The Los Angeles Rams came from behind to win 'the greatest show on turf' 23-20 over the Cincinnati Bengals in their home stadium.
Article originally published on 14/02/2022
The Bengals, who just two years ago had been the worst team in the NFL, couldn't complete arguably the biggest turnaround in the league's history, falling short at the final hurdle.
The Rams however did manage a Hollywood ending of their own by taking the Vince Lombardi Trophy in their home, SoFi Stadium, becoming the second team ever to win the NFL Championship in their own back yard, after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first to do it last year.
Wide receiver Cooper Kupp took home MVP honours after two touchdown catches, adding to an already historic season in which he led the NFL in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Kupp's late second touchdown, with just a minute and 25 seconds on the clock, was the final score of the game and swung it decisively in the Rams' favour.
The Bengals' offensive line has been their weakness throughout the year and the same proved to be true in the face of the formidable Rams' pass rush, spearheaded by Aaron Donald and Von Miller.
Quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked seven times, making it 19 sacks suffered during the postseason for the young star, a new NFL record.
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The Rams spent heavily in the offseason, using up draft picks and spending money on free agents to improve their team. Matthew Stafford, Von Miller, Jalen Ramsey and Odell Beckham Jr were all brought in to improve the team at significant cost but the gamble by owner Stan Kreonke proved successful.
Next season looks bright again for the Rams, who have solved their major issues and have one of the most dominant defences in the NFL.
Los Angeles are priced up at 10/1 to win next year's Vince Lombardi Trophy, they would be the first team since the New England Patriots in 2004 to win back-to-back championships.
Fans may be wary however of losing star defensive player Aaron Donald, with speculation that he may retire following his side's NFL Championship success.
Despite their disappointing loss, the Bengals are set up to improve in the offseason.
They have a young team, spearheaded by the duo of Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja'marr Chase, who should only improve.
To add to their young talent base, only the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars are projected to have more cap space to spend than Cincinnati, meaning they could be big spenders between now and the start of next season.
With their issues on the offensive line it seems likely that they will use their money on improving that, with free agents in that area possibly heading to Cinici.
With plenty of potential, Bengals are 14/1 to win next year's NFL Championship.
Despite the Rams and Bengals contesting this year's NFL Championship, they are only third and fifth respectively in the betting to take the crown in the 2022/23 season.
The Kansas City Chiefs, who were narrowly beaten by Cincinnati in the AFC Championship game, head the market currently at 13/2. Patrick Mahomes and co reached the last two NFL Championships before this one and are fancied to go close again.
At the same price are the Buffalo Bills, who fell short at the hands of the Chiefs in the last two years but have a young quarterback in Josh Allen who looks destined for the top.
The San Francisco 49ers are 12/1 after their loss in the NFC Championship game.
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