INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp closed out his record-setting 2021 season by adding more history to his campaign.
Kupp finished the 2021 season as the NFL's leading in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and receiving touchdowns (16), becoming the first player since Steve Smith in 2005 to capture the league's receiving "triple crown" and fourth-ever in league history, joining Smith, Sterling Sharpe (1992) and Jerry Rice (1990).
Speaking to the media last week prior to Sunday's game against the 49ers, Kupp emphasized the most important thing to him was doing whatever he could to help the team win – not chase individual records. At the same time, he said achieving such a feat would be special to him because of the respect he has for players in the NFL and and where the league's talent level is at.
"It's a tough thing to do when you're talking about some guys that have played some really good football around the league," Kupp said. "A lot of guys that I've learned from and been able to talk to and just learn a lot from. It would be cool, though."
In terms of receptions and receiving yards, Kupp finished just five receptions shy of breaking Michael Thomas' NFL single-season record set in 2019 and 18 yards shy of shattering Calvin Johnson's NFL single-season record set in 2012 – but that was still good enough for second-most in a single season for each category in NFL history.
Kupp finished as the league leader in receptions by 22, receiving yards by 331, and receiving touchdowns by two. On his way to those totals, he also broke the Rams' franchise single-season records for receptions and receiving yards, surpassing Isaac Bruce's 117 receptions for 1,791 receiving yards in 1995. He was one touchdown shy of matching Elroy Hirsch's franchise single-season record for receiving touchdowns.
Moreover, Kupp's touchdown catch against the 49ers on Sunday made him the only player in NFL history to tally 1,900 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns in a single season. His 118 receiving yards gave him his 11th 100-yard receiving game this season, tying an NFL single-season record and setting a Rams franchise record.
It bookended a scorching start to the regular season which included joining Todd Gurley (2017) and Marshall Faulk (2000 and 2001) as the third Rams player to win multiple NFC Offensive Player of the Month awards in a single season after being recognized for his performances in September and October.
Kupp was named to his first career Pro Bowl in December.