The Cincinnati Bengals will face the Los Angeles Rams in the 56th edition of the Super Bowl, the championship game of the U.S. National Football League and one of the premier championship events in all of professional sports.
The visiting Cincinnati Bengals came back from a 21-10 halftime deficit to post a 27-24 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC (American Football Conference) Championship game. Kansas City appeared to be on their way to a third consecutive Super Bowl appearance when they posted 21 quick points in the first half, led by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. But the Bengals took command in the second half, thanks to a stellar defensive effort and clutch play by second-year quarterback Joe Burrow, taking a narrow 24-21 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs tied the game at the end of regulation after a 44-yard three-point field goal by placekicker Harrison Butker, and won the chance to get the ball to begin the overtime period. But Bengals defensive back Vonn Bell intercepted a Mahomes pass to receiver Tyreek Hill, allowing Burrows to lead Cincinnati on a long drive capped by the game-winning 31-yard field goal by placekicker Evan McPherson.
The Rams earned their way to the Super Bowl with a 20-17 win over their in-state California rival San Francisco 49ers in the NFC (National Football Conference) Championship on their home field. Los Angeles was led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, who finished with 337 yards and two touchdowns, both of them to star receiver Cooper Kupp, who finished with 142 receiving yards.
San Francisco held a narrow 17-7 lead early in the fourth quarter when Stafford led the Rams on three drives to go ahead. Los Angeles sealed the victory when the defense staged a furious pass rush on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw a desperation pass that was intercepted by defensive back Travin Howard.
The two franchises will play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, February 13 on the Rams’ home field of SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, making it the first team to host both a conference championship game and the Super Bowl in the same season. This is the second Super Bowl appearance in five seasons under Rams coach Sean McVay, while Cincinnati is making its first Super Bowl appearance in 31 years, bringing an end to numerous seasons filled with either losing teams or promising ones that failed to live up their potential, earning them the nickname “Bungles.”
The first Super Bowl in 1967 was a matchup of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs of the then-rival American Football League. The two leagues merged in 1970 under the NFL banner, with the AFL forming the American Football Conference and the old NFL forming the National Football Conference.