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Cooper Kupp likely only player with chance at NFL single-season record despite expanded season

Rams WR Cooper Kupp has a legitimate shot at two single-season NFL receiving records with two games left. We look at that and other records being threatened.

LOS ANGELES — It's really been the year of Cooper Kupp in the NFL this season.

The 28-year-old wide receiver has been an absolute star with over 130 catches. over 1,700 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns in 15 games so far. He's averaging a shocking 115.6 receiving yards per game, up from his career-high of 72.6 yards per game in 2019.  

Kupp isn't done yet. He's got two big games coming up to finish the season as he tries to chase down two major receiving records: Michael Thomas' 149 receptions in a season record, set in 2019. And, Calvin Johnson's single-season receiving yards record of 1,964, set in 2012 with the same quarterback throwing to him that is now throwing to Kupp.

With it being the first year with 17 games after the NFL expanded the season, it was expected that a number of single-season NFL records could be broken. We've seen some notable team single-season records broken thus far, but it appears most single-season NFL records are safe for now.

We'll look into Kupp's chances more, but first, a look at some other notable records and how close some players are this season.

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Peyton Manning's passing record safe for now

That includes Peyton Manning's 2013 single-season passing yards record of 5,477 passing yards. Tom Brady currently sits at 4,580 yards with two games two go, but would need 897, or 448.5 yards per game passing to break that, which is rather unlikely. 

Michael Strahan's sack record likely safe for now thanks to injury

Michael Strahan's 22.5 single-season sacks record set in 2001 looked like it could be seriously threatened by Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, but it seems unlikely at this point. Watt missed two games completely due to being on the COVID list and then an injury. He also missed a couple halves this year due to injury. 

Nevertheless, Watt is at 17.5 sacks through 13 games played (16 weeks). It's not totally out of the question that he could get five sacks in two games. He has one game with 3.5 sacks this year and another with three. Not having a sack last week against the Chiefs may end up costing him the record. But surely, Watt should get close to the number in the final weeks.

Dickerson's rushing record safe despite MVP-caliber season from Taylor

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor has had an MVP-like season. He's help carry the Colts out of the doldrums of a 1-4 start to now being a serious AFC Contender at 9-6. It seems like Taylor has exploded for over 100 yards rushing every game, but you look at the single-season rushing yards record by Eric Dickerson (2,105) and the rushing touchdowns record by LaDainian Tomlinson (28) and you see just how impressive those seasons for those running backs were.

Taylor is getting MVP talk and has had a wildly impressive season, but he likely won't sniff Dickerson's record, as he's currently at 1,626 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns with two games to go. He would need 479 yards in two games and while he's rushed for over 100 yards in nine games this season, he hasn't eclipsed 200 rush yards in a game.

Cowboys CB with longshot at interceptions record 

 Dick “Night Train” Lane has held the NFL single-season interceptions record of 14 since 1952. 

When Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs has seven through his first six games, we started talking about that record of 14 set 69 years ago. 

Diggs got his 11th interception last week against Washington. While that tied the Cowboys single-season record and was the first time an NFL player got to 11 interceptions in a season since Dallas' Everson Walls did it in 1981, it would take a miracle for Diggs to get to 14 with two games left in the season.

Wouldn't call it impossible, though. He did have two in one game this season and has nine games total with an interception this season. 

Kupp seriously threatening two records

Now we get back to Cooper Kupp, who has a legitimate shot at two receiving records with two games left.

That's Michael Thomas' 149 receptions in a season record, set in 2019. Kupp is currently at 132. He would need 18 receptions or nine in each game over his next two to hit this record. Kupp has nine or more receptions in each of his last three games and he's hit 9+ in nine of 15 games this season thus far. 

He's also going to get a good look at Calvin Johnson's single-season receiving yards record of 1,964 yards, set in 2012. Johnson of course had Matthew Stafford throwing him the ball during that iconic season and now Kupp also has Stafford throwing him the ball in L.A.

Kupp is currently at 1,734 receiving yards with two games to go, which means he needs 230 yards or 115 per game to tie that record. Kupp has had 115 yards or more in eight games this season.

With the Rams likely competing for the NFC West division title and playoff seeding through the end of the year, there's likely no threat of Stafford or Kupp getting benched for precaution. Especially as the Rams taking on the Ravens and 49ers in the closing two weeks. 

Kupp has seen 13 or more targets in each of his last three games and seven times this season. Expect that to continue in the closing weeks.