Rams receiver Cooper Kupp is having a special season. One of the most special seasons in NFL history, for any receiver.
Tuesday night’s nine-catch, 136-yard output places Kupp at 122 receptions for 1,625 yards through 14 games. At that pace, he’ll finish with 148 catches and 1,973 yards.
Two years ago, Saints receiver Michael Thomas set the record for receptions with 149. Nine years ago, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson generated a record 1,964 receiving yards.
Why stop at 1,973? Kupp may as well try to get to 2,000, and the Rams likely will try to get him there.
Obviously, he’d be setting either record or both of them with an extra game. So what? When the season expanded from 14 to 16 games in 1978, no one complained when, for example, Eric Dickerson broke O.J. Simpson’s single-season rushing record. (Simpson gained more yards per game with 2,003 in 14 than Dickerson’s 2,105 in 16.) The season how has 17 games, and it’s not going back to 16. The single-season records based on 16 games necessarily will fall, sooner or later. (They’ll fall again when the season moves to 18 games.)
Kupp continues to have long odds for MVP, although he has shot from 100-1 to 40-1 at PointsBet since Tuesday. No receiver ever has won the award, presumably because whenever a receiver has a special season, his quarterback did, too. Matthew Stafford, at 10-1, will take votes from Kupp, who may take votes from Stafford. It makes it harder for either of them to win.
All that matters is winning on the field. The Rams, after losing three in a row, have won three in a row. They can take the NFC West. They can take the No. 1 seed. They possibly can get to the Super Bowl Bowl. They potentially can win it. That’s far more important than a regular-season prize that hasn’t ended with a Lombardi Trophy since Rams quarterback Kurt Warner in 1999.