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Winners, losers from Los Angeles Rams’ 23-20 Super Bowl LVI victory

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals

The Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl champions, turning an all-in approach into the Lombardi Trophy. On a night the NFL world will remember for ages, some of football’s biggest stars came through on the biggest stage.

Los Angeles built a team of stars, acquiring Jalen Ramsey and Matthew Stafford in an effort to put this team over the top. On Super Bowl Sunday, though, it was the homegrown talent who put this team over the top against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Aaron Donald took the field knowing it might be his last NFL game ever, something NFL fans learned minutes before kickoff. He delivered the Super Bowl MVP performance the Rams needed on the defensive side. Donald’s late-game heroics paired with clutch plays on the final drive from Cooper Kupp cemented the Rams as Super Bowl champs.

Here are the winners and losers from Super Bowl LVI.

Winner: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald once again demonstrated why he is arguably the best defensive tackle in NFL history. It proved to be a quiet first half for the perennial All-Pro selection, registering just 1 quarterback pressure on 19 pass-rush snaps. However, he came alive in the second half. He recorded 2 sacks, constantly collapsed the pocket and set up Von Miller for sacks.

Of course, he saved the biggest play of the night for last. With the Bengals needing something positive to happen on 4th-and-1, Los Angeles knew who would come through. It was the defensive tackle who slipped to them in the draft because he was undersized. If this is it, if Donald is retiring, he went out on top with a performance from the ages from a player NFL fans won’t ever forget.

Loser: Jalen Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Ramsey will go down as one of the best cornerbacks in his generation and is a future Hall of Famer. However, the All-Pro defensive weapon fell short of expectations in Super Bowl LVI. It started with Ja’Marr Chase beating him for a spectacular 46-yard catch that set up a Bengals’ score. In the second half, Tee Higgins threw Ramsey to the ground by his facemask for a 75-yard touchdown. Allowing two big plays for scores in the Super Bowl, even with a missed call, is just a bad look for the best cornerback in the NFL.

Winner: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s only fitting that the best statistical season by a wide receiver in NFL history ended with a phenomenal Super Bowl performance. The Bengals knew they had to stop Cooper Kupp and outside of a touchdown, they did an admirable job before the Rams’ final drive. When Matthew Stafford needed to move the football, though, he went to the player who led the NFL in targets, receptions and receiving yards.

Loser: Cincinnati Bengals offensive line

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a reason so many highlighted this mismatch before Super Bowl LVI. The Los Angeles Rams defensive line had more than enough talent to dominate the Cincinnati Bengals upfront and that’s exactly what happened. Things really came unglued in the second half, with Burrow constantly under duress. It didn’t completely prevent the Bengals from making things happen at times, but Cincinnati knew this group wasn’t good and it made the difference.

Quite simply, Joe Burrow won’t have a long and legendary career if the Bengals don’t devote their offseason to improving the offensive line. If the front office doesn’t do an adequate job, we likely won’t see the Bengals reach the Super Bowl again.

Winner: Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone talked about Ja’Marr Chase coming into this game and for good reason. He’s a phenomenal wide receiver, arguably one of the best in the league and he’s just a rookie. In Super Bowl LVI, though, Tee Higgins showed everyone why he can’t be slept on. Higgins’ first big play came early, snagging a touchdown pass from Tee Higgins to make it a one-score game. Then, with the Bengals desperately needing a spark, he came through once more. Needless to say, no one will sleep on Higgins moving forward after this performance.

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