Puka Nacua is quickly becoming a household name, at least for those playing fantasy football. But even for folks who don’t, his historic start to the 2023 season is drawing a lot of attention.
Nacua’s 15 receptions against the 49ers were the most ever by a rookie receiver and his 25 catches through two weeks are the most in NFL history for a player in his first two career games. Yet, all he cares about is winning.
After the Rams’ 30-23 loss to the 49ers Sunday, Nacua said he doesn’t pay much attention to his numbers and measures success by the team’s record.
“I’m not really aware of kind of what’s going on,” Nacua said, via ESPN. “But my success will come when the team wins, so I’m excited for us to be able to come back and capitalize when we are able to win. So it was sweet last week. I got things to improve on, so it’s cool and all, but the most important thing is getting that W.”
Nacua, a fifth-round rookie, hasn’t fully digested what a hot start he’s off to, partly because the Rams lost to the 49ers in Week 2. He’s not focused on padding his numbers or racking up receptions. He just wants to get open for his quarterback and make plays when asked to.
“I don’t know if I could wrap my head all the way around it,” Nacua said. “But one day at a time, one play at a time, just trying to be where my feet are at and make sure that I’m executing in the moments where I’m asked to execute.”
After the game, Sean McVay had high praise for the rookie receiver. Not only did he love the way he played in his 15-catch, 147-yard performance on Sunday, but he admires the toughness and passion Nacua plays with.
He’s exactly what McVay is looking for in a Ram.
“He did a great job,” McVay said. “You know, he’s tough. He’s a physical competitor. I thought that showed up. He continued to battle all the way through the end. I mean, he’s the epitome of what we want to be as Rams. I love Puka Nacua and I was really pleased with him today.”