This is a remarkable achievement. Cooper Kupp has been named as the 2021 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, not just beating out teammate Matthew Stafford, but also every other quarterback who had much greater odds than him going into the season. Not only every quarterback, but also a long list of other players at his position.
You can’t be blamed for not predicting the type of season that Cooper Kupp just had, leading the NFL in catches (145), yards (1,947), and touchdown catches (16), and then again with hindsight, didn’t we always know that he was special? That he might just need more help?
Kupp entered 2021 with one career season over 1,000 yards, and only two campaigns with more than 65 catches. It was also clear that if he had always been healthy and if he had more and better opportunities, he could do more. At Eastern Washington, he had proven to be historically great from the very beginning, even garnering praise from Jerry Rice after his freshman season.
The two shared a phone call back then, and now they are two of only three wide receivers in history to have won the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award.
Just got off the phone with Jerry Rice.— Cooper Kupp (@CooperKupp) December 17, 2013
Rice was honored in 1987 and 1993, while Michael Thomas won it in 2019. I wonder if Rice is going to call him again? He’ll probably wait until after the Super Bowl.
Cooper Kupp did not win MVP, that went to Aaron Rodgers. But the night was far from over for the Rams.
Left tackle and all-time great person Andrew Whitworth won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. As Debbie Emery wrote in September, Whitworth’s “Big Whit Homes for LA Families” is an important part of his life as an Angeleno.
Former Rams coach and Super Bowl champion with the 1999 Greatest Show on Turf, Dick Vermeil was also elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Now the 2021 Rams need to cap this week off with a 2022 Super Bowl win.