The immediate futures of head coach Sean McVay and veteran defensive lineman Aaron Donald will not be determined for a month according to Los Angeles Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff.

McVay guided the Rams to Sunday's 23-20 Super Bowl LVI triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium, making him the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl in NFL history at 36-years-old.

Donald made a series of key plays to clinch victory for the Rams but speculation has been rife about the 30-year-old's playing future, although he declined to discuss it in the aftermath of victory.

“I think all of these guys are wiped,” Demoff told reporters on Monday. “When you get to this point, the gas tank is empty and you’re sitting there holding a trophy.

"I think that’s daunting to some degree when you wake up this morning and realize you’ve got to go do it all over again, and you don’t have the energy so I think the talk is actually natural.

“I would agree. I don’t think Sean’s current pace is sustainable in terms of how much work he puts in if you want to have a family. But I think the one thing, these guys all love football.

"They love being around each other… These are all natural questions that are hard to answer in the moment. A month away, two months away from everybody, and I think things will feel a lot better.”

McVay added that good things happens when you get great players pulling in the same direction, as the Rams claimed their first Super Bowl victory since 1999, when they were based in St Louis.

The Rams invested heavily in success ahead of this season, bringing in quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr and outside line backer Von Miller in the past 12 months.

"When you get around great players and great coaches who are all committed and pulling in the same direction, pulling that rope in the same direction, good things can happen," McVay told reporters on Monday.

"Each team is a new team every single year but when you have the right foundational pieces like Cooper [Kupp], [Andrew] Whitworth, Stafford, Aaron Donald, the list goes on, you just feel grateful to be a part of it.

"Because of their success other people get a chance to grow."

"I think defense is going to win this game. Somebody has to step up and stop these superstar quarterbacks, that team is going to win this game. I just think the defense has to score the knockout."

Michael Buffer has made his name as the voice of professional boxing, but he clearly knows his football, as his Super Bowl prediction proved remarkably prescient.

It was indeed a defensive player who delivered the knockout blow of Super Bowl LVI, as the Los Angeles Rams fought back to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

The league's premier defensive star, Aaron Donald, was the source of that telling strike, and it may well prove the final one of his career.

On a must-have fourth-down attempt for the Bengals following Cooper Kupp's go-ahead touchdown, Donald sliced through the interior of the Bengals' offensive line and corralled a hobbled Joe Burrow, who flung a desperation pass that proved too short for Samaje Perine.

Donald finally climbing the mountain with the Rams after years of defensive dominance will only heighten talk of retirement that emerged pre-game.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year was non-committal on his future speaking after the game, choosing to focus on a moment in which he vindicated head coach Sean McVay's faith in him.

McVay told Donald he would make the decisive play, delivering a show of confidence in a player whose consistent brilliance has merited such belief.

"He told me that when I got to the sideline. You have to be relentless. You want something bad enough, you go get it," Donald told a media conference. 

"It was right in front of us. We had the lead. It was put on the defense's shoulders to make the big stop to make us world champions. You wouldn't want it another way.

"All offseason you work, you train, you got camp, you got a long season just for this one game to be the last team standing. You have to give it everything you've got.

"It's about being relentless, showing up when you need to. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. It's truly a blessing, the opportunity to play this game, but not just play this game, play with great team-mates, great coaches, great organisation.

"Been here eight years, lot of ups-and-downs, so to see it come full circle and be a world champion, all that hard work you put into this game, that's what it's for. Finally mission complete, so it feels great."

Describing the final play, he said: "We had made a third-down stop. Fourth down, I thought they would run, but they dropped back to pass. Found a way to get the chop-club and bend the edge and found a way to get to the quarterback and make him throw an errant pass.

"I actually tried to get the ball out, but he threw it up so I was a little nervous at first. It was a huge play. It was a great few stops for the defense that we made leading up to that. I think we started taking over the game up front when we needed to. We're world champs."

Zac Taylor refused to blame the officials after a controversial defensive holding call went against the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter of their Super Bowl LVI defeat to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Bengals led 20-16 going into the final minutes at SoFi Stadium, but the Rams produced the longest go-ahead fourth-quarter drive in Super Bowl history to claim a dramatic 23-20 victory thanks to Matthew Stafford's touchdown throw to Cooper Kupp.

Three plays before that touchdown on a back-shoulder fade, the Bengals appeared to have the Rams stopped on the Cincinnati eight-yard line when Logan Wilson batted down a third-down pass to Kupp.

However, Wilson was flagged for holding despite there appearing to be minimal contact between the Bengals linebacker and Kupp, giving the Rams a new set of downs.

A touchdown throw to Kupp was then nullified by offsetting penalties before the wideout drew a pass interference flag on Eli Apple and Stafford failed on a quarterback sneak prior to making the crucial connection with the Super Bowl MVP.

Asked about Wilson's defensive stop being taken away by penalty, Taylor told a post-game media conference: "It's tough, I thought it was a really well-officiated game to be quite honest with you and sometimes it comes down to moments like those, I didn't have a great look at it but I thought the officials did a nice job."

Wilson appeared slightly more willing to criticise, hinting that Kupp may have been guilty of offensive pass interference through a push-off.

"Yeah, I mean, Cooper came up to me and tried to push off of me and I thought I made a good play on the ball and the refs saw otherwise so, it's a tough call," said Wilson.

Joe Burrow was sacked a Super Bowl-record seven times as a much-maligned offensive line fell apart in the second half, the Bengals quarterback left hobbled after appearing to injure his knee.

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald clinched victory by powering past Quinton Spain to force a desperation heave from Burrow on a do-or-die fourth down on the final drive that came up short of Samaje Perine's clutches.

On the severity of Burrow's injury, Taylor said: "It's hard to know, he was able to play and I'm just calling the plays at that point, we'll find out more. 

"I thought in the first half of this game the protection was tremendous, then in the second half we called some passes and it got difficult.

"We'll have to see how they all played out, everyone's gonna say it's the offensive line, we've gotta see exactly how that played out. We don't ever want our quarterback to get hit but that's life in the NFL sometimes.

"It's hard to lose really on the last play of the game, we were moving the ball we feel like to win the game, not tie it, we were gonna try to go win it, been working for the last six months, play 21 games to lose the Super Bowl, it's not a lot of fun."

Joe Burrow is confident the Cincinnati Bengals will get more opportunities to win a first Super Bowl after they came up just short against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Bengals led for almost the entire second half at SoFi Stadium, but Matthew Stafford's clutch touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp secured a 23-20 Rams win.

This was the Bengals' third appearance in the Super Bowl and their third defeat, although this young team ended a 31-year drought in terms of playoff wins.

Burrow, therefore, expects the Bengals to kick on and find motivation in the pain of defeat.

"It hurts," he told a news conference. "We put a lot of work into going out there and executing and performing well, and it didn't turn out the way we wanted, so it's disappointing."

Burrow added: "We're a young team, so you'd like to think we'll be back in this situation multiple times over the course of the next few years.

"We take this and let it fuel us for the rest of our careers."

The Bengals' inability to protect their quarterback was key to their loss, with Burrow taking a record-tying seven sacks – one of which left him hobbling.

Burrow said his knee "feels good", however, and refused to blame his offensive line, focusing instead on his own display.

"I was disappointed with my performance overall," he said. "I thought I could have played better, given us a better chance to win, but you live and you learn."

Burrow, who finished with 263 yards and a single touchdown on 22-of-33 passing, tried to focus on the positives, citing a quote from former quarterback Kurt Warner who had "let [defeat] sting too much and didn't celebrate what they accomplished".

"Obviously it stings, but we had a great year," Burrow said. "We didn't come out of this last game the way we wanted to, but we still have something to celebrate."

The abiding image of Super Bowl LVI looked as if it would be the sight of Odell Beckham Jr. in tears on the sideline, desperately disappointed at being unable to help his Los Angeles Rams team-mates as they laboured against the Cincinnati Bengals in his absence forced by a knee injury suffered in the second quarter.

Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald refused to let that be the case.

As they have done throughout a rollercoaster 2021 campaign, the Rams' two biggest stars stepped up to ensure the loss of the one they acquired in a blockbuster midseason signing would not prove decisive, once again rising to the occasion to propel the franchise to its first Super Bowl title in Los Angeles with a 23-20 win at their SoFi Stadium home, which was awash with Bengals fans.

Until the penultimate drive, the injury to Beckham, who scored the Rams' first touchdown, appeared set to be the turning point. After he limped off the field, the Rams saw a drive end in points just once, kicking a field goal in the third quarter to trim the Bengals' lead to 20-16. Other than that, their offensive series in the wake of Beckham's injury produced a pair of interceptions and four punts.

Having enjoyed a stunning postseason, Matthew Stafford was struggling for chemistry with any of his receivers minus the attention Beckham commands. It was a problem the Rams did not look like solving, but the solution ultimately proved a simple one, as they reverted to a policy that has often served them well this season on the final drive: feed Kupp.

Kupp had touched the ball just twice after Beckham went down. A lack of involvement for the Offensive Player of the Year and now Super Bowl MVP was never likely to produce the desired result for the Rams, so on fourth and one with the game on the line they made sure the ball ended up in his hands, Kupp coming across the formation and receiving a hand-off from Stafford that he took for seven yards.

From there, the final drive was the Kupp show, the wide receiver's final act of one of the most exciting seasons of recent memory sure to be one that will live in NFL lore.

Kupp racked up 46 scrimmage yards as he was targeted six times by Matthew Stafford, those targets resulting in 39 yards, two critical penalties and, most importantly, a leaping grab in the endzone that finally ended the Rams' wait for a title in the city they returned to in 2016 after over two decades away.

A key defensive holding call against Logan Wilson on third and eight from the Cincinnati eight-yard line was dubious, while a pass interference penalty on Eli Apple that put the ball on the one-yard line was more obvious, but there was no doubt about the quality from Kupp as he sold Apple an inside release and then adjusted perfectly to a back-shoulder throw from Stafford to erase the Bengals' 20-16 lead.

As he did in the Divisional Round and the Conference Championship, Kupp had struck a telling blow, but the Rams needed a closer on defense with a Bengals reply initially looking promising. Enter Donald.

The man most consider the best player in the NFL hadn't quite succeeded in wrecking the game even as a much-maligned Bengals offensive line disintegrated in the second half and left Joe Burrow hobbled, yet he saved his best for the most significant play of the game on a do-or-die fourth down for Cincinnati, powering past Bengals left guard Quinton Spain with a two-hand swipe move and flinging Burrow to the turf as he let loose a desperation pass that fell short of Samaje Perine.

It meant that tears of joy from Beckham – rather than his earlier anguish – would, along with that of Donald gesturing to put a ring on his finger, be one of the abiding images from a game that saw Sean McVay become the youngest Super Bowl-winning head coach in NFL history.

The Rams' road to Super Bowl glory has come the hard way, Los Angeles becoming the first team to win three successive postseason games by three points or fewer, and there has been a common thread across each of those wins. When they have needed them the most, the Rams have seen their stars – be it Stafford, Kupp and Beckham on offense or Donald and Co. on defense – deliver.

As a franchise, the Rams have eschewed the traditional team-building methods, trading away draft pick after draft pick to build a top-heavy roster and inviting scrutiny with each setback the team suffered as a result. In Kupp and Donald, though, it is two homegrown draft picks who have ensured those stumbles and any questions about the construction of their roster can now be forgotten, with the Rams free to enjoy the feeling of vindication for the next six months.

Los Angeles went off-script to build a perennial playoff contender and, thanks to that approach and the Rams' ability to come through in a cliffhanger, it is the team from the city of stars that ends the year outshining all others.

Sean McVay described the nature of the Los Angeles Rams' Super Bowl LVI triumph as "poetic" after they came up big on offense and defense to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Rams – playing at their SoFi Stadium home – had led in the first half before Odell Beckham. Jr, who scored the opening touchdown, departed with a knee injury.

The Bengals took control for a period and had a four-point advantage inside the two-minute warning.

But a record-breaking 15-play go-ahead drive ended with Matthew Stafford throwing a TD pass to Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp.

There was still work to do on defense, with the Bengals within a field goal of overtime, yet Aaron Donald stuffed the run on third-and-one and then forced an incompletion on fourth down to clinch victory.

McVay considered the dramatic conclusion fitting for his team, who became the first to win three games by three points or fewer in the same postseason thanks to this 23-20 success.

The coach, who reserved praise for the "great job" from Stafford and Kupp, who "took over the game", said: "It feels outstanding.

"You talk about a resilient team, coaches, players, I'm so proud of this group, just proud to be associated with it.

"We talk about competitive greatness all the time, being your best when the best is required. For the offense to be able to find the way and then Aaron to be able to finish it off, it's poetic."

Matthew Stafford deflected praise onto his Los Angeles Rams team-mates after leading them to Super Bowl LVI success.

Quarterback Stafford threw for 283 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 26-of-40 passing as the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

The Rams had to do it the hard way at SoFi Stadium, without Odell Beckham Jr. through injury for more than half of the game and trailing by four points inside the two-minute warning.

But Stafford and triple crown wide receiver Cooper Kupp combined for a decisive touchdown on a 15-play drive.

That was the longest go-ahead drive in terms of plays in a fourth quarter in Super Bowl history.

Stafford was asked how his work with Kupp came together, but he was eager to share the credit for the victory.

"That's hard work. That's hours together," he told CBS. "[Coach Sean McVay said], 'Matthew, you and Cooper are getting this done'. He kept calling plays for him, finding ways to get him the ball.

"He made unbelievable plays – that's what he does.

"I'm just so proud of this team, it's such a team victory. Our defense played outstanding, our special teams were big when we needed it, such a great game."

Reflecting on the game as a whole, the QB said: "I'm so proud of this team. There's so many guys on our team that deserve this, so many great players, guys that have just given their heart and soul to this team, guys that are either playing in this game or not – because of injuries or whatever it is.

"I'm just so proud of this group. That game today is the story of our season – it's up and down, it's tough, but we're a tough team, showed up late and got it done. I'm excited."

Stafford added of the secret to their success: "The way we pull for each other. We work together every single day and sharpen each other's skills.

"I get to go against that defense every single day – how can I not get better? I hope they feel the same way about us.

"We care for each other. That starts top down – Sean does an unbelievable job connecting us as players, leading the way. We follow his lead and we're here now."

Kupp, who became the second player to catch TD passes in four straight games in the same postseason, finishing with six scores in this year's playoffs, was named Super Bowl MVP.

As the celebrations started, he said: "I'm just proud of this team, the way we prepared, the way we loved all each other, trusted each other.

"I don't feel deserving of this. The guys were so good. I'm just so thankful of the guys I get to be around, the coaches, my family. I don't know what to say."

Kupp had eight catches on 10 targets for 92 yards and two TDs.

Aaron Donald delayed any decision on his NFL future after helping the Los Angeles Rams to win Super Bowl LVI at their SoFi Stadium home.

Donald, one of the league's greatest ever defensive players, is an eight-time Pro Bowler, seven-time All-Pro First-team selection and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, but team success had evaded him.

The 30-year-old was one of three starters against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday who had also started the Super Bowl LIII defeat to the New England Patriots.

But a big performance from Donald contributed to a precious 23-20 triumph, meaning he could finally get his hands on the Lombardi Trophy.

It had been suggested Donald would retire if the Rams won, but he was in no mood to discuss that possibility immediately after the game.

"I'm in a moment right now. I'm in a moment," he told CBS. "I just want to enjoy this right now with these guys.

"My kids are coming on the field – this is a promise I made to my daughter – so we're going to play in the confetti for a minute, man. I'm just going to live in the moment."

Describing his feelings, Donald said: "I'm so happy. I wanted this so bad. I dreamed this, man. I dreamed this. It's surreal. Look at this, look at this, man. I feel amazing, feel great."

He added: "It's the best feeling in the world. God is great. God is great. I'm lost for words. I don't know what to say. It's a blessing."

Sunday's game came down to fine margins, with the Rams the first team in NFL history to win three games by three points or fewer in a single postseason.

Donald finished with two sacks and three quarterback hits – including forcing an incompletion from Joe Burrow on fourth down in the final seconds. He had stuffed the run on third-and-one, too.

"Strain, strain," he said of his thoughts at that moment. "One last play to be world champs, give it everything you've got. We made a play and we won. That's all that matters."

Cooper Kupp capped a dominant season with two Super Bowl LVI touchdowns to guide the short-handed Los Angeles Rams past the Cincinnati Bengals in LA.

The Rams were heavily reliant on Kupp at their SoFi Stadium home after Odell Beckham Jr. was ruled out with a first-half knee injury, joining tight end Tyler Higbee on the sideline.

But the triple crown wide receiver had just enough to inspire a 23-20 win and deny the Bengals their first championship – with a little help from Aaron Donald.

Before Beckham went down, the Rams' superstar receiving talent had a telling impact, as their second drive ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to the former Cleveland Brown.

The Bengals could only come up with a field goal in response – Evan McPherson's record-breaking 13th consecutive successful conversion in a single postseason – and Stafford soon found Kupp for a fifth TD in four playoff games.

But the remainder of the first half did not play out nearly so smoothly for the Rams, who were pegged back by a career-first Joe Mixon pass – to Tee Higgins for a TD – and then lost Beckham to injury before Jessie Bates III picked off a deep Stafford pass in the endzone.

The Rams still took a three-point lead into halftime, yet that was gone within 12 seconds of the third quarter when an apparent foul by Higgins on Jalen Ramsey was not spotted, allowing the receiver to run in a 75-yard score from Joe Burrow's pass.

Burrow was quickly back on the field, too, as a Stafford throw bounced off Ben Skowronek – promoted in place of Beckham – and into the arms of Chidobe Awuzie for a second interception. Aaron Donald's second sack limited the Bengals to a McPherson field goal.

The Rams were also forced to settle for a field goal after Kupp overthrew a pass to Stafford as they ran the Philly Special, although some heavy punishment dished out to Burrow limited the Bengals' effectiveness on offense, giving Stafford one last drive with a four-point deficit.

After numerous penalties in the red zone, Stafford finally picked out Kupp for another TD, setting the stage for Donald to stall Burrow's reply and spark home celebrations.

Burrow on brand with big plays and sacks

Burrow's 51 sacks in the regular season set a record for any QB to start that year's Super Bowl, but he was largely kept clean in the first half – albeit he did not throw a TD either.

The second half was much more like what we have come to expect from Burrow and the Bengals' offensive line, however.

The NFL leader in passing plays of 50 yards or more (12 in 2021) added another with his TD pass to Higgins, although the controversy around that play – Higgins' hand grasped at Ramsey's facemask – appeared to contribute to a determined Rams response on defense.

Donald soon had his first sack and Burrow took seven in all, tying Roger Staubach's Super Bowl X record.

Kupp comes up trumps as only option

The reason for backing the Rams pre-game over the Bengals was their wealth of options, as evidenced by Beckham's early TD after a drive in which Kupp carried the ball into Cincinnati territory.

But when Beckham was ruled out, with Higbee and Robert Woods (two of five remaining Rams from their Super Bowl LIII defeat) already sidelined, Stafford turned his focus to Kupp alone.

This year's premier wideout was the target of a game-high 10 pass attempts and reeled in eight of them – another high – for 92 yards and those two decisive TDs.

Cooper Kupp led the injury-hit Los Angeles Rams in a late recovery to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-20 in Super Bowl LVI at their SoFi Stadium home.

Odell Beckham Jr. was officially ruled out of Super Bowl LVI after his first-half knee injury.

The Los Angeles Rams wideout required treatment in the medical tent and then the locker room after appearing to land awkwardly on his left knee.

Beckham had scored the opening touchdown of Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

But a worrying injury to the same knee in which he tore his ACL in 2020 – also against the Bengals – checked both his and the Rams' momentum.

With the Bengals 20-16 up in the third quarter, Beckham was downgraded to out.

The Rams were already without tight end Tyler Higbee, who failed to recover from an MCL sprain in time to play at SoFi Stadium.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford also required attention on the sideline in the third quarter, having limped off the field with an apparent ankle issue.

Odell Beckham Jr. returned to the Los Angeles Rams locker room in the first half of Super Bowl LVI after appearing to sustain a worrying knee injury.

Beckham, who had scored the opening touchdown of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals, had to be helped from the field in the second quarter.

The former Cleveland Browns wide receiver seemed to land awkwardly on his left knee when attempting to make a catch.

Beckham tore his ACL in his left knee against the Bengals while still a Browns player in Week 7 in 2020.

On Sunday, Beckham received treatment in the medical tent after leaving the field before departing for the locker room, he was subsequently announced as questionable to return.

Cooper Kupp claimed a share of NFL history with his second-quarter touchdown in the Los Angeles Rams' strong start to Super Bowl LVI.

Outstanding wide receiver Kupp captured the receiving triple crown in 2021, becoming the first player since 2005 to lead the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs.

And the Rams superstar's form has continued into the playoffs, as he headed into Sunday's Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals with four TD receptions across three postseason games – including at least one in each.

It came as no surprise then when Kupp added another score at SoFi Stadium that gave the Rams a 13-3 lead.

An 11-yard catch made Kupp just the second player in NFL history to have a TD reception in four consecutive games in a single postseason. Larry Fitzgerald did so for the Arizona Cardinals following the 2008 season.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford had already thrown one TD pass to Odell Beckham Jr., meaning he continued his run of tossing two or more scores in playoff games.

Stafford was already the first Rams QB to throw multiple TDs in three straight games in one postseason, his early success against the Bengals making him the first to do so in four straight including streaks that spanned seasons.

Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah will play in Super Bowl LVI despite suffering a knee injury in the AFC Championship Game.

Uzomah sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament during the Bengals' comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago.

However, the tight end has been able to make a speedy recovery and was not on the Bengals' inactive list for the season-ending showpiece against the Los Angeles Rams.

During Monday's virtual media day, Uzomah said: "I'm not missing the biggest game of my life.

"I'm not missing it. That's my approach going every day into rehab."

He has made good on that promise and will provide Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow with an extra weapon to add to an already impressive list.

Uzomah caught a career-high five touchdown passes during the regular season and averaged over 10 yards per reception for the third time in four seasons.

There was talk Sean McVay could ride off into the sunset after Super Bowl LVI, but both he and counterpart Zac Taylor are set to stick around as head coaches for the long term.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Rams coach McVay and Bengals coach Taylor are in line to receive contract extensions from their respective teams once the dust settles on Sunday's clash at SoFi Stadium.

McVay has two seasons remaining on his deal, while the 2022 campaign is the last year of Taylor's current contract.

There had been reports that 36-year-old McVay, who has previously expressed a desire not to coach into his 60s, could step away from coaching at the end of the season, with talk of a potential move into broadcasting.

Such suggestions appear to have been erroneous, as the indication is now that he will continue a head coaching career in which he has reached the playoffs in all but one of his five seasons in charge of the Rams.

McVay also looks set to be tied to the quarterback that has led his team back to the Super Bowl for the long term.

Indeed, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported the Rams are set to hammer out a contract extension with Matthew Stafford, whom the Rams traded a pair of first-round picks to acquire in the offseason.

Stafford's contract expires at the end of next season but, regardless of whether he gets the job done on home turf, the Rams are poised to reward him for a campaign in which he set franchise records for completions (404), passing yards (4,886) and touchdowns (41).

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