This LA Rams player has a score to settle

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Matthew Stafford, Cam Akers
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Matthew Stafford, Cam Akers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

Out of sight, out of mind. For the LA Rams team, and the players that won Super Bowl LVI, have first-hand experience with the myopic memory retention of NFL experts, analysts, and pundits. After all, how do you explain a team falling from being projected as a Super Bowl contender in 2022 to a team that will compete for the top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft?

It doesn't make sense, does it?

Of course, the debut season of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford starts it all off. You see, he nearly broke through the 5000 pass yards plateau if not for the LA Rams' own success. In two games, the Rams had climbed to such an insurmountable lead that the starters rested in the fourth quarter. In those games, Stafford was sizzling good.

And at the end of the year? Matthew Stafford had passed for 4,886 yards. I am confident that he could have passed for 114 yards more in the two NFL quarters in which he sat on the bench. I suppose winning Super Bowl LVI will have to suffice as a consolation prize.

What about this Rams star?

While LA Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp was in the NFL spotlight that entire 2021 NFL season, did anyone capture the fact that he, too, sat for two games in the fourth quarter? If he had played, does anyone doubt that he would have broken the All-Time NFL Single Season Receiving Yards record of 1,964 yards set by Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson in 2012? If you need a reminder, Cupp ended the season with 1,947 yards.

But even at his record pace, one All-Time record was never threatened by Kupp. That is receiving touchdowns.

Cooper Kupp ended the 2021 NFL season as the runner-up to the NFL All-Time Single Season Receiving records in yards and receptions. But his 16 touchdowns scored that season were no better than tied for 15th place on the records list. The record holder for that feat is 23 receiving touchdowns set by New England Patriots' Randy Moss with 23 receiving touchdowns in 2007.

So will Cooper Kupp settle the score in 2023? If the LA Rams have any hope of winning games, he will need to challenge that scoring record.

Running success leads to unleashing Kupp

If the Rams can establish success in short yardage rushes early in the season, I think Kupp has a chance to challenge that record. Kupp' success is creating separation, and the NFL football field gets rather condensed in the red zone. That gives Kupp less room to operate, and tends to favor secondary coverage attempting to defend passes to Kupp.

But if defenses had to give an honest assessment of the Rams' ability to run before converging on Kupp, that balances things out nicely. When the LA Rams had a dangerous rushing offense in 2018, Kupp scored six touchdowns on 55 targets. good enough for a 10.9 percent scoring rate. Had that same rate applied in his 2021 season? He would have scored 21 touchdowns.

Pie in the sky dreams? Perhaps. But there were many who scoffed and trolled when I believed that Matthew Stafford could throw for 5000 yards in his first season in the LA Rams offense. Sometimes those optimistic takes do pan out, despite those who seem to relish negativity.

The LA Rams will need to put up plenty of points on the scoreboard, and veteran wide receiver Cooper Kupp is one key for the Rams' offense to achieving that goal. Does LA Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp have a score to settle this season? If it were just to set a record, then I would say no. But his team needs him to do exactly that.

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And I simply cannot see Kupp letting the team down.