Ram’s Kupp is the MVP You Haven’t Been Paying Attention to

by | Dec 22, 2021

Rams QB Matthew Stafford was generating early MVP chatter with his torrid passing pace. Now, his favorite target is the talk of Tinseltown — and a legitimate candidate in his own right.

Cooper Kupp passed Isaac Bruce for the most single-season receptions in team history during Tuesday’s 20-10 win over Seattle — which tied Los Angeles with Arizona for the best record in the NFC West.

Though he isn’t exactly owning the MVP conversation — and Stafford still has better odds (+1,000*) — Kupp (+3,500*) is making a run at several franchise and league milestones.

Kupp leads the NFL in receptions (122), receiving yards (1,625), and receiving touchdowns (14) — he’d be the first to win the receiving Triple Crown since Steve Smith in 2005.
The 28-year-old will almost certainly break single-season franchise records for receiving yards (Bruce, 1,781) and TDs (Elroy Hirsch, 17).
He’s closing in on the league’s single-season records for receptions and yards — 27 receptions shy of Michael Thomas (149) and 339 yards behind Calvin Johnson (1,964).

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The Rams made a worthy investment when they signed him to a three-year, $48 million extension in 2020 — he’s overproducing on the 18th-largest WR contract in the NFL by total cash.

Having a 17th game on the schedule this season undoubtedly helps his chances, but Kupp could pass several marks within 16 — and tie himself forever to Rams legend Hirsch, who also won the Triple Crown in his record-setting 1951 season.

Also what happened to Tom Brady and his Bucs?

Tampa’s humbling 9-0 loss at home to the Saints on Sunday was compounded by injuries to several key offensive weapons, including RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring), WR Chris Godwin (knee), and Mike Evans (hamstring).

Now, with the Bucs unsure if they’ll place Fournette on injured reserve and Godwin done for the season, Tom Brady will be scrambling for solutions.

The GOAT is coming off his worst performance of the season — 214 yards, no TDs, and a pick — and now at the very least has to do without Fournette and Godwin, two options he leans on heavily.

Godwin leads Tampa in total receptions (98) and total yards (1,103).
Fournette is right behind him as Brady’s second-favorite target (69) — the duo account for 40.6% of his completions this season.
Last postseason, Fournette (18) and Godwin (16) caught the most passes from Brady.

With both stars’ long-term futures in play — Godwin ($15.9M AAV) and Fournette ($3.3M) are unrestricted free agents next season — the Bucs found a short-term fix by signing RB Le’Veon Bell, pending a physical.

But if the Bucs are going to repeat this season, snatching the No. 1 seed from the Packers will be crucial to secure a bye and recover — and Brady might not have the firepower.


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