Led by Kupp, Rams’ wide receivers opening eyes around NFL
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods were among the NFL’s top receivers the past few seasons, and they seemingly are getting better with Matthew Stafford at quarterback.
Kupp, who has been the primary target for Stafford since the QB came to the Rams in an offseason trade with the Detroit Lions, had another big day on Sunday. He caught nine passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-11 win over the struggling New York Giants.
Woods, who had a season-high 12 catches for 150 years against Seattle the week before, also caught a touchdown as did running back Darrell Henderson in helping the Rams (5-1) win their third straight on the road.
“I think it does speak to the standard we have as a team, as an offense,” said Kupp, who had TD catches of 3 and 13 yards. “I think we try to live it out every day, being process-oriented over results. It is the result we wanted, but as an offense it’s not up to our standard in terms of the process of how we execute as a unit. We just have to be better.”
That says a lot. The only negative thing the Rams did was being stopped on their first two possessions.
After that, Stafford did whatever he wanted in finishing 22 of 28 for 251 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. He found six different receivers, targeting Kupp 12 times. Three of his four TD passes came in the 28-point second quarter, which was helped by two Rams takeaways that gave them short fields.
“It is sweet but that is also the expectation,” Kupp said of the breakout quarter.
In six games, Kupp has 46 catches for 653 yards and seven TDs. A year ago, he led the Rams with 92 catches for 974 yards and only three touchdowns. He had 94 catches for 1,161 yards and 10 TDs in 2019.
Kupp joined Marvin Harrison (45 catches for 709 yards and eight touchdown receptions in 1999) as the only players in NFL history with at least 45 catches, 650 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions in their team’s first six games.
Stafford said all his receivers are playing well.
“I thought Robert (Woods) had a great game today,” Stafford said. “When he had his opportunities, he made them. He got in on a touchdown. It was a great feel when he caught that ball to turn back inside and score. Cooper’s done a nice job. He’s done a nice job underneath. Down the field he made some plays today, catching and running a couple bubbles, and then got in with some sweet feet on one and did a really nice job on the other one and was able to run down the sideline.”
Woods, who caught at least 96 passes in each of the past three seasons with Jared Goff at quarterback, finished with two catches for 31 yards and a score Sunday. He has 29 catches for 353 yards and three TDs.
On his second touchdown pass to Kupp , Stafford seemed to make a no-look throw to Kupp while looking at tight end Tyler Higbee, who is third on the team with 22 catches for 202 yards and two TDs.
“I haven’t seen it all, I just saw the tablet, but it looks like he’s staring Higbee down as he throws the ball to me,” Kupp said of the throw.
The one-sided loss at home had fans booing the Giants (1-5) for the second straight home game.
“I don’t want to be hearing boos from my own fans,” Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. “I understand that they have a right to be upset as well because they’re coming to see us put good football on the field. We haven’t been winning up to date. But at the same time, I don’t know, I don’t like that.”
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