NFL

Kupp closing in on 'incredible' NFL triple crown

By Sports Desk January 04, 2022

Cooper Kupp is closing in on what he concedes would be an "incredible" achievement of earning the NFL triple crown.

The Los Angeles Rams wide receiver leads the league in catches, touchdown receptions and receiving yards going into Week 18 of the regular season.

Only three players in the Super Bowl era have ever finished top of the standings in all three categories in the same year: Jerry Rice, Sterling Sharpe and Steve Smith. It is 16 years since the feat was last achieved.

Kupp has 138 receptions for 1,829 yards, totals which look highly unlikely to be caught in the last week of action before the playoffs.

His total of 15 touchdowns also looks strong, although the Cincinnati Bengals' rookie sensation Ja'Marr Chase has closed to within two behind him in that category after finding the endzone three times against the Kansas City Chiefs last time out.

Kupp's shot at history will come when the Rams host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the team still looking to wrap up the NFC West title with the Arizona Cardinals in hot pursuit behind them.

"It would be a pretty incredible thing," Kupp said, per ESPN, of the prospect of earning the triple crown.

"There are a lot of good football players in this league, a lot of really good receivers who I've got a ton of respect for, so it would be very cool."

Kupp will also have the chance to set the single-season receiving yards record, which is currently held by Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson (1,964 in 2012).

The 28-year-old could also surpass the receptions record set by Michael Thomas (149) two years ago.

But Kupp concedes those records would come with an asterisk given the NFL is now playing a 17-game regular season.

"We're in a new age of football here," he said. "We're playing 17 games of football a year, and a lot of the stuff that happened before that, those records hold a different weight, being played in those 16 games.

"What those guys did in 16 games, it wouldn't seem right to, I don't know, 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 and the accomplishments those guys had and the seasons they put together. 

"Those are incredible things, incredible accomplishments. You kind of have to separate the two.

"I just have an incredible respect for what those guys were able to do, what they were able to accomplish, what they were able to produce for their teams in those 16 games."

The Rams are assured of a place in the playoffs regardless of the outcome against the Niners, but the prize of a home playoff game in Wild Card Weekend and a division title mean the stakes are still high.

"My priorities are going out and winning this game this week, whatever it takes to win it," added Kupp, when asked if setting records were his priority.

"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. 

"I just want to do my job, whatever they ask of me, I just want to do my job over and over again and be a part of helping this team win."

The Rams face a Niners team who are looking to seal their own postseason berth. 

To progress, Kyle Shanahan's team must win or tie against the Rams or hope the New Orleans Saints fail to beat the Atlanta Falcons.

Related items

  • Browns bringing back Clowney on another one-year deal Browns bringing back Clowney on another one-year deal

    Jadeveon Clowney is heading back to the Cleveland Browns after being rewarded for a healthy 2021 season.

    A three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, Clowney's ability has rarely been in question, but he had been limited to just eight games for the Tennessee Titans ahead of joining the Browns last year.

    The Browns gave their new signing a one-year year last April worth up to $10million and were duly rewarded with one of the best seasons of his career.

    Playing opposite Myles Garrett, Clowney finished with nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 starts – each the second-best returns of his career.

    Only Garrett (16) had more sacks for the Browns, and Clowney has done enough to convince the team to invest again for 2022.

    According to ESPN, the player is returning on another 12-month deal, this time with a value up to $11m.

    The Browns finished a disappointing third in the AFC North at 8-9 in 2021 but will hope to be contenders after trading for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

    Watson played on the same Houston Texans team as Clowney between 2017 and 2018.

  • 'There are no violations' – Texas' Fisher hits back after Alabama coach Saban alleges recruitment breaches 'There are no violations' – Texas' Fisher hits back after Alabama coach Saban alleges recruitment breaches
  • Eagles sign Bradberry to one-year deal Eagles sign Bradberry to one-year deal

    The Philadelphia Eagles have boosted their defense with the signing of cornerback James Bradberry on a one-year deal.

    Bradberry arrives on a deal reportedly worth $10million following his release by the New York Giants, who let him go for salary cap relief.

    A Pro Bowler in 2020, Bradberry has delivered consistent production across his NFL career.

    His 2020 season with the Giants saw him record 18 pass breakups and three interceptions, and he followed that up with 17 breakups and four picks in 2021, despite the Giants finishing bottom of the NFC East with a 4-13 record.

    Only J.C. Jackson (37) and Xavien Howard (36) have registered more breakups than Bradberry's tally of 35 over the past two seasons.

    He will now form what looks an imposing starting cornerback partnership with Darius Slay.

    Since 2016, Slay and Bradberry are the only two players in the NFL to register at least 15 interceptions and 80 or more pass breakups.

    Having excelled on a struggling Giants team, the Eagles will hope Bradberry can continue to thrive on a defense that was the eighth-best in opponent yards per play allowed in 2021 as they look to take the next step following last season's Wild Card round exit.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.