Coup: ‘Need to separate’ records in 17-game era

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THOUSAND EGE, Calif. – Wide receiver Cooper Kupp will have several historic opportunities on Sunday as the Los Angeles Rams play their regular season finale against the visiting San Francisco 49ers, but the fifth-year pro and first-time Pro Bowl selection suggested it broke a record in an extended season would require a star.

“We are in a new football age here,” Kupp said. “We play 17 games of football a year, and many of the things that happened before that, they have records a different weight when they were played in those 16 games.”

Kupp is on track to become the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to earn the NFL’s “triple crown” as a leader in receptions, touchdown receptions and reception yards.

“It would be a pretty incredible thing,” said Kupp, who would join the company of Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice (1990), Sterling Sharpe (1992) and Steve Smith (2005). “There are a lot of good footballers in this league, a lot of really good receivers that I have a lot of respect for, so that would be very cool.”

With a league high of 1,829 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns on 138 catches, Kupp will also have the chance to set single-season receptions and receive yardage marks.

But Kupp insisted that if he was able to conquer those records, it had to be acknowledged that it happened in a season of 17 games.

“What those guys did in 16 games, it would not work right, I do not know, for them to be destroyed in 17 games,” Kupp said. “It would not have the same weight for me as it does for guys who have done it in a season of 16 games, and the performances that the guys had, and the seasons they put together. It’s incredible things, incredible performances. You kind of have to separate the two. “

Hall of Fame wideout Calvin Johnson holds a single-season record in yards with 1,964 (2012). Coup goes in on Sunday and needs 135 receiving yards to equal the record, a high number even though he has more than 100 receiving yards in 10 games this season and has four games with 130 or more receiving yards.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas holds the record in single-season receptions with 149 (2019). Coup is 11 catches shy of tying that mark; he has reached the total number in three games this season.

“Those records have a different weight,” Kupp said of Johnson and Thomas’ records. “I just have an incredible respect for what those guys were able to do, what they were able to achieve, what they were able to produce for their team in those 16 games.”

The Rams (12-4) have already won a place in the playoffs, but are in position on Sunday to earn a third NFC West title in five seasons under coach Sean McVay. The 49ers (9-7) need a win (or a Saints loss to the Atlanta Falcons) to win a playoff spot.

“My priorities are to go out and win this game this week, whatever it takes to win it,” Kupp said when asked if it was a priority to earn the records. “If it means spending more time blocking defensive goals and being able to get Sony [Michel] with some big wins, it would be huge. I just want to do my job, no matter what they ask of me, I just want to do my job over and over again and be a part of helping this team win. “

Coup set Ram’s single-season receiving yards record Sunday in a 20-19 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, passing Isaac Bruce’s mark of 1,781 receiving yards set in 1995.

Kupp also recorded his 15th touchdown reception of the season in the win, becoming the fourth player in NFL history with 100 receptions, 1,500 receiving yards and 15 receiving touchdowns in a single season, joining Randy Moss (2003), Marvin Harrison (2001) and Rice (1995).

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