No Cooper Kupp, no problem. Through two games, the Los Angeles Rams look like they found the steal of the 2023 NFL Draft in wideout Puka Nacua, who build on an excellent debut to set an NFL record in his second professional game.
Nacua hauled in 15 catches for 147 yards during the Rams’ 30-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. That gave Nacua 25 catches in his first two games, which set a new NFL record.
Earl Cooper held the previous record for most catches in his first two NFL games. Cooper hauled in 19 catches in his first two games with the 49ers in 1980. Nacua broke Cooper’s record early in the fourth quarter. He then hauled in five additional catches to extend the record.
Nacua also became the first rookie to haul in 10+ catches and gain 100+ receiving yards in each of his first two games. He caught 10 passes for 119 yards in Week 1. That performance caused Nacua’s fantasy rostership to rise from 7% to 75% heading into Week 2.
Nacua has performed like a major steal in his first two NFL games. Injuries limited Nacua’s production in college, causing him to fall to the Rams in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. With Kupp sidelined early, Nacua has stepped up to gain the trust of quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Behind Nacua and a resurgent Stafford, the Rams have looked much better on offense to start 2023. Los Angeles didn’t get the win over the rival 49ers on Sunday, but the Rams should be much more competitive in what could be an exciting division down the stretch.