Behind the Numbers: The ACL Tear of Cooper Kupp
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In a victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams suffered a loss of their own when it came to WR Cooper Kupp. During a non-collision play, Kupp tore his ACL is has been declared out for the season. There are plenty of departments in the which the Rams will suffer. Here are where the numbers stand:
In 8 of the games Kupp has played in, he has reeled in 5+ receptions in 6 of them. As a one of the primary targets for Jared Goff, the loss of Kupp will force 40 receptions upon the rest of the receiving core. While the offense still holds a powerful run game behind Todd Gurley, as well as other reliable targets in Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, this may cause a disturbance to a team that previously relied on the 25-year old.
Cooper Kupp happens to lead the Los Angeles Rams in touchdowns, which is 6. This number is equal to the amount Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods have combined, which is 3 each. Being labeled as a 6’2″ receiver doesn’t necessarily put you into the stereotype as an “end zone” target, but Kupp’s ability to pick apart coverage is unique. This is one area where the Rams will suffer for the rest of the year, and I’m not sure someone else on the active roster is capable of doubling (or more) their touchdown totals in such a short time span.
The 26-29 aspect is the record of remaining opponents through the first ten weeks of the NFL season. The Los Angeles Rams hold a 9-1 record, and are 5-0 when at home. With matchups against the Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers on the horizon, those three opponents alone combine for a regular season record of 7-20. The absence of Kupp won’t take a toll on the Rams during the closing weeks of the regular season, as it’s entirely possible that the team can clinch the NFC West by Thanksgiving and rest select players.
Outside of Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Todd Gurley, the rest of the roster for the Los Angeles Rams contains 42 receptions (excluding Kupp). As mentioned previously, Kupp alone has 40 receptions, while Cooks and Woods are already at 51+ receptions. What is the best strategy moving forward? Do you force more reps on your primary targets? Do you bring in a veteran free agent to fill that void? Perhaps the answer is to develop an internal option such as Josh Reynolds, but regardless, that void will be felt at some point this year.
The year of 2017 is the season in which the Los Angeles found their way into the postseason for the first time in 13 years, but it was short-lived. In a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card round, the Rams fell to 19-25 all time in the postseason. Point being, this is an entirely different roster, but the head coach, quarterback, and backfield is identical. Can this offense find its way around the loss of Cooper Kupp, or will this franchise continue to live in mediocrity within the postseason?
Will the @RamsNFL make it to the Super Bowl without Cooper Kupp?
— The Athletes Hub (@AthletesHub) November 12, 2018
Featured Image: ESPN
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