Cooper Kupp is playing out of his mind, and if it weren’t for the fact that he’s playing for WR ‘U’ of the NFL, that might even make him one of the top-three receivers in Rams franchise history.
On Sunday against the Detroit Lions, Cooper Kupp set a new season-high with 10 catches, and he also had 156 yards with two touchdowns. It is the second time this season that Kupp has crossed over the 150-yard mark and the fourth time already that he has caught two touchdowns.
With his historic start to the 2021 season, Cooper Kupp now leads all NFL players with 56 receptions, he leads all NFL players with 809 yards, and he leads all NFL players with nine touchdowns.
Attention—ALL NFL PLAYERS—are you listening yet?!?!
That includes not just players of present, but players of past.
- Kupp’s four games with two touchdowns is already close to breaching an historic level; only 21 times before has a player had at least two touchdowns five times in a season. Randy Moss did that three times, including the record of eight 2-TD games in 2007.
- Kupp is the fifth player to ever post four 2-TD games in his team’s first seven contests of a season. Moss (2007), Bobby Mitchell (1962), Steve Watson (1981) are also in there, but so is Calvin Johnson (2011). Who was Megatron’s QB in 2011?
- Kupp’s 809 receiving yards is the 16th-highest total ever through a team’s first seven games of a season—but he is only FOURTH among Rams receivers. Elroy Hirsch posted 961 yards and 11 touchdowns in LA’s first seven games of the 1951 season, which stands as the second-most ever behind the 1,044 of Charley Hennigan in 1961. Hirsch finished the ‘51 season with 1,495 yards and 17 touchdowns. In 1995, Isaac Bruce had 45 catches for 833 yards in the first seven games. And in 2000, Bruce caught 41 passes for 821 yards and seven touchdowns in the Rams’ first seven games of “the Super Bowl hangover” period.
- Kupp’s 56 receptions is tied for the 13th-most ever through seven games; Adam Thielen set the record with 67 receptions for 822 yards in 2018. Kupp’s mark is the most-ever for a Rams receiver.
- Henry Ellard had 46 catches for 801 yards in the first seven games of 1989; Torry Holt had 52 catches for 778 yards and eight touchdowns in the first seven games of 2003; Bob Boyd had 34 catches for 767 yards in the first seven games of 1954.
- That means that seven of the top 40 starts to a season all-time belong to Rams wide receivers.
Cooper Kupp has already had five games this season with at least 90 yards and a touchdown, and there are 10 more regular season contests left to play.
If there is anything I’ve learned after covering the NFL for a while now, it’s that if a player is ‘on pace’ at midseason to do something unbelievable, it’s probably not going to unfold that way. As of today, Cooper Kupp is on pace for 136 catches, 1,955 receiving yards, 20 touchdowns. In a 17-game season, who knows what is possible, but it will probably be similar to a 16-game season...just one game longer.
How are we feeling Cooper Kupp managers pic.twitter.com/4glgJQBtVp— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 24, 2021
The NFL record for receiving yards in a season belongs to Calvin Johnson, when he posted 1,964 yard with Matthew Stafford as his quarterback in 2012.
The NFL record for receptions is 149 by Michael Thomas, and 136 receptions would tie for the third-most all-time.
And only two players—Randy Moss and Jerry Rice—have ever caught 20 touchdowns in a season.
One thing to be encouraged by is that Kupp has been targeted at least 10 times by Stafford in every contest this season, and Kupp has yet to make him pay dearly for trusting him; Kupp’s posted at least 10 yards per target in four contests, already surpassing the number of such games he had with Jared Goff in 2020. He’s caught at least nine passes four times already, just the 12th time in history that a player has done that in the first seven games of a season. And if nobody on the defense is going to stop Cooper Kupp, why should we expect Stafford or Sean McVay to hold him back?
Prepare for a new standard at receiver. Even for the LA Rams.
Rams single-season records:
Catches - Isaac Bruce, 119 (1995)
Yards - Bruce, 1,781 (1995)
Touchdowns - Elroy Hirsch, 17 (1951)