Although the Los Angeles Rams opened the 2021 NFL season with a dominant win at SoFi Stadium, quarterback Matthew Stafford was forced to deliver his first fourth-quarter game-winning drive in a nail-biter versus the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2.
The Rams’ offense got off to a hot start thanks to yet another turnover on the opening drive from their defense. They covered 90 yards in eight plays in a drive that was capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
However, head coach Sean McVay’s group would struggle to find their footing after that with crucial mistakes and dropped passes. Fortunately, Kupp remained as an integral part of the passing game for Stafford after finishing with nine receptions for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Stafford’s reliance on his No. 1 option has become extremely prevalent in the first two games of the season. Kupp simply credits McVay’s ability to take advantage of the holes in the defense, via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry:
“A lot of it really was just the playcalls we were getting in with the things the defense was giving us,” said Kupp, who became the first Rams player with 100 receiving yards in each of the first two games of a season since Hall of Famer Isaac Bruce in 2004.
Despite Kupp’s modesty, Stafford made sure to give him his props for all the work he has put in:
“It’s probably more of a testament to him than anything,” Stafford said about their well-established connection. “I think he’s one of those guys that’s about as overlooked as anybody in the league.”
Kupp has long shown star potential ever since his arrival as a third-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, injuries and inconsistencies in the offense have seemingly prevented him from taking that next step into the elite class.
Stafford’s arrival was meant to pay major dividends for McVay’s offense as a whole. Of course, it had been assumed that Kupp would be among the biggest beneficiaries since he wasted no time getting the same page with his new quarterback this offseason.
The 28-year-old is now off to a historic start to the season with consecutive 100-yard outings and is showing no signs of slowing down. Regardless of game script, it is safe to say that he will remain as a focal point for Stafford and McVay.
Kupp may need to put on his best performance yet with the Rams hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3.
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