It seems almost sacrilegious to state that the Rams need more from Cooper Kupp this season, but they do. The young wide receiver recently signed an extension to keep him well paid and starting for the Rams for the foreseeable future. But has been the case with several extended skill players, Kupp’s production has taken a significant turn for the worse this season.
Early in the season, Kupp had pulled in 23 of 28 passes thrown his way for 297 yards and two touchdowns over four games. Over the next four games, he caught just 25 of 43 passes for 230 yards and zero touchdowns. Many more passes, nearly the same number of catches, fewer yards, and no scores. For the player the Rams want to build their offense around, he has not done a good job of stepping up.
The Rams have both Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp as veterans. But they also have Van Jefferson, Brycen Hopkins, Trishton Jackson, and even Nsimba Webster on the bench. Is it that the Rams simply are too predictable, and when defenses become stingy, the Rams habitually throw to Kupp to ride the storm out? Defenses have the Rams tendencies anticipated now. While Kupp is still very dangerous, the Rams sheer volume of passes thrown to him has resulted in the offense stalling repeatedly. The Rams have targeted Kupp more this season, and yet the result has not yielded more yards and far fewer scores.
Kupp is not playing well as the primary target for Goff this season. His best game so far was against the Buffalo Bills. He’ll have an opportunity to play well against teams in the second half of the season. These Rams need to distribute the ball on offense. The team does well when seven or more players get multiple targets. While Kupp needs to do a better job at catching the ball, the Rams need to create more targets for secondaries to defend. Kupp is a perfect example of ‘less is more’. He does not flourish when he is targeted 20 times in a game. His sweet spot seems to be from six to eleven targets. With as many weapons as the Rams have on offense, finding other targets to throw the ball to should not be very difficult.