Can LA Rams WR Cooper Kupp’s 2022 season outdo 2021?

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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2022 is a pivotal season for the legacy of LA Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Known as a very good receiver since arriving in the NFL with the 69th overall pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, he had flirted with greatness for years. Sometimes he was hampered by injury, sometimes he was limited by the quarterback throwing to him, but that burning competitiveness was there all along.

He was always quite good, but in his first four NFL seasons, he had broken through the 1000-yard barrier just once. He might have done so a second time in 2020, but Kupp tested positive for COVID-19, and starting quarterback Jared Goff shattered his throwing hand for the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Kupp would return to compete against the Seattle Seahawks but would injure his knee and not suit up to face the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.

Cooper Kupp’s absence fed 2021 performance

Kupp’s absence in that critical game carried a semblance of his absence in 2018 when he would suffer an ACL injury and sit out half the season. Fans have since pointed to Kupp’s absence in 2018 and 2020 playoff games as contributing factors as to why the team did not find more success.

That case was made further by the incredible performance Kupp showcased in the Rams’  NFL Playoff run last season.  In just four postseason games, LA Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp caught 33 of 42 passes (a 78.6 percent catch rate) for 478 yards and six touchdowns, 19 first downs, and a 14.5 yards per reception average.

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Perhaps even more fundamentally impressive is the fact that NFL defenses knew that Kupp would be targeted.  After all, he caught 145 of 191 passes ( a 75.9 percent catch rate) for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. That single-season performance set two franchise records for a wide receiver in Rams history and came in as the runner-up for a third record.