Kupp could be surprise hero for Rams in Wild Card round meeting with Falcons

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Players like Cooper Kupp will need to step up in a big way for the Los Angeles Rams when facing the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card round.

Around this time last year, the Los Angeles Rams were just beginning their offseason trying to figure out a way to improve their offense after finishing dead last in the NFL by only averaging 14 points per game. For obvious reasons, upgrading the wide receiver position was a top priority for the Rams since Tavon Austin turned out to be a complete bust trying to be the No. 1 option in the passing game.

While the additions of Robert Woods (free agency) and Sammy Watkins (trade with Buffalo Bills) have turned out to work wonders for Los Angeles in the passing game, the selection of Cooper Kupp in April’s NFL Draft may go down as one of the biggest steals from 2017. Selecting a rookie out of a smaller school like Eastern Washington can seem like a risk, but when looking at the numbers put together by Kupp (428 passes for 6,464 yards to go along with 73 touchdowns) during his four years with the Eagles, the Rams felt confident enough in their selection during the third round.

As a rookie, Kupp wasted no time making an impact for Los Angeles after quickly developing the necessary chemistry with Jared Goff leading up to training camp. Even in the preseason, Kupp looked more like a veteran instead of a rookie when looking at some of the key plays he was making for the Rams, although there were a few costly mistakes throughout the regular season.

Still, if Kupp’s first NFL season is any indication of what the future holds after the rookie caught 62 passes for 869 yards to go along with five touchdowns, Los Angeles is going to be in amazing shape in the passing game for years. And as far as Saturday’s playoff game against the Falcons is concerned, Goff and the Rams could end up heavily relying on Kupp since they’re going to need all the points they can get.

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With Atlanta’s defense most likely focusing most of their attention on the whereabouts of Watkins and Woods, this could open the door up for Kupp to see a heavy dose of targets from Goff. Sean McVay‘s team may seem to be at a disadvantage from an experience standpoint, but when looking at how Kupp and the rest of his teammates handled certain pressure situations throughout the regular season, the Rams are ready for that next step in earning a potential trip to the Super Bowl by trying to take down the defending NFC champions in the Falcons.