Ridaught: Super finish

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Is it just me or does anyone else see the irony that the day after the biggest football game of the year for the fellas (Super Bowl Sunday), that Monday is one of the biggest days of the year for the ladies?!

For us guys, and lots of women who actually do like football, last night’s Super Bowl was just that super, unless you’re a Cincinnati Bengals fan.

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The Los Angeles Rams orchestrated a 15-play, 79-yard drive that took 4:48 off the clock that was capped by a Matthew Stafford 1-yard touchdown pass to Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp with 1:25 remaining to give the Rams a 23-20 come-from-behind win.

Two former Gators played a part in the title run.

Second-year wide receiver Van Jefferson, who prior to the game had 50 receptions for 802 yards and six touchdowns in his first season as full-time starter, finished with four catches for 23 yards as Kupp and Odell Beckham, Jr., prior to his knee injury, stole the show.

Hours later, Jefferson celebrated the birth of his second child.

Brandon Powell, who is in his fourth NFL season, finished with one kick return for 17 yards and four punt returns for only 25 yards. However, Powell’s 22.2-yard punt return average this season was the most in the NFL and he was one of only two players to return a punt for a touchdown this season.

Meanwhile, a total of three former Gators were on the Bengals’ active roster.

Despite not dressing, Vernon Hargreaves III was penalized during the game. He was ripped on social media for it.

Third-year tackle Fred Johnson has played sparingly this year. However, he did get his first start against the Denver Broncos back in December.

But the former Gator that stood out the most in the NFL this year was Bengals’ starting kicker Evan “Money Mac” McPherson.

Heading into Super Bowl LVI, McPherson had game-winning kicks against Tennessee and Kansas City in the playoffs. He was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for December.

Last night, McPherson made both field goal attempts, the second of which tied Adam Vinatieri for the most made field goals in a single NFL postseason.

McPherson was 14-for-14 on field goals in the playoffs and he was 12-of-14 on kicks beyond 50 yards this season. His 12 field goals from 50-plus are the most in NFL history.

This marked the 20th straight year that Florida was represented in the Super Bowl. That’s the third longest active streak in the nation.

It was also the 24th time that a former Gator had been a part of a Super Bowl winning team.

The royal blue and gold won Super Bowl 56, but the Orange and Blue were well represented.


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