Matthew Stafford looks back on historic seasons with Calvin Johnson, Cooper Kupp: “It makes me lucky”


In 2012, Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson had the best season of his career. Johnson caught 122 passes for a league record 1,964 yards and added five touchdowns in the air for good measure. Johnson was elected to the Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro, and rightly so.

Nine years later, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had the best season of his career. Kupp caught 138 passes for 1,829 yards and 15 touchdowns, all of which are league-leading totals. He was previously elected to the Pro Bowl and will surely be named to the All-Pro First Team, and he deserves both honors.

And just like Johnson, Kupp’s quarterback for his historic season is Matthew Stafford. This week, Stafford reflected on being a part of the two incredible receiving seasons.

“It’s a good thing to be a part of it,” Stafford said, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. “It gives me the chance to have been able to play with two great players at different times.”

It’s hard to imagine two players more different than Johnson and Kupp putting together similar seasons. Johnson is an all-time monster athlete from a Power 5 school who was the No.2 pick in the draft and apparently still destined to be football’s best receiver. Kupp was widely regarded as a mediocre athlete after being underwhelming at the NFL Combine, and he was drafted in the third round in eastern Washington. He was largely a receiver of short-range slots during the early years of his career, but this season he’s proven to be an all-terrain monster that is virtually unstoppable.

And yet, both players ended up with monster numbers that proved their place atop the wide receiver position, and did so while working with the same quarterback. As Stafford himself said, it’s pretty cool.

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