Stafford capped the Rams’ second drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. with 6:22 left in the first quarter to give Los Angeles a 7-0 lead. Beckham caught the ball over Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton, then the wide receiver celebrated his TD with a quick moonwalk. Beckham signed with Los Angeles on Nov. 11 after being cut by the Cleveland Browns.

The Rams only had to go 50 yards in six plays over 3:35 because the defense forced the Bengals to turn the ball over on downs to end Cincinnati’s opening possession.

McPherson kicked a 29-yard field goal with 28 seconds left to keep Cincinnati from going scoreless through the first 15 minutes. The field goal was McPherson’s 13th made field goal this postseason, putting him one off the NFL record of 14 set by Adam Vinatieri in 2006.

Cincinnati had first-and-10 at the Rams 11 after an amazing one-handed catch by Pro Bowl receiver Ja’Marr Chase. The Offensive Rookie of the Year tracked the ball as he ran downfield covered by three-time All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey and caught Joe Burrow’s pass with his right hand for a 46-yard reception.


But the Bengals couldn’t pick up even a yard on three plays before sending McPherson out for the field goal.

Stafford then capped a 75-yard drive with an 11-yard TD pass to Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp with 12:51 left in the second quarter. None of the Bengals even touched Kupp coming off the line as he was wide open for his 21st TD catch this season, including the playoffs.

The Bengals pulled a little trickery to get within three when running back Joe Mixon threw a 6-yard touchdown pass Tee Higgins with 5:47 left. That capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive by the Bengals that chewed up 7:04 off the clock.

Mixon joined some exclusive company as only the fifth non-quarterback to throw a TD pass in the Super Bowl. He joins Trey Burton for Philadelphia against the Patriots in 2018, Antwaan Randle El in 2006 for Pittsburgh against Seattle, Lawrence McCutcheon in 1980 for the then-St. Louis Rams against the Steelers and Dallas’ Robert Newhouse in 1978 versus Denver.

This story will be updated.

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