Cooper Kupp marks third game of 100-plus receiving yards vs. 49ers

Kupp made his mark in the primetime matchup, but it wasn’t enough to get the #Rams a win on the road against the #49ers

Star receiver Cooper Kupp was on his A game against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, notching his third game with 100 or more yards receiving in the 2022 season for the Los Angeles Rams. With 14 catches on 19 targets, Kupp set a career high for raw receptions in a game, and was involved in the Rams’ longest play from scrimmage in the matchup on an 18-yard catch.

His contributions were one of the only reasons that Los Angeles’ offense was able to get into field goal range in the primetime blowout, and without Kupp to present a downfield threat, the Rams likely wouldn’t have been able to score. He is reliant on quarterback Matthew Stafford to get him the ball with consistency, but when the signal-caller struggles as he did last night, the team is at a marked disadvantage.

Los Angeles’ defense didn’t do him any favors either, letting the 49ers score seemingly at will and forcing the offensive strategy to get desperate starting in the first quarter. Next week, the team’s game plan will need to find a more suitable balance between the run and pass games, so as to minimize the amount of time that the opposing defense can spend keyed in on Kupp on a drive-by-drive basis.

The Rams will face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5, and the prospect of starting quarterback Dak Prescott’s return looms large over the discourse around the game’s possible outcome. Los Angeles will look to get back on track in their divisional standings with a win, but given their defeat to the 49ers on Monday, it seems unlikely that they will be able to take sole ownership of first place, even if they emerge victorious.

For now, the team will re-group and seek to find solutions on both sides of the ball, focusing on getting star talents like Kupp involved in more creative ways against their next opponent.

6 takeaways from Rams’ 24-9 loss to the 49ers

The Rams fell to the 49ers in Week 4 on Monday Night Football and here are our immediate takeaways from the game.

The Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers are two divisional teams that simply don’t like each other. Despite the Rams defeating the 49ers in the NFC title game a season ago and proceeding to win the Super Bowl, San Francisco has dominated the matchup with Los Angeles since Sean McVay arrived in 2017.

Entering Monday’s showdown on primetime, the 49ers had won six consecutive regular-season meetings. San Francisco extended that streak to seven games after blowing out Los Angeles 24-9 at home in Week 4.

Immediately following the double-digit loss against the 49ers, here are six takeaways for the Rams.

DeMeco Ryans expresses how challenging it is to contain Cooper Kupp

DeMeco Ryans, the defensive coordinator of the 49ers, expressed how challenging it is to slow down Cooper Kupp.

Cooper Kupp has been a focal point in the offense of the Los Angeles Rams in recent years and the defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, DeMeco Ryans, realizes how tough it is to game plan for the All-Pro wideout. Ahead of the Monday night showdown between the Rams and the 49ers, Ryans dubbed the Rams’ offense as ‘the Cooper Kupp show’.

“Yeah, I think with that, Allen Robinson II, he’s a really good player for them, but with them adding him, he’s been a good add for them. And also, it’s the Cooper Kupp show, like no matter how you try to slice it up, whether the guys are doubling, whatever it is, the guy finds a way. I think the connection and chemistry with him and Stafford is one of the best I’ve seen in the league in a long time,” Ryans said. “Those guys are always in sync and they’re always on the same page, which makes it tough as a defense to defend those guys because they’re so good, they’re so precise at what they do that they make it a really tough challenge.”

After leading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns in 2021, Kupp has 28 receptions, 280 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns in the first three weeks. The reigning Offensive Player of the Year also scored his first career rushing touchdown in Week 3 versus the Arizona Cardinals.

Sean McVay deploys Kupp in a variety of ways, moving the versatile wide receiver in the slot or in the backfield to create mismatches. Besides the ways that the Rams deploy Kupp, Ryan credited the connection between the former third-round pick and Matthew Stafford as another reason why it’s so challenging to contain the Pro Bowl wideout.

In the three meetings between the Rams and the 49ers last season, Kupp combined for 382 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns on 29 receptions, so Ryan knows San Francisco’s defense will have their hands full trying to slow down the Super Bowl MVP on Monday night.

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Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris: ‘Thank God I don’t have to take away Cooper Kupp’

Morris is glad that he isn’t the coordinator that has to account for Kupp’s presence against his defense this week.

The Los Angeles Rams have been hard at work plotting against the San Francisco 49ers, and their defensive coordinator Raheem Morris had one big takeaway from his Friday press conference.

While speaking to reporters, he fielded a question about star receiver Cooper Kupp, and what it takes to keep receivers from getting separation on his defensive backs from a coordinator’s perspective. Morris gathered his thoughts and responded in a way that only a seasoned coach would, acknowledging the pass catcher’s talent.

“Thank God I don’t have to take away Cooper Kupp,” He exclaimed. “He’s a masterful guy that can get on your edge. He can work at edges about as good as anybody. He can make his moves look exactly the same when he’s going opposite ways. Now he’s added this new vertical element to his game that’s just taken him to a whole new level. I think that’s the biggest difference in Cooper Kupp.”

When it comes to great receivers, sometimes the best strategy for a defensive play-caller is to simply do their best to limit their production, because full-on containment can prove to be nearly impossible. Short of playing double coverage with safety help to boot, there is next to nothing opposing coordinators can do to keep Kupp at bay, and Morris is wise to recognize his luck to not have to game plan against him.

His plate will still be plenty full, though, as he is tasked with formulating a solution to the 49ers’ unique rushing attack highlighted by their well-known receiver Deebo Samuel. With Jimmy Garoppolo slated to start at quarterback, San Francisco will be anything but an easy out, and given the Rams’ struggles at Levi’s Stadium in recent years, Morris won’t be taking this week’s challenge lightly.

His unit will need to come together and play some of their best football of the season to eke out a win on Monday night, whether they have Kupp on their side or not.

Offensive coordinator Liam Coen exceptionally confident ahead of matchup vs. 49ers secondary

Coen seemed to overlook the challenge of the #49ers secondary in his comments after the #Rams’ practice on Friday.

In a game that will feature two of the league’s most talented defenses, Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen told the media on Friday that he is confident in his unit’s ability to make plays against the San Francisco 49ers. With Cooper Kupp in the mix, quarterback Matthew Stafford will have a reliable target on a consistent basis, but with so many playmakers in his opponent’s defensive backfield, he may struggle to find other receivers.

Coen fielded several questions about his passing game after the Arizona Cardinals held Stafford to a touchdown-less performance on Sunday. One reporter asked if there was any concern around the Rams’ air attack against the 49ers’ talented secondary, and he didn’t seem to be too bothered by the challenge posed to his receivers on paper.

“No, I don’t think so,” Coen responded. “I think we feel good about our matchups on the outside. It’s a challenge when you are playing [against] a lot of zone coverage. If we get into some man premier coverages, I think we have the guys to win. We feel good about those matchups, but they’ve got some younger guys in the back end as well, a couple new starters, some different players in the back end that they’re working through as well, as do we.

“So I think it’s a little bit about, ‘Hey, we’re continuing to find our identity in the pass game, picking and choosing our spots to push the ball down the field if we need to, and try to be able to pepper completions and stay on track. That’s the biggest thing. Can we stay on track and not live in those known passing situations maybe as much as we have?”

Coen’s optimism is admirable, though he may come to find that the 49ers will be a tougher nut to crack in the passing game than he thinks. Headlined by former Kansas City Chiefs mainstay Charvarius Ward, San Francisco’s secondary could prove to have the upper hand against Stafford and his crew of talent if the Rams’ game plan isn’t airtight.

Los Angeles certainly can’t afford to lose their Monday night matchup if they intend to keep their lead in the NFC West intact. Coen may not seem so concerned now, but if the game comes down to a final possession with little time left to mount a comeback, he may come to regret overlooking the 49ers in his preparation this week.

Cooper Kupp headlines annual ‘Taste of the Rams’ event at Sofi Stadium

Kupp will be among the #Rams in attendance at the event, which benefits the Los Angeles Food Bank.

The Los Angeles Rams have called on star wide receiver Cooper Kupp and others on their roster to host their annual “Taste of the Rams” event at Sofi Stadium on October 10th. In concert with the Los Angeles Food Bank, this will be the seventh year of the special occasion, and fans are invited to purchase tickets online to attend.

With some of the top chefs in the country set to attend, this year’s Taste of the Rams is set to be particularly interesting, with money raised from the event going to a great cause. Among the chefs who will participate in October are Deau Arpapornnopparat, Jason Beberman, and Josiah Citrin, who are all well-known in the Los Angeles culinary scene.

Individual tickets start at $250 and are likely to sell out as fans clamor to get their chance to see the Super Bowl champion Rams up close. Kupp was the only player that the team confirmed would be involved, though others are sure to join him for the night of gastronomical pleasure.

This year’s event will come a week after Los Angeles’ Week 4 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, October 10th, and will be just a day removed from the Rams’ Week 5 tilt against the Dallas Cowboys. With any luck, Los Angeles will emerge from these tilts with a clean bill of health, and turnout from members of the roster will be high in support of the community.

The raw amalgamation of talent, both in the culinary and football spheres, slated to be in attendance at this exclusive event is absolutely immense. With so many different tastes represented by their lineup of excellent chefs, the Rams have put together a night that fans won’t want to miss.

Cooper Kupp is PFF’s highest graded WR through 3 weeks

Cooper Kupp has the highest PFF grade among all wide receivers through the first 3 weeks of the 2022 season.

Cooper Kupp has picked back up from where he left off a season ago with the Los Angeles Rams and he’s had a fantastic start to the 2022 campaign. Given the production he’s had to begin the season, PFF has handed Kupp the highest grade among wide receivers through the first three weeks.

Kupp finds himself ahead of other talented wideouts like Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown, and Jaylen Waddle. It’s a bit surprising to see Drake London crack the top five, however, the rookie has been performing extremely well for the Atlanta Falcons.

The reigning Offensive Player of the Year had a quiet outing in Week 3 versus the Arizona Cardinals with only four receptions for 44 yards on six targets. Those numbers would have been exponentially better if Matthew Stafford and Kupp were able to connect on a deep throw in the second half that fell incomplete.

Despite the lack of production Kupp had in Week 3, the Super Bowl MVP still leads the league with 28 receptions while posting 280 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. The veteran wide receiver also scored his first career rushing touchdown against the Cardinals on his first carry of the season.

There aren’t many wide receivers that contribute as much as Kupp does at the position, which makes him having the highest PFF grade far from a surprise.

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Matthew Stafford keen on redesigned Pro Bowl format

#Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was featured by the NFL as a proponent of their new Pro Bowl format.

The NFL announced on Tuesday that the annual Pro Bowl will be receiving a much-needed facelift, and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was quick to voice his approval for the new concept. Instead of traditional tackle football which has historically been played in the event, the league is planning to pivot to a skills-challenge-based competition with a seven-on-seven flag football being the main draw.

Stafford was featured by the NFL in a tweet as a vocal supporter of the change:

If the Pro Bowl is to become the institution it once was in the football landscape, drastic changes like the ones laid out on Tuesday will continue to be necessary to assure that fans get a product they should look forward to every season. In years past, the NFL has attempted to rejuvenate the affair with a fantasy draft undertaken by two team captains, but because the on-field product is generally unserious, there hasn’t been much intrigue in quite some time.

For his part, Stafford was a Pro Bowl selection in 2014 as a member of the Detroit Lions and is still seeking a second election to be one of the NFC’s representatives. His gunslinging mentality would be a perfect fit for the fast-paced seven-on-seven game, and with receiver Cooper Kupp almost certain to be a selection in 2023, Stafford may be able to put on a show in the lead-up to the Super Bowl.

That is, however, to assume that Los Angeles will not make it back into the league championship game at the end of the season. Given the way that Stafford and the offense have been clicking early in 2022, it wouldn’t be out of the question for the team to earn their shot at back-to-back titles, though historically the odds are stacked against them.

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Cooper Kupp was NFL’s 10th-fastest ball carrier in Week 3, topped 20 mph on TD

Cooper Kupp isn’t known for his speed, but he was the league’s 10th-fastest ball carrier in Week 3 after topping 20 mph

Cooper Kupp isn’t known for his speed. He ran a 4.62 in the 40-yard dash at the 2017 combine, which undoubtedly caused him to slip in the draft that year. The Rams didn’t care that he wasn’t a burner. They took him anyway, selecting him in the third round at No. 69 overall.

Since then, Kupp has become one of the best receivers in the NFL, and he showed on Sunday that he’s still plenty fast. According to Next Gen Stats, Kupp hit 20.45 mph on his 20-yard touchdown run. That made him the 10th-fastest ball carrier in the NFL in Week 3.

You can tell he was moving when watching him come around the edge, too.

On the year, Jalen Ramsey is the only Rams player in the top 20 for fastest ball carriers. He hit 20.78 mph on his interception return against the Falcons, which is the second-fastest speed among all defensive backs this season.

Sean McVay highlights Matthew Stafford’s ‘play of the game’ vs. Cardinals

Sean McVay credits Matthew Stafford for making the play of the game against the Cardinals.

The Los Angeles Rams were able to escape with a 20-12 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 and multiple plays led to the victory. After the game, Sean McVay named the one he believes was the play of the day: Matthew Stafford’s third-down pass to Cooper Kupp in the third quarter, dodging a free rusher and throwing a dart to his receiver for a first down.

“I thought that was the play of the game. He redeemed himself after the previous snap where Cooper and him usually hit that,” McVay said. “But they ended up having a kind of delayed add-on right there and he’s free off that left side, did a great job like you mentioned. But to be able to spin out, keep his eyes down the field, change his arm slot, and hit Cooper right over the middle for 11 on a third-and-10 was big.”

The play occurred late in the third quarter after a second-down play where Stafford tried to hit Kupp down the field, but they were uncharacteristically not on the same page. The two would bounce back immediately on the next play by converting a crucial third down to extend the drive.

Following the third-down conversion from Stafford to Kupp, the Rams would drive down the field and extend their lead from 13-9 to 20-9 on a touchdown run from Cam Akers. Even though you could pinpoint multiple plays as a reason why Los Angeles defeated Arizona, McVay credits his veteran quarterback for making an off-script play that led to important points for the Rams.