LONDON – Rams WR Cooper Kupp had no idea he had already surpassed his career high in receiving yards by halftime of Sunday's game against the Bengals.
"Just try to stay locked in to the game, what we're doing, what kind of plays we have coming up and what I think could work," Kupp said.
The mindset paid off, because his total receiving yards kept growing after intermission. He finished with 220, a new personal best plus one touchdown on seven receptions in Los Angeles' 24-10 win over the Bengals on Sunday.
Kupp's old record for most receiving yards in a single game was 162 against the Vikings last year, and he had three more against the Bengals after the first two quarters.
A trick play helped accelerate him toward a new mark.
With 4:11 left in the first half, QB Jared Goff took the snap, then handed the ball off to Kupp, who was running a jet sweep. Mid-way through running the sweep, Kupp tossed the ball back to WR Robert Woods, who was running a reverse. Woods tossed the ball back to Goff, who then connected with Kupp at the 50.
Bengals CB B.W. Webb bit on the misdirection after the snap and slipped, and that split second was all Kupp need to take it the remaining 50 yards to the endzone for the touchdown.
"You can just see, the ability to create after the catch, making plays, being able to create separation," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "He had some huge third-down conversions versus some man coverage structures and then he also had some good ability to find some soft spots in some zones on some in-breaking routes. But it was a combination of the protection, (QB) Jared (Goff) finding him and then Cooper being able to connect with him and make those plays."
Kupp's performance against Cincinnati currently stands as the second-most receiving yards by a player in an NFL game this season. The Dallas Cowboys' Amari Cooper had 226 in Week 5 against the Packers.
His teammates were thinking bigger numbers in the scope of the league record as Kupp's total continued to climb at Wembley Stadium.
"What's the record for the NFL, most ever? We were wondering on the sideline," Goff said. "It's 300-something. When he got 220, we were like, 'Alright, we need to go for 300.' It was good. I thought Cooper plalyed well. It's cool he's got that record now, and the next time we come to London, we'll have to go beat it."
Goff admitted he was half-joking about force-feeding targets to Kupp, though the 220 yards are a record in 27 NFL London games played.
Achieving that, according to Kupp, isn't possible without the efforts of his teammates. In a further display of the previously described selfless attitude, that group was who he preferred the credit to be given to.
"Something like that only comes about when you've got 11 guys executing," Kupp said.