Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp says breaking reception records for the 17-game season wouldn’t keep the same weight
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif .– Receiver Cooper Kupp will have several opportunities to make history on Sunday as the Los Angeles Rams play a regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, but the fifth-year pick and the first-time Pro Bowl suggested it Breaking records in an extended season would require an asterisk.
“We are in a new age of football,” said Kupp. “We play 17 soccer games a year and a lot of the things that happened before that, these records have a different weight because they were played in those 16 games.”
Kupp is well on the way to becoming the fourth player during the Super Bowl era to earn the NFL’s “Triple Crown” as a leader in receptions, touchdown receptions and courtyards.
“It would be a pretty incredible thing,” said Kupp, who would join the company of Hall of Fame recipient Jerry Rice (1990), Sterling Sharpe (1992) and Steve Smith (2005). “There are a lot of good football players in this league, a lot of really good receivers that I have a lot of respect for, so it would be very cool.”
With a league-high 1,829 yards and 15 touchdowns with 138 catches, Kupp also has the chance to set the single-season reception and reception yard record.
But Kupp insisted that if he was able to hit those records it would have to be acknowledged that it had happened in one 17-game season.
“What these guys did in 16 games doesn’t seem right, I don’t know these guys will be broken in 17 games,” said Kupp. “It wouldn’t weigh as much to me as it would for guys who did it in a 16-game season and the performances that these guys had and the seasons they put together. Those are incredible things, incredible performances must separate the two. “
Hall of Fame recipient Calvin Johnson holds the single-season recycling yards record with 1,964 (2012). Kupp competes on Sunday and it takes 135 yards to hold the record, a high number, despite having over 100 yards in 10 games and four games of 130 yards or more this season.
New Orleans Saints recipient Michael Thomas has the record for receptions in a single season with 149 (2019). Kupp is reluctant to tie Thomas with eleven receptions he’s had in three games this season.
“Those records have a different weight,” said Kupp of Johnson and Thomas’ records. “I have an incredible respect for what these guys have been able to do, what they have done for their teams in these 16 games.”
The Rams (12-4) have already won a playoff spot, but will be able to win the third NFC West title in five seasons under coach Sean McVay on Sunday. The 49ers (9-7) need a win (or a loss for the New Orleans Saints to the Atlanta Falcons) to get a playoff spot.
“My priorities are to win this game this week, whatever it takes to win it,” said Kupp when asked if earning the records was a priority. “If it means spending more time blocking defensive goals and being able to win Sony for some big wins, that would be huge. I just want to do my job, whatever they ask me to, I want just do my job all over again and “do it all over again and help this team win.”
Kupp set the Rams single season record in a 20:19 win over the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday, surpassing Isaac Bruce’s 1,781 yard mark from 1995.
He also got his 15th touchdown reception of the season in that win, becoming the fourth player in NFL history to complete 100 receptions, 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns in a single season, along with Randy Moss (2003), Marvin Harrison (2001 ) and Reis (1995).