The Los Angeles Rams 2021-22 season was among the most successful in franchise history. It was the team’s 84th season in the National Football League (NFL), 85th overall, 55th season playing in Los Angeles, and their inaugural season at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Led by head coach Sean McVay and the new starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, the 2021-22 Rams;
- finished 12-5 and won their division for the first time since 2018,
- defeated the Arizona Cardinals 34–11 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs,
- defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30–27 in the divisional round,
- beat the San Francisco 49ers (who swept them during the regular season) in the Conference Championship Game, winning 20–17,
- and won Super Bowl LVI, 23–20, against Cincinnati Bengals.
Pre-Super Bowl Success
The original club was formed in 1936 in Cleveland, playing in the American Football League for a single season before jumping to the National Football League. Playing in Cleveland, they won the 1945 NFL Championship Game by beating the Washington Redskins 15–14 at Cleveland Stadium. Six years later, they would win again, representing Los Angeles, defeating the Cleveland Browns 24–17 for their second NFL championship before a then-record crowd of 59,475.
Super Bowl XXXIV
The Rams’ offense of 1999–2000–2001 earned it the moniker “The Greatest Show on Turf,” and it was on full display at Super Bowl XXXIV. The Rams’ offense set a new standard for offensive output, winning three NFL MVP awards and reaching the Super Bowl twice during this span. The team reached the 2000 finals, playing the Tennessee Titans in Atlanta, Georgia.
At the start of the game, the offense was silent in the opening half, scoring only nine points on three field goals against the Titans. The Rams carried a 16-0 lead into halftime upon scoring a touchdown.
However, the Titans scored 16 consecutive points during the fourth half to force overtime. Once again, the Rams were in front thanks to a touchdown, this time from wide receiver Isaac Bruce, who covered 73 yards on the drive.
With six seconds left, the Titans drove to the Rams’ 10-yard line. But a game-tying touchdown was prevented when Rams LB Mike Jones made a tackle on Titans WR Kevin Dyson a yard short of the goal line. The game ended in favor of the Rams, winning 23-16. Quarterback Kurt Warner also went home with the Super Bowl MVP trophy, his second individual award of the year.
Super Bowl LVI
Most top betting sites had the Rams as -4.0 point favorites to beat the Bengals with the o/u at 48.5 points.
Los Angeles got on the board early, scoring twice to take a 13-3 lead by the beginning of the second quarter. But Cincinnati closed to within 3-points via a flea-flicker that saw running back Joe Mixon toss wideout Tee Higgins a touchdown pass shortly before halftime. An ill-timed Matthew Stafford interception with just over 2:00 prevented the Rams from adding to their lead, and the game was 13-10 at half-time.
During the break, there were performances from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Anderson Paak.
The Bengals got the ball back to start the second half, and Joe Burrow quickly took advantage. Burrow connected with Tee Higgins for a 75-yard touchdown to give them their first lead of the game. Another second Stafford interception came off the hands of Rams wideout Ben Skowronek, preserving the Bengal’s lead until late in the 4th quarter.
But the Rams came back like they have all season. Stafford and wideout Cooper Kupp combined multiple times to move the Rams into the red zone late in the 4th quarter. On first-and-goal inside two minutes, offsetting penalties nullified a four-yard Kupp touchdown, but just three plays later, Stafford connected again with Kupp for a one-yard touchdown to give the Rams the final 23-20 lead.