NFL

Stafford hails 'always fantastic' Kupp after he equals NFL record

By Sports Desk December 14, 2021

Matthew Stafford hailed "always fantastic" wide receiver Cooper Kupp after the Los Angeles Rams star made NFL history on Monday Night Football.

The Rams improved to 9-4 with a key 30-23 road win against divisional rivals the Arizona Cardinals.

Kupp had a career-high 13 catches for 123 yards and the game-winning touchdown, one of three thrown by Stafford in the contest.

The 28-year-old, who has never previously reached the Pro Bowl, has racked up 90 or more receiving yards in nine straight games as part of an electric streak.

Per NFL Research, Kupp has tied the record held by Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (1995) and his Rams team-mate Odell Beckham (2014) for the longest such streak in the last 70 seasons.

Quarterback Stafford suggested Kupp would have had more yards but for two wayward pass attempts and paid tribute to his continued impact.

"He was fantastic – he always is," Stafford told ESPN when he was asked about Kupp. 

"Great player, great team-mate for us. Does a lot of the dirty work for us, too. 

"I missed him on a couple and I wish I would have put a couple out in front to give him a chance to run. I'm just excited for our team and we have got to continue to build on this."

Kupp has a chance to become the first receiver to end a season with the triple crown of the most receptions, yards and touchdowns since Steve Smith in 2005 with the Carolina Panthers.

He is leading the league in all three categories through Week 14.

The Rams' win came despite the absence of five players due to COVID-19 protocols, including Jalen Ramsey and Tyler Higbee who were both ruled out on the day of the game. 

"At the end of the day, you deal with all that stuff," Kupp said. "You just have to control what you can control. 

"By the time the game starts, that stuff is over and done with and you have just got to move forward. 

"Next man up, do your job play in and play out, just execute the best you can and we did well enough just to squeak out a W."

The Cardinals remain top of the NFC West – but now have the Rams in hot pursuit – and have dropped to the same record (10-3) as the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the conference standings.

"We lost, and obviously everybody wanted to win," Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said. "It was a big game for us, but I'm not discouraged by what happened."

Related items

  • Abraham caps memorable debut Serie A season with a slice of history Abraham caps memorable debut Serie A season with a slice of history

    Tammy Abraham capped a memorable first season in Serie A with a slice of history as Roma defeated Torino 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday. 

    A first-half double saw Abraham become the highest-scoring English player in a single season in the Italian top flight, surpassing the previous mark of 16 set by Gerald Hitchens at Inter in 1961-62. 

    The only Roma player to score more than the England international's haul of 17 in a debut Serie A season with the club was Rodolfo Volk, who registered 21 in the 1929-30 campaign. 

    Abraham has also found the back of the net nine times in 13 appearances in the Europa Conference League this season and is hopeful of capping a memorable campaign with a victory in the final against Feyenoord on Wednesday. 

    "I would have loved to get three, to score a hat-trick for my team, but the most important thing is we won," he told DAZN. 

    "I fell in love with this club on the first day and I'm always going to help the team as much as possible with my goals and assists. It's been a good year for me. I'd like to build on it and hopefully we can finish with a trophy and this will be the perfect year." 

    Asked if he will stay at Roma, Abraham replied: "I love this club. They've given me the opportunity to show myself and my heart is here. We'll see what the future holds but my heart is here." 

  • Paris Saint-Germain confirm Di Maria departure Paris Saint-Germain confirm Di Maria departure

    Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed Angel Di Maria will leave the club upon the expiration of his contract. 

    Di Maria joined PSG from Manchester United in 2015 and has gone on to enjoy a stellar stint in the French capital. 

    The former Real Madrid winger has won five Ligue 1 titles, enjoyed as many Coupe de France triumphs and collected four Coupe de la Ligue trophies. 

    He has not been able to help PSG win the Champions League, though he did get a runners-up medal in 2019-20. 

    Di Maria, who scored in a 4-0 rout of Montpellier last week, contributed to 40 goals in his first season at PSG, scoring 15 and providing 25 assists. 

    In the 2021 Coupe de France final, his pass for a Kylian Mbappe goal saw Di Maria become the player with the most assists in PSG's history (104). 

    He has assisted 71 goals in Ligue 1 since his debut in 2015, 27 more than any other PSG player in that time frame, and created 482 chances – way clear of second-ranked Neymar's tally of 267. His 55 goals place him fourth, behind Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Mbappe. 

    Lionel Messi's arrival last year limited Di Maria's minutes, with the Argentine featuring 30 times across all competitions in the 2021-22 campaign and starting 21 of those games. 

    On Friday, ahead of PSG's final game of the season against Metz, Di Maria posted a picture of the squad to his official Instagram account with the message: "Gracias. Merci." 

    "Angel Di Maria has definitely marked the history of the club," said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. 

    "He will be remembered by supporters as a player of impeccable spirit, who showed unwavering commitment to defending our colours.  

    "I invite the whole Paris Saint-Germain family to meet [Saturday] at the Parc des Princes to pay him the tribute he deserves." 

    Reports have suggested that Juventus have lined up a move for Di Maria, who turned 34 in February. 

  • Real Madrid 0-0 Real Betis: Blancos finish triumphant LaLiga season with sedate draw Real Madrid 0-0 Real Betis: Blancos finish triumphant LaLiga season with sedate draw

    Real Madrid closed out their title-winning LaLiga campaign with a low-key 0-0 draw against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu on Friday. 

    Neither team had anything to play for and that was clear from the outset, with the match played at a sedate tempo as Madrid looked to avoid overexerting themselves ahead of next weekend's Champions League final against Liverpool. 

    Carlo Ancelotti named a strong line-up for the match but Los Blancos remain winless and goalless in five home league games against Betis. 

    Marcelo and Isco were sent on for their final appearances at the Bernabeu but it was not to be a triumphant farewell as Betis held on for a draw. 

    Toni Kroos fired wide after Karim Benzema's shot was blocked and Willian Jose narrowly missed the target from 20 yards after an open start to the half. 

    Decent openings were few and far between, but Casemiro rifled a low drive just outside the post on the stroke of half-time after charging through the middle. 

    Benzema volleyed straight at Rui Silva seven minutes after the restart and Rodrygo sent his follow-up wide under pressure from Marc Bartra. 

    Joaquin came off the bench in the 74th minute for his 600th LaLiga appearance, joining Andoni Zubizarreta (622) as the only players to reach the milestone. 

    The 40-year-old winger was unable to mark the occasion with a goal as he lifted an effort from the edge of the six-yard box over with three minutes remaining, but the point was enough for Betis to clinch fifth place.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.