Puka Nacua of the Rams Establishes a Fresh NFL Rookie Record with Outstanding Showing Against the 49ers

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Puka Nacua of the Rams Establishes a Fresh NFL Rookie Record with Outstanding Showing Against the 49ers

NFL

It turns out that Puka Nacua, the rising rookie sensation for the Los Angeles Rams, didn’t rely on luck in Week 1 after all.

Nacua, a fifth-round draft pick from BYU by the Rams this past April, sent shockwaves through the NFL world last week with an impressive performance. In their victory over the Seattle Seahawks, he made 10 receptions for 119 yards. However, Nacua managed to outdo himself with an even more remarkable display, one that etched his name into NFL history.

In Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, Nacua showcased his skills by hauling in an astounding 15 receptions out of 20 targets from Matthew Stafford, amassing a total of 147 yards. This remarkable feat set a new record in NFL history for the most receptions by a rookie in a single game.

Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams and Puka Nacua hug before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on September 10, 2023, in Seattle. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Photo Cradit: foxnews.com

Puka Nacua’s impressive record-breaking streak continued as he surpassed the previous record holders, Roy Helu of Washington, Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants, and Najee Harris of Pittsburgh, who jointly held the record. Nacua’s record-breaking catch came late in the fourth quarter, covering 17 yards.

Notably, Nacua became the first rookie in NFL history to achieve double-digit receptions in each of his first two games. But there’s more to his remarkable start. His 25 receptions in the first two games of the season set a new league record for a rookie, surpassing the previous mark of 19 receptions held by 49ers legend Earl Cooper since 1980.

Despite Nacua’s outstanding contributions on offense, the Rams couldn’t secure another victory. The 49ers managed to force critical turnovers, ultimately sealing a 30-23 win, pushing their record to 2-0, while the Rams fell to 1-1 in the early stages of the season.

Puka Nacua #17 of the Los Angeles Rams is tackled by Deommodore Lenoir #2 of the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on September 17, 2023, in Inglewood, California. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Photo Cradit: foxnews.com

Nacua’s rise as Matthew Stafford’s primary target coincides with Cooper Kupp, the Rams’ standout receiver and the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year, being sidelined on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury. Kupp’s absence raised significant concerns about how the Rams would kick off their season.

However, Nacua isn’t merely filling Kupp’s shoes; he’s excelling in his absence. Head coach Sean McVay has clearly been impressed with Nacua’s contributions to the receiving corps. Given McVay’s offensive prowess, it’s likely that he will find ways to involve both Nacua and Kupp when the latter makes his return to the lineup.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua (17) runs after a catch during the game against the San Francisco 49ers on September 17, 2023, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Photo Cradit: foxnews.com

Reference:

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/rams-puka-nacua-sets-new-nfl-rookie-record-incredible-performance-49ers

https://apnews.com/article/rams-puka-nacua-rookie-record-2a18819283bafe367a96e5bf120e07c0

https://www.deseret.com/2023/9/17/23877951/puka-nacua-broke-multiple-nfl-rookie-records-in-his-second-career-game-los-angeles-rams

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