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Jerry Rice 1995 vs Cooper Kupp 2021: Which WR had the better season?

Cooper Kupp and Jerry Rice (Getty Images)
Cooper Kupp and Jerry Rice (Getty Images)

Cooper Kupp is putting up historic stats with the Los Angeles Rams in 2021, and he still has two games to go. He already has 1,734 yards and 14 touchdowns on 132 receptions. That has him on pace for several NFL records, including Calvin Johnson's single-season record.

What Kupp is doing in 2021 has NFL fans thinking about the heyday of legendary receiver Jerry Rice. The biggest season of his career happened in 1995 with the San Francisco 49ers.

So which player's season stands out as the best? Let's break it down and look at both.

Cooper Kupp's mind-blowing 2021 season

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals

Kupp has been more than just a number one receiver for Matthew Stafford. He has been a superstar and easily the most reliable target in all the NFL. Kupp only has one game this season without 10 targets.

He has 10 games with, at least, 100 yards, and he went over 100 yards in all four games in the month of December. He is, also, a touchdown machine, with five separate games with, at least, two touchdowns.

The race to 2k is on for Cooper Kupp https://t.co/xgW5anPmUP

Kupp now has two more full games to keep expanding his records. And it's not like opposing defenses can just decide to shut him down. Teams have tried all year and have not been able to do that. And if they do focus a ton of attention on him, Odell Beckham Jr. is on the other side, waiting to make a big play.

Jerry Rice's historic 1995 season

American Century Championship - Round Two
American Century Championship - Round Two

Rice was an absolute force in 1995. He finished with 1,848 yards and 15 touchdowns in 16 games. That production came on 122 catches. He was, also, targeted a career-high 176 times after winning a Super Bowl during the 1994 season.

The 49ers had a legendary passing attack, but it is still notable to see someone dominate so much with different rules in place. The NFL was operating with less strict pass interference rules, and bigger hits were allowed over the middle as well.

Rice still found a way to navigate through all of that to finish with nearly 2,000 yards.

Who had the better season between Cooper Kupp and Jerry Rice?

Jerry Rice’s 1995 season is widely viewed as the greatest WR season in NFL history… @gmfb @CooperKupp @RamsNFL https://t.co/8sSK78D4Fu

This is the ultimate question. As of right now, some fans may give Rice the edge because of the time period and his final stats. However, Kupp has two more games to play. So in terms of a complete season, Kupp is going to get the edge, if his pace stays up early in January. A few more 100-yard performances may, also, give him the single-season record.

Debates like this are fun because there is no right answer. If Kupp finishes with nearly identical yardage and touchdowns to what Rice did, it is a total toss-up for who was the best.

What fans can say is that Kupp is bringing back memories of Rice's dominance and may be the second coming of the legend out west in Los Angeles.


Also Read: NFL teams that went undefeated in December

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Edited by Windy Goodloe
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