Rams’ Cooper Kupp approaches triple receiving crown | Sports News

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Cooper Kupp only knows he’s finishing one of the greatest seasons for a wide receiver in NFL history because people keep telling him about it.

The Los Angeles Rams star insists he doesn’t watch any sports TV advertising his exploits, and he refuses to inquire about himself online. His fleeting time outside of the Rams training complex and stadiums during the season is reserved for his wife and children.

“I’m quite far from football when I’m away from football,” he said with a smile.

Still, Kupp is well aware he leads the NFL in receptions (138), yards (1,829) and touchdowns (15) as the Rams (12-4) look to win the NFC West title in in their 17th game on Sunday against San Francisco. 49ers at SoFi Stadium.

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If Kupp stays ahead in all three categories, he will only be the fourth wide receiver in NFL history to lead the league in all triple crown categories, joining Jerry Rice (1990), Sterling Sharpe (1992) and Steve Smith (2005).

“It would be a pretty incredible thing,” said Kupp. “There are a lot of good players in this league, a lot of receivers that I have a lot of respect for, so that would be very cool. The most important thing is that we win the game, lock in the division title and be ready to advance to the playoffs here, but that would be a very cool thing because of the respect I have for the players in this league and the talent. who there is. It is a difficult thing to do.

Even more prolific accomplishments are possible for Kupp: He’s 12 receptions and 136 yards from setting the NFL records in a single season in both categories. He has a chance to shatter the marks set by Michael Thomas of New Orleans (149 in 2019) and Calvin Johnson of Detroit (1,964 in 2012) respectively, although Randy Moss’ record of 23 touchdowns seems secure even. by Kupp.

Yet when asked for his chance to topple two historic brands, Kupp said he would be the first to attach a Roger Maris asterisk to those achievements.

“We are in the longest football season ever played,” said Kupp. “What the guys did to set those records… in 16 games, it wouldn’t seem fair for them to be broken in 17 games. It wouldn’t have the same weight for me as it would for the guys who did this in a 16 game season, and the accomplishments of those guys, the seasons they’ve put on. These are incredible things, incredible achievements. You have to sort of separate the two.

“We are in a new era of football here where we play 17 games a year. A lot of things that happened before that, these records carry a different weight. “

Earning a triple crown is a feat that isn’t made easy by the extra play, and Kupp is in a good position to join this club.

Kupp leads Davante Adams of Green Bay, who probably won’t play much on Sunday, by 21 receptions. He’s 320 yards comfortable past Justin Jefferson of Minnesota atop the receiving yard table. Kupp has just two touchdown passes in front of Ja’Marr Chase of Cincinnati and three ahead of Mike Evans of Tampa Bay and DK Metcalf of Seattle.

Kupp’s output has been more stable than a metronome: He’s at least 90 receiving yards in an NFL record, 12 straight games and 15 overall. He has at least seven catches in 14 games and he has scored in 10 different games.

“We have so much faith in him in everything we do, in terms of running and passing and how it impacts the game,” said offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. “But what’s remarkable is his catches and targets and things, there hasn’t really been a moment where you think about it and feel like you’ve imposed anything on him. It came at the rate of the offensive and the rate of progress.

Despite the immediate and deep connection with new quarterback Matthew Stafford that brought him to the brink of NFL history, Kupp still sees himself as a first team receiver who enjoys blocking a defenseman to blow up a teammate. as much as catching a touchdown pass.

His teammates and coaches are aware of the history Kupp could make on Sunday. They insist it won’t change their game plan – since any winning game plan for these Rams involves handing the ball over to Kupp early and often anyway.

“It’s not something you get the chance to do every day – or every season, really,” Stafford said. “So (I’m) just happy for him and his success, and sharing a little bit of that is pretty cool.”

NOTES: DB Jalen Ramsey said his altercation with S Taylor Rapp in the first quarter of last weekend’s victory in Baltimore was a momentary push between friends: “We’re fine now, but during the heat of the moment, and the two of us being super passionate, wanting to make the right choice, put ourselves in the right place for the team, we had a disagreement. He’s my dog. ” … The Rams Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America awarded its annual Good Guy Award to Ramsey for his professionalism and courtesy in his dealings with the media.

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