The LA Rams can look back on the season and rationalize whatever the team wishes to justify. There was no reason to throw to Cooper Kupp late in the game against the San Francisco 49ers. Kupp was injured on that play, which should have been a wake-up call for the offense. Instead, the LA Rams hit the snooze button.
The Rams had no business asking backup quarterback John Wolford to throw the football 36 times against the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams successfully advanced the football on the ground in their first offensive drive, but after falling behind the Rams predictably abandoned running and began their pass-centric strategy. The Rams needed to run the ball in Week 10 against the Arizona Cardinals.
But the team was so pleased with WR Cooper Kupp’s breakout season in 2021, that the team could not help overworking him throughout the 2022 NFL season. In just nine games played, the LA Rams had already targetted Kupp 98 times.
Kupp’s bad day grew much worse
Against the Cardinals in Week 10, the Rams targetted him five times which resulted in three completions and a negative (-1.0 yards) game. Even the television commentators, who witnessed Kupp’s tight coverage, suggested that the Rams use him as a decoy and throw elsewhere.
It simply made no sense to throw his way, but the Rams’ play calling this season shows little ability to modify strategy based on what defenses are giving up. In nine games, Kupp was targeted on average nearly 12 times a game.
That is on par with his workload from one season earlier, a season that carried well into February 2022. In fact, factoring in his postseason play, Kupp was targetted over 233 times and caught 178 passes for 2,425 yards and 22 touchdowns. That’s a lot of production.
But Kupp was on track for more of the same this season. Was being the operative word, as his 75 catches on 98 targets through nine games projected Kupp to 142 catches on 185 targets for this season. That’s a lot of work.