The LA Rams have tried to free up WR Cooper Kupp. This weekend, he puts up season-high yards and scores
The LA Rams have been very successful at running the ball recently, even in football games where the passing game has been a bit off-kilter. But that didn’t discourage the Rams from passing the ball with ever more frequency. One of the reasons that the Rams have struggled through the air has been the sudden out-of-synch connection between Rams QB Jared Goff and WR Cooper Kupp.
Over the past four games, the Goff to Kupp connection has only put up 25 receptions out of 43 passes, for 220 yards, and no scores. While that may not seem alarming, Cooper Kupp has projected as a steadily improving receiver until now. With that sudden hiccup, Kupp is on target to have fewer touchdowns, fewer yards-per-reception, and may not reach the ever-important 1,000-yards receiving this year.
Back on track
Kupp will be back on track this week. After a career-high 20 targets against the Miami Dolphins, many expect the Rams offense to feature other receivers. While Robert Woods will certainly have a huge game, and rookie receiver Van Jefferson could finally show up big in the box score, Kupp will get plenty of passes thrown his way.
The Seattle defense has struggled against passing offenses all season. Their defense has been so bad, that the team picked up DE Carlos Dunlap and DT “Snacks” Damon Harrison, both of whom will play against the Rams. Will that make a huge difference? Hopefully not.
Seattle makes roster moves
Even as the LA Rams made roster moves for this game, the Seattle Seahawks counters with moves of their own.
The Rams were fortunate in that the Seahawks played Dunlap against the Buffalo Bills. In that game, the Seahawks pass rush sprang to life as they went from 12 sacks to 19 sacks from that one game. But the Rams were able to observe what the Seahawks did and should be able to counter long enough to keep Goff safe in the pocket.
Seahawks offense knows one speed – fast
However you look at it, the Seattle Seahawks are all about passing the ball. That strategy has placed the Seahawks into an offensive sprint mode all season. The Seahawks have only fallen behind twice early – once to the Minnesota Vikings and once to the Buffalo Bills. While they came back to defeat the Vikings, they were not as fortunate against the Bills.
Their only other loss was the loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Much like many of the LA Rams games, the Cardinals became very stingy on defense in the second half to come back in overtime to win that game 37-34.
Go-to guy Kupp will be the go-to guy in this one.
While the Seahawks offense will no doubt test the Rams’ ability to defend the pass all over the field, the Rams will be certain to return the favor. That means that the team will target Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp early and often in this game. Kupp should flourish in this one, as the Seahawks are without CB Shaquille Griffin, and CB Quintin Dunbar is questionable with a knee injury that prevented him from practicing all week.
Kupp will see plenty of passes coming his way. While I don’t think he will be thrown to 20 times, I can see ten or more coming his way. I don’t that will bother Kupp, who can turn that many passes into a huge day. This game will not all fall upon the shoulders of Cooper Kupp. But make no mistake, the Rams will get plenty of passing yards this weekend. Look for Kupp to end the day with over 120 yards receiving and two touchdowns.