The problem with comparing players in any given statistic is the fact that the process creates imperfect comparisons. Receivers depend on quarterbacks. Quarterbacks and running backs depend on offensive linemen. So in the process of comparison, fans do not realize it, but they are comparing all of the factors that contribute to those statistics.
There are two chapters to LA Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp’s career. There is BMS, and then there is PMS. BMS of course is Before Matthew Stafford, while PMS is Post Matthew Stafford. Funny how that goes, isn’t it? You would think that the same caliber receiver would be consistently good, regardless of the circumstances. But that is not the way the story goes.
The chapter of Kupp’s career from the BMS section is a story about a rookie receiver who enters the NFL and has enough talent to win a starting role in a highly competitive and productive LA Rams offense. He can run precise routes, he can score touchdowns, and he can create separation with his deceptive speed. He consistently puts up yardage, averaging 66.2 yards per game, good enough for 1,058 yards per 16 game season.
Not excellent, but very good. He delivered dependable production, and his touchdown output was good enough to average seven touchdowns per 16 game season.
Post Matt Stafford (PMS) Cooper Kupp
Since the LA Rams have brought on WR Cooper Kupp, the Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp connection has been a staple of the LA Rams offense. Kupp has never caught fewer than five passes, never caught fewer than 63 receiving yards. That game was the one against the Arizona Cardinals.
In eight games, Kupp has been held off the scoreboard just twice. Once against the Cardinals. Once on the following week against the Seattle Seahawks. But the results so far? After eight games, Kupp has caught 63 of 90 passes for 924 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has already tied his career-high scoring with 10 touchdowns. And he has 924 yards, within 50 yards of his 2020 full season total, and just 237 yards behind his career-high season total from 2019.
And he is not yet halfway through the 2021 NFL season.
Kupp is on pace to put up 2000 yards receiving and 22 touchdown receptions. Both of those numbers dwarf the current Rams All-Time single-season receiver record-holders. Isaac Bruce is the All-Time single-season receiver yards leader with 1,781 receiving yards in 1995. Elroy Hirsch is the All-Time single-season scoring leader with 17 touchdowns. Kupp could claim both records this year.
Of course, the easy sledding for the Rams offense is pretty much behind them now. As the Rams move forward, they will face more challenging opponents and more accomplished defenses. But for now, the Rams certainly create headaches for defenses. And Cooper Kupp is suddenly an NFL record-setter?
So here’s a thought. Perhaps he was that good all along?