A big reason the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl this year is because of Cooper Kupp. Not only did Kupp play a huge part in getting the Rams to the big game with an NFL-leading 1,947 receiving yards during the regular season, but he also played a key role in their 23-20 win over the Bengals.
The Rams receiver caught eight passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns on his way to being named Super Bowl MVP. The fact that the Rams won the Super Bowl was mildly surprising for one big reason though and that’s because the NFL’s leading receiver almost never ends the year with a Super Bowl ring.
With their win over the Bengals, the Rams became just the fourth team in league history to win a Super Bowl in a season where they had the NFL’s leading receiver on their team.
Just think about that for a second: There have been 56 Super Bowls and only four times has the NFL’s leading receiver been on the winning team. The only more surprising stat is that the NFL’s passing leader has NEVER won a Super Bowl.
Thanks to Kupp, the Rams will join an exclusive club that includes just three other teams: The 1977 Cowboys, the 1989 49ers and the 1994 49ers.
- 1977 Cowboys: Since 1960, there has only been one season where the NFL’s leading receiver didn’t finish with at least 1,000 yards and that came in 1977 when Drew Pearson led the league with 860 yards. Pearson won the receiving title by just 54 yards over Houston’s Ken Burrough. The Cowboys closed the season with a 27-10 win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XII, which made them the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with the league’s leading receiver on their team.
- 1989 49ers: Jerry Rice led the NFL in receiving yards a total of six times, but the 49ers only won the Super Bowl in two of those six seasons. In 1989 when Rice beat out Sterling Sharpe by just 60 yards for the receiving title (1,483 to 1,423). The 49ers then steamrolled their way through the postseason thanks in large part to Rice, who averaged more than 105 yards per game in the playoffs. In the 49ers 55-10 Super Bowl win over the Broncos, Rice caught seven passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns. Although he had a huge game, Rice wasn’t named Super Bowl MVP and that’s because the honor went to Joe Montana, who threw five touchdown passes in the win.
- 1994 49ers: In 1994, Rice would lead the NFL in receiving for a fifth time and like 1989, this season also ended with a Super Bowl title for San Francisco. Rice finished the season with 1,499 yards, which was more than 100 yards better than his closest competitor. Like 1989, Rice would end his year with a huge performance in the Super Bowl. In a 49-26 win over the Chargers, Rice caught 10 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns. However, despite the performance, he once again lost out on the Super Bowl MVP award to his quarterback (Steve Young).
After the 49ers win in Super Bowl XXIX, it took 27 years before another receiving leader even made the Super Bowl and that came this year with the Rams and Kupp. It’s been a history-making year for Kupp. Not only did he become the first receiver to cross the 2,000-yard mark in all his games combined (including playoffs), but he also became the first receiver to win Super Bowl MVP in a game where he didn’t finish with the highest receiving total.
Rams Super Bowl championship gear now available
The Rams have won their first Super Bowl in two decades. You can now buy Rams Super Bowl championship shirts, hats, jerseys, hoodies, gift boxes, and much more to celebrate the historic win. Get gear here now.
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