NFL Honors: Cooper Kupp named 2021 AP Offensive Player of the Year; third wide receiver to capture award

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Cooper Kupp arguably had the best season for a wide receiver in NFL history, culminated by winning the Associated Press’ NFL Offensive Player of the Year award at the NFL Honors ceremony on Thursday night. Kupp is just the third wide receiver to win the award and the first Los Angeles Rams player to capture the honor since Todd Gurley in 2017 (Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk are the only other Rams players to win the award). 

An All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection, Kupp finished the regular season with 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns — one of the greatest seasons for a wide receiver in NFL history. Kupp is just the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to capture the “triple crown” for wide receivers, joining Jerry Rice (1990), Sterling Sharpe (1992), and Steve Smith (2005). He’s the first player to win the triple crown outright since Sharpe (Smith was tied for first in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2005).

Kupp finished with the second-most receptions (Michael Thomas had 149 in 2018) and receiving yards (Calvin Johnson had 1,964 in 2011) in a single season in NFL history. He had 90-plus receiving yards in 16 of 17 games in 2021, including 13 straight games — the longest streak in NFL history. 

Including the postseason, Kupp is the only player to surpass 2,000 receiving yards in a season (2,333 and counting). His 170 catches are also the most by any player in a season (including playoffs) in league history. His 27 receptions in the red zone are tied with Thomas (2019) and Davante Adams (2020) for the most in a season and his 846 yards after the catch and 89 first-down receptions are the fifth-most in NFL history. His 23 catches of 25-plus yards are the most for any player in a season. 

Kupp’s 2021 season was one for the record books, going down as one of the best the NFL has ever seen.

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