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Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp combine for historic performance against Buccaneers

Not even Rams greats Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce accomplished this during their legendary playing careers.

That's how rare and historic Los Angeles wide receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupps' performances were in L.A.'s 27-24 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.

Woods' 12 catches and Kupp's 11 made them the first tandem in franchise history to each record 10 or more receptions in a single game. Woods finished with 130 receiving yards and a touchdown, Kupp a team-high 145 receiving yards off their respective receptions.

"Probably about halfway through the second quarter," Rams quarterback Jared Goff said in his postgame video conference, when asked when he sensed the pair of receivers might be in for a big night. "We just had a lot of stuff that was dialed up for them. When Cooper was breaking tackles and getting more [yards] after the catch – and Robert for that matter – you kind of get a good feeling of how the game is going to go."

Goff has said before that establishing the run opens things up for the offense. However, making the run game a threat was going to be difficult against the No. 1 rush defense in the NFL in the Buccaneers.

Considering Tampa Bay also owned the No. 9 pass defense in the league, a pass-heavy approach didn't necessarily guarantee big performances by multiple L.A. receivers, let alone one, either. But the Rams discovered after that early first-half rhythm, especially those yards after the catch, that it would be a more viable option for them, and a successful one at that.

On the opening drive alone, Goff connected with Kupp for gains of 5, 8, 5, 37 and 7 yards. By halftime, Kupp had nine catches for 109 yards, becoming the first Ram to post 100 or more receiving yards in the first half of a game in at least three straight seasons since Holt (2003-07).

Woods had a 35-yard catch-and-run which led to kicker Matt Gay's 38-yard field goal and a 17-14 halftime lead for the the Rams. He also had a 23-yard grab and 9-yard grab on the game-winning drive capped off by Gay's 40-yard, go-ahead field goal.

All told, 79 of Kupp's 145 yards came after the catch. For Woods, 72 of his 130.

"Keep calling it, keep going," Woods said during his postgame video conference, when asked what the conversations are like in the huddle as those numbers keep going up. "Really, you go into games hoping for games like this every single week. But really, just going out there, making plays, the ball finding you, Jared's zipping it. When you're in that rhythm, you know you can't be touched no matter what coverage, who's lining up in front of you."

The effectiveness of those short, quick passes from Goff to Woods and Kupp prompted halftime adjustments, according to Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians' postgame comments, but those fixes still weren't enough to prevent both Kupp and Woods from making franchise history.

"I thought Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods were outstanding tonight," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "You talk about guys creating their own tough catches in crunch-time moments."

The Los Angeles Rams take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Week 11 on Monday Night Football and their final regular season trip back east.

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