It’s a Wonderful Life for LA Rams Matthew Stafford/Cooper Kupp

Mandatory Credit: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Mandatory Credit: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. /

LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is setting or threatening to break Rams All-Time single-season records. Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is threatening to break both NFL and Rams franchise All-Time single-season receiving records. Playing apart on separate teams, both were recognized as very good by NFL analysts. But together? They are putting together one special season.

For Matthew Stafford, he’s been good putting up impressive statistics. In 2011, he threw for over 5,000 yards. That same year he threw for 41 touchdowns. In 2015, despite a 7-9 record, his completion rate was an eye-popping 67.2 percent. He’s made touchdown passes on 6.5 percent of his throws in 2019. He’s thrown an interception on only 1.7 percent of his attempts.

But in 2021, he’s on track to throw for over 5,000 yards once more. He’s on track to toss 43 touchdowns. He is completing 67.6 percent of his passes. Finally, he’s throwing touchdowns on 7.0 percent of his passes, but only throwing interceptions on 2.0 percent of his attempts. To say that he’s having a good season is a huge slight. He’s having the type of year that could define his career and launch him into consideration for the NFL Hall of Fame.

The drawback to Matthew Stafford throughout his career with the Detroit Lions is the fact that he has not won the ‘big game’. Detractors point to his career 0-3 record in the NFL playoffs as proof positive that he simply does not have the competitive edge to defeat better teams in the NFL. That same reputation reared its ugly head once more this season, as Stafford and the LA Rams fell into a three-game losing streak.

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Kupp makes the perfect target for Stafford

The LA Rams have known that wide receiver Cooper Kupp is good. But could anyone have predicted with any degree of accuracy the type of season Kupp is having this year? In many ways, Kupp’s 2021 production is close to doubling the production of other seasons.

We know that Kupp has already shattered the Rams All-Time single-season record for receptions. Most impressive of all is the fact that he’s done so in just 14 games in the 2021 NFL season. Kupp is not just having a career-high year. He’s having an NFL MVP type of season. Whether or not he is awarded the distinction, he is head and shoulders above the other receivers in the NFL this season.

But much like Jimmy Stewart in the Christmas Classic – It’s A Wonderful Life, Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are making such a huge impact on one another that it’s quite easy to overlook the synergy that they are creating this year on the football field.

The fact of the matter is that while Cooper Kupp has been quite good, he’s never come close to demolishing NFL secondaries like he has this season. He’s recorded over 90+ receiving yards in 13 of 14 games this year. He’s scored at least one touchdown in nine of 14 games so far this season. And his 9.9 yards per target is only second to his 10.3 yards per target earned in 2018, the year that the LA Rams made it to the Super Bowl.

Will the Rams make it there again? To do so, they’ll need the best out of both Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. Thankfully, that’s exactly what they are delivering so far this season.

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