By: Hansel Chu, Assistant Sports Editor
On Sunday, Feb. 13, the Los Angeles Rams took on the Cincinnati Bengals in SoFi Stadium to determine the winner of Super Bowl XLVI. In a game where both teams battled toe-to-toe, the Rams were able to squeak out a 23-20 win thanks to a game-winning touchdown from wide receiver Cooper Kupp. The 2022 Super Bowl provided three major takeaways consisting of player and team legacies.
Cooper Kupp completed one of the greatest wide receiver seasons of all time and cemented himself as a top-three wide receiver in the league.
The 2022 Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp had a record-breaking season. In the 2021-2022 regular season, Kupp achieved the Receiving Triple Crown, a feat where a player led the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, which hasn’t been achieved since Steve Smith did it in 2005. Kupp amassed 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns in this regular season. Kupp’s 1,947 single-season receiving yards are the second highest ever in NFL history only below Calvin Johnson in 2012. Cooper Kupp was then awarded 2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and three days later won Super Bowl MVP. The only other player in NFL history to earn a Triple Crown, Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP was Jerry Rice. However, it took Rice his whole career to achieve those awards while Kupp achieved all those feats in a single season. With all the records that Kupp broke along with the accolades that he achieved this season, this is easily the greatest season from a wide receiver in NFL history.
Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are the new Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.
In a season where everyone thought the Cincinnati Bengals were going to finish last in the division with a poor record, Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase single-handedly turned the franchise around and led them to a Cinderella run to the Super Bowl. In his rookie season, Chase hauled in 1,455 receiving yards, the second-most by a rookie in NFL history. After a gruesome leg injury last year with Joe Burrow, Burrow came back better than ever, logging up 4,611 passing yards and 34 passing touchdowns. Both Burrow and Chase had record-setting games this season. Burrow threw for 525 yards in Week 16 against the Baltimore Ravens, which was the fourth-highest ever in NFL history. Chase in Week 17 against the Kansas City Chiefs broke the rookie single-game receiving yards record with 266 yards. The connection between Burrow and Chase is one of a kind, dating back to their days at Louisiana State University. The only other quarterback-wide receiver duo with this type of connection is Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. The way Burrow and Chase find each other is similar to the way Rodgers is able to find Adams with ease. The fact that Burrow and Chase are so young into their careers and are able to work so well with each other is a scary sight for the league.
The Rams prove that there are multiple ways to win a championship.
In this time and age, the blueprint for success to winning a Super Bowl is to stock up on high draft picks and develop young players, hopefully finding a generational talent to turn the franchise around and lead them to success. Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals are prime examples of franchises that found generational talents and developed young players to lead them to success. However, the Los Angeles Rams proved otherwise this past Super Bowl. The Rams traded all their future first round picks until 2024 in order to get quarterback Matthew Stafford and linebacker Von Miller, as well as signing superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr to build a superteam alongside Cooper Kupp, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Trading their whole future to go all in for a Super Bowl was a big gamble that was heavily criticized upon, but the Rams winning the Super Bowl this year proves that there are other methods to build a Super Bowl winning team.