Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp are inseparable. They sit together on the team charter, in meetings, at lunch and in the locker room together. And they are not using that time to squabble over targets or compare designer watches. They are building camaraderie, which translates to on the field success.
Last season, they were on pace to be the sixth wide receiving trio in NFL history to all catch for 1000+ yards in a season. Kupps season-ending injury thwarted their chances.
After two games this season, they have picked up right where they left off. So far they have combined 27 catches, 16 first-downs, and 382 yards. They are off to a good start, but how good. Here is the receiving corps report card after 2 weeks.
The Rams Receiving Corps Report Card Through 2 Weeks
Brandin Cooks: 5 Catches/ 113 yards: B+
Of Cooks 113 yards, over half came in one 57 yard catch against the Saints. All five of his receptions have been first downs and he is the sole Rams WR to score a touchdown this season. All of those stats should result in a higher grade, but it is concerning that he has only caught five balls on 10 targets. Last season, he averaged five catches and 7.3 targets per game. Subtracting the one big chunk play leaves Cooks with 56 yards in two games.
Robert Woods: 10 Catches/ 103 Yards: A-
Woods was Jared Goff’s favorite target in week one with 8 receptions for 70 yards. But he saw a big drop off against the Saints nabbing only two receptions on two targets. Two of his passes were rescinded due to penalties, including one that he took to the end zone. Ultimately, Woods had difficulty getting free from the physical DB, Eli Apple.
Unlike Cooks, Woods has yet to break any big plays, but has remained a capable pass catcher with blazing speed. A good test of this dichotomy will be going up against the Browns secondary in Week 3.
Cooper Kupp: 12 Catches/ 166 Yards: A
Cooper Kupp is back! After his first two performances, last season’s knee injury is just a bad memory in the distant past. No one could question his viability as he made four Saints look foolish on his way to the one yard line (with a few blocks from his besties, Woods and Cooks) He ended the Saints game with five catches for 120 yards.
This dwarfs his 46-yard performance from week one. Kupp caught seven passes in that game. With the Panther defense often able to stave off the deep threat and able to breathe down Jared Goff’s neck, he was forced to get the ball out quick and dumped it off to Kupp. Giving Goff options when he is under pressure is key to the Rams success. Kupp has become a favorite target, as he leads the team in receptions. Goff believes they may even be working on another astral plane, saying “Me and him are so much on the same page,” At this point, we think intuitively with each other. What’s the word? Telepathy?”
We have seen how high Kupp’s floor is, but this season should show us how high his ceiling could be.