The Cincinnati Bengals stunned the Los Angeles Rams with a touchdown bomb on the first play from scrimmage in the second half and rookie kicker Evan McPherson added his second field goal later in the third period to give the Bengals a 20-16 lead in Super Bowl 56.
After a touchback on the second-half kickoff, 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 score of the game. He caught a touchdown pass from running back Joe Mixon in the first half.
The Rams took the early lead when quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on a 17-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and on an 11-yarder to Cooper Kupp in the second. A bad hold caused the Rams to fail on the extra point attempt after Kupp’s TD to keep the score 13-3.
Beckham later left the game with a knee injury.
Playing in their home stadium, the Rams are looking to win their first Super Bowl title in 22 years, when the team was located in St. Louis.
The temperature at kickoff at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, was a balmy 81 degrees, just missing a record for the warmest Super Bowl ever.
Keep it here Sunday for live updates, highlights and analysis:
After the Cincinnati Bengals’ Chidobe Awuzie intercepted Matthew Stafford early in the third quarter of Super Bowl 56, a fan was seen running across the SoFi Stadium field, beginning at the east end of the field.
The fan, who was fully clothed, was wearing a Super Bowl 56 sweatshirt and holding a banner
The streaker made it almost the length of the field before being tackled by security near the 10-yard line.
— Jordan Mendoza
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow went for the quick strike. On the receiving end, wideout Tee Higgins outfought Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey for the ball and took it all the way into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown.
While impressive, Higgins catch didn’t make it into the top five longest touchdown receptions in Super Bowl history. The longest was an 85-yarder from Jake Delhomme to Muhsin Muhammad of the Carolina Panthers against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 38.
The Rams led the Bengals 13-10 at halftime, with quarterback Matthew Stafford leading the way on the stat sheet.
Stafford completed 12-of-18 passes for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first half. Odell Beckham Jr. led the Rams with two catches for 52 yards and a TD before he left with an injury. Cooper Kupp caught three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. Cam Akers led the Rams in rushing with seven carries for 10 yards.
For the Bengals, quarterback Joe Burrow matched Stafford’s 12-for-18 line for 114 yards. Ja’Marr Chase caught three passes for 62 yards to lead Cinicnnati receivers. Joe Mixon rushed for 40 yards on seven carries and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass.
The Super Bowl is more than just the biggest football game of the year.
While the annually televised event may be the crown jewel in the pantheon of American sports, it’s also a showcase for iconic musical performances.
This year, a lineup of hip-hop heavyweights, led by N.W.A. rapper and producer Dr. Dre, is filling the slot at this year’s halftime show.
Rappers Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, along with the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” Mary J. Blige, are joining Dre for the performance, as teased in a nearly 4-minute trailer that dropped last month.
— Edward Segarra and Charles Trepany
It’s never good when you cost your team yardage by going onto the field in street clothes to celebrate an interception.
Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves joined his teammates in doing “The Griddy” after Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III’s interception of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford near the end of the first half of Super Bowl 56.
Adding insult to injury, NBC’s Al Michaels called out Hargreaves — among the Bengals’ inactive players for the game – and added, “He may be inactive for a while after this scene.”
A taunting penalty gave the Bengals the ball at their own 10 instead of the 20.
— Dave Clark, Cincinnati Enquirer
For most of the half, Odell Beckham Jr. seemed to turn back time in the Super Bowl.
Two spectacular catches, 52 yards, a touchdown.
Then came the scream, the wince, the grab of his left knee, the dreaded non-contact injury as the pain overwhelmed him too much to secure a near catch on second-and-9 with 3:54 to play in the second quarter.
The Rams initially said his return was questionable, but he was downgraded to out in the second half.
— Jori Epstein
Bengals running back Joe Mixon did his best Joe Burrow impression in the second quarter, tossing the first touchdown pass of his career, a 6-yarder to wide receiver Tee Higgins.
Mixon helped move the Bengals into scoring position with his legs, but on a second-and-goal play, he took a pitch from Burrow and swung wide enough to give him a perfect passing lane to Higgins.
The touchdown, with 5:47 left before halftime, cut the Bengals’ deficit 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 Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton connected with quarterback Nick Foles to spark a win over the New England Patriots four years ago.
The Bengals nearly answered the Rams’ first touchdown with one of their own in the final minute of the first quarter.
Although they had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Evan McPherson, the Bengals score 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 sideline to make a spectacular one-handed catch.
There are so many different potential storylines for this year’s Super Bowl, from the quarterback battle to the coaching showdown between former teacher and pupil. Perhaps three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald going up against the Bengals’ maligned line will be 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 offer their insights on what the defining story of Super Bowl 56 will be.
Sunday will serve as a showcase for SoFi Stadium, owner Stan Kroenke’s $5 billion home for the Los Angeles Rams. Among its many notable features: an indoor-outdoor setup, a 120-yard-long Infinity Screen scoreboard and translucent, canopy-style roof.But the history and impact of SoFi Stadium are complex, as some heavily criticized tactics tactics paved the way for the project in Inglewood, California. Read more from USA TODAY Sports’ Josh Peter on how the stadium has created hardships for thousands of residents.
A 25-ounce can of Michelob Ultra is usually a pretty cheap beer to buy from a grocery retailer, costing $3 at Vons and $2.79 at Instacart.
But this is 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 Cincinnati Bengals.
Other items at the concession stands on Super Bowl Sunday came with similar sticker shock:
►$12 for a jumbo hot dog
►$7 for a 20-ounce fountain soda
►And $55 for a small Los Angeles Rams T-shirt
SoFi Stadium had the most expensive hot dogs and beer in the NFL in 2021, according to Team Marketing Report’s NFL Fan Cost Index for 2021.
— Brent Schotenboer
As the home team in Super Bowl 56 – despite playing at the Rams’ home, Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium – the Cincinnati Bengals are wearing their black jersey, white pants with orange stripes. And orange socks.
The black jersey is part of the Bengals’ standard uniform when they play at Paul Brown Stadium. They’ve worn it with white pants and black pants.
The Rams are wearing their white jerseys with blue numerals. And yellow pants.
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 primer on how to set up your own game. We also have some insight into exactly which squares provide the best odds to pay out. (Hint: avoid the 2s and 5s if possible!.)
LOS ANGELES – As Odell Beckham Jr. takes aim at 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 unfolded.
Yet the likes of 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 approaching the still-dynamic legacy OBJ has somehow crafted in just eight NFL seasons.
It was apparent this week that there’s a real peace about Beckham, 29, who projected striking self-awareness while also appearing fully cognizant of his lofty place in the league’s pantheon.
“Knowing that responsibility that I carry to set a standard, to know that some of them look up to me, is the reason why I feel like I’m how I am now instead of the 23-year-old me,” Beckham says. “You’ve got to go through things to grow through things.”
— Nate Davis
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was looking sharp as he boarded the bus with his team ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl 56 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium, wearing a tiger-striped, gray-and-black suit with a black hat.
NFL Network co-host Rich Eisen compared Burrow’s pregame hat to that of Walter White’s alter ego from “Breaking Bad.”
The Bengals also shared video of Burrow’s locker as they arrived at SoFi Stadium.
— Dave Clark, Cincinnati Enquirer
USA TODAY Sports has loaded up on Super Bowl coverage in the last two weeks. Here are some of the best reads to get you ready for the game.
Super Bowl predictions: Will the Bengals or Rams win? Who will be MVP? And which players could be X-factors?
Super Bowl matchup breakdown: Who holds the advantage in every facet of the game? Nate Davis breaks down how the game could be won.
Did Sean McVay learn from being “outcoached” in the last Super Bowl?: The Rams coach addresses how he balances learning his previous Super Bowl disappointment with keeping a focus on the future.
NFL’s coaching revolution on display: The meeting between Sean McVay and Zac Taylor won’t simply be a reunion between former teacher and protégé, but also an indicator of where the league’s coaching movement is heading.
How Kelly and Matthew Stafford made things work in Los Angeles: Kelly, the wife of the Rams quarterback, gives exclusive insight on the challenges the Staffords’ marriage faced after a move to Los Angeles.
Tightwad vs. big spender: The Bengals’ Mike Brown and Rams’ Stan Kroenke are a study in contrasting ownership styles.
Eric Weddle was retired – then he came back for a shot at a Super Bowl ring: How did the Rams get a 37-year-old who had been retired for 2 years up to speed for a Super Bowl run?
Move over, Tom Brady: There’s a new oldest active player in the NFL, and Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth relishes his senior status.
How one transfer changed the course of college football, NFL history: Joe Burrow’s move from Ohio State to LSU forever changed the football landscape.