It says a lot about how far they've come in 2023 that the Los Angeles Rams can score a season high 37 points and win going away, with the tandem of Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp combining for just eight receptions and 45 yards receiving.
More prolific days for this duo are surely ahead, but in the meantime, quarterback Matthew Stafford spread the targets around to eight different Rams while leading L.A. to 5-6 as they return home to host the Cleveland Browns in Week 13.
Fresh off a sweep of the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, Nacua was our guest on Rams Revealed, where the record-setting rookie shared the story of the first time he was introduced to the Triple Crown winner.
Before transferring to BYU to play with his brother and to be closer to an ailing grandmother, Nacua started his college career in Seattle at the University of Washington. His position coach, Junior Adams, had worked with Kupp at Eastern Washington and set up a Zoom between the former FCS All-American and some aspiring Huskies.
"(Kupp) talked about how he would be here (in the facility) hours before the first meeting started and how much time he spent after practice getting treatment and how many balls he was catching after practice and the time that he spent on film," Nacua recalled.
"I still feel like I'm that same little kid when I walk into the meetings, except Coop, he knows my name."
Nacua's given name is Makea. But it was his late grandmother who called him Puka, a nickname he grew up with.
"Third grade was maybe the last time kids in school were calling me Makea, but I think from that point on, Puka had stuck."
As the 22-year old tells it, these days, only two people call him by his given name.
His mother – when she's upset – and his running mate.
"I'll be in the huddle and Coach Yarbs will call me," Nacua says of Rams receivers coach Eric Yarber. "And then I'll hear 'Makea!' And I'll look around like, 'Where's my mom?'
"And it's Coop in the back of the huddle."
Catch the full episode of Rams Revealed on YouTube or your preferred podcast platform. And join us this Sunday at SoFi Stadium as Nacua and the Rams look to extend their winning streak to three games.