Cooper Kupp had a vision 3 years ago: Rams winning the Super Bowl, with him as SB MVP

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Cooper Kupp finally could share the vision he had three years ago, after the Los Angeles Rams lost Super Bowl LIII. Before Sunday night, he could only tell his wife.

Kupp didn't play in that Super Bowl three years ago due to a torn ACL. But when he was walking off the field after the New England Patriots won, he said he stopped before walking through tunnel and looked back.

Before Kupp shared what that vision was, he paused.

"There was ... there was a ... in 2019, we walked off the field that last time after losing to the Patriots, I wasn't able to be a part of that thing. I don't know what it was, there was just this vision," Kupp said. "I think God revealed to me that we were going to come back, we were going to be a part of a Super Bowl and win it. And somehow, somehow I was going to walk off the field as the MVP of the game."

Kupp told the story not long after the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 to win Super Bowl LVI. Kupp caught two touchdowns, including the game-winner with less than two minutes left. He won Super Bowl MVP. That was the vision he said he had, one he had only shared with his wife.

"I shared that with my wife because I couldn't tell anyone else, obviously, what that was," Kupp said. "But from the moment this postseason started, there was a belief every game. It was written already. I just got to play free."

Kupp speaks often about his faith. It was clear that he was moved telling the story about what he saw coming off the field after the Rams lost the Super Bowl in Atlanta.

"It was as clear as day," Kupp said. "I walked off the field, I turned around before walking back through the tunnel and it just hit me. It was as clear as I can see you guys right now."

Kupp paused again for a few seconds. It seemed he was choking up.

"Pretty incredible," Kupp said.

'Cooper Kupp is the man'

Before Sunday, Kupp arguably was having the greatest season ever for a wide receiver.

After his MVP performance in Super Bowl LVI, there might not be much of an argument.

Kupp led the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns for the triple crown. He won offensive player of the year and Super Bowl MVP. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the only other receiver to do that over an entire career was Jerry Rice. Kupp did it all in one season.

"Cooper Kupp is the man," Rams coach Sean McVay said.

Kupp was at his best on the Rams' game-winning drive. The Rams had trouble getting anything going offensively after Odell Beckham Jr. injured his knee, and the Bengals were able to double Kupp without much worry.

But on the final drive, Kupp took a jet sweep for 7 yards on fourth-and-1 from the Rams' 30-yard line, which was a crucial play. Kupp had four catches for 39 yards on the drive, including a 1-yard touchdown to give the Rams the lead. He also drew two defensive penalties including an enormous third-down holding call on Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson. That call was questionable, but Kupp still drew it for a key first down.

When the Rams needed Kupp most, when the offense had practically nothing going and perhaps just one possession left to save their season, Kupp made the plays.

"It still really hasn't hit me," Kupp said.

Cooper Kupp was named Super Bowl LVI MVP after the Rams beat the Bengals. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Cooper Kupp was named Super Bowl LVI MVP after the Rams beat the Bengals. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Kupp overcame the odds

Kupp didn't have an FBS scholarship offer coming out of high school. He went to Eastern Washington and set FCS records there. He was a third-round pick of the Rams, and nobody could have envisioned him doing the things he did this past season for the Rams.

"That was where I was supposed to be," Kupp said of Eastern Washington. "I don't have any regrets or hold any grudge against anyone. I'm just thankful for the path I've been on."

Kupp joined a select group. He's just the eighth receiver to ever win Super Bowl MVP. He was also just the third receiver to win NFL offensive player of the year, joining Jerry Rice and Michael Thomas.

Kupp had 145 catches, 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season, then had 33 catches for 478 yards and six more touchdowns in the playoffs. It isn't just the greatest for a receiver in NFL history, it might be the greatest single season for any player at any position. If nothing else it's on a short list.

"I feel so undeserving of all these awards and accolades," Kupp said. "I just feel I've played from a place of freedom. I've allowed myself to be in the moment every single time."