Can Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp outdo their 2021 debut?
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams hoped for good things out of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford when the front office traded a pretty solid package for the guy. That exchange, a veteran quarterback to a team built to win now, and a younger quarterback with three valuable draft picks to a team rebuilding to compete in the future, may have crystalized the efforts of both NFL organizations.
In short, the LA Rams and the Detroit Lions may have emerged from that trade as stronger teams.
But we’ve already done the look back to that trade, so it’s not where we intend to go in this article. Instead. it’s time to examine the magical chemistry that developed almost instantly between QB Matthew Stafford and WR Cooper Kupp. After all, there is quite a story there.
And it’s time we start telling it.
The Matthew Stafford effect
For starters, Stafford has proven to have had the ability to synch up with a receiver before. He did it before with WR Calvin Johnson in 2012. Curiously enough, Stafford would not be lauded in that season either. 2014 was the only season that Stafford made the Pro Bowl, one of his less productive years.
In the record-setting season, Calvin Johnson, a.k.a. Megatron, recorded 1,964 receiving yards and five touchdowns. That record stands today. The second most receiving yards? 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns were recorded by WR Cooper Kupp in 2021.
In both cases, Matthew Stafford was the quarterback throwing the ball. In both cases, Stafford targetted his receiver nearly a third of the forward passes thrown in the offense.