INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The Bengals' historic season came to a heartbreaking end Sunday as the Los Angeles Rams scored a last-minute touchdown to win 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI.
Cincinnati is still looking for its first Super Bowl win in franchise history.
"Obviously it stings, but we had a great year," quarterback Joe Burrow said. "We still have something to celebrate."
Burrow also tweeted after the game, apologizing for the loss.
Sorry we couldn’t get it done. Proud of our team and our fans. Love these guys— Joey Burrow (@JoeyB) February 14, 2022
The Rams got out to a 13-3 lead after quarterback Matthew Stafford threw touchdowns to Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp, but the Bengals fought back just like they have all postseason.
Running back Joe Mixon threw his first career touchdown to Tee Higgins to bring the Bengals within three, and a Jessie Bates III interception in the end zone ensured the Rams would not add to their lead before halftime.
The Bengals continued to live up to their reputation as a second-half team, scoring on the first play of the second half. Tee Higgins' touchdown did not come without controversy, though. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey begged for pass interference, but no flag was thrown. Video did show Higgins hitting Ramsey's facemask before the catch.
Immediately following the touchdown, Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie intercepted a pass to give Burrow and company excellent field position. Evan McPherson's second field goal of the game gave Cincinnati a 20-13 lead.
Los Angeles was able to march down the field, and multiple penalties on the Bengals defense gave the Rams several chances to take the lead. Penalties on the Bengals on three straight red zone plays continued to give the Rams life until Cooper finally caught a touchdown to give L.A. a 23-20 lead.
Burrow tried to lead a game-winning drive, hitting Chase for a 17-yard game with more than a minute left in regulation. After the game, Burrow said he believed the team would be able to get a field goal after its first play of the drive.
Aaron Donald, however, had other plans. On back-to-back plays, Donald stopped a run and forced an incomplete pass on 4th-and-1.
Head coach Zac Taylor said it was disappointing to get this far and not be able to win it all, but noted he is proud of this team. Burrow said they'll continue to work in the offseason and come back better next year.
"Obviously we're not satisfied with what we did this year," said Burrow. "We're going to keep getting better and attack next year with the same intensity."
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