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Cooper Kupp has sights set on winning, not history, in Week 18

Cooper Kupp is well within range of two major receiving records and the NFL's receiving "triple crown," but all that matters to the Rams wide receiver heading into Sunday's Week 18 game against the 49ers is helping his team accomplish its goals.

As is always the case for Kupp, winning takes priority over history and personal achievement.

"Like I've said before, I just want to do my job," Kupp said during a video conference Monday. "Whatever they're asking me, I just want to do my job over and over again and be a part of helping this team win."

Kupp enters the regular season finale as the NFL's leader in receptions (138), receiving yards (1,829) and receiving touchdowns (15); if he maintains those leads, he would become the fourth player in league history to win the receiving triple crown, joining Jerry Rice (1990), Sterling Sharpe (1992) and Steve Smith (2005).

He is also 12 receptions away from breaking Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas' NFL single-season receptions record (149, set in 2019) and 136 yards from breaking former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson's NFL single-season receiving yards record (1,964, set in 2012).

Kupp said he has not talked to quarterback Matthew Stafford or head coach Sean McVay about those records and what his priorities are, because they already know what's important to him. And with an extra game to potentially accomplish those feats, he has a different view on those milestones if they do come to fruition on Sunday.

"In all honesty, in my opinion, we're in a very unique season, we're in the longest football season ever played," Kupp said. "What the guys did that set those records – Mike Thomas, Randy Moss for the touchdowns, what Calvin Johnson did with yards – what those guys did in 16 games, it wouldn't seem right for those to be broken in 17 games. It wouldn't hold the same weight to me as it does for guys that have done that in a 16-game season. The accomplishments those guys had, the seasons those guys put together, those are incredible accomplishments, so you kind of have to separate the two. We're in a new age of football here where we're playing 17 games a year. A lot of the stuff that happened before that, I think those records hold a different weight, being that they were played in those 16 games.

McVay said when Kupp is involved, that's usually what's best for the Rams. However, Kupp's shot at history won't influence the way he calls plays on Sunday.

"Am I aware of where he's at numbers wise? Yes, I am," McVay said Monday. "Will that affect the way that we game plan and try to ultimately go beat a really difficult division opponent? It won't. But the good thing is his production usually goes in alignment with our offensive production. And so, that's where you can feel like you're probably (going to) be able to check the boxes in both instances, but not at the detriment of what's best for us."

Kupp said it would "be a pretty incredible thing" to win the receiving triple crown, given his respect for the players in the NFL and the league's talent level and how difficult it is to accomplish something like that.

Ultimately, though, what's most important to Kupp is doing what he can to help the Rams capture the NFC West division title and the No. 2 seed in the conference.

"I have just incredible respect for what those guys were able to do and what they were able to accomplish and what they were able to produce for their teams in those 16 games," Kupp said. "My priorities are going out and winning this game this week, whatever it takes to win that – if it means spending more time blocking defensive ends and being able to get (running back) Sony (Michel) sprung for some big gains, that would be huge."

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