Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is set for arguably the biggest test of his career to date, as he will feature in the upcoming 2022 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Before the season, there was much debate as to whether Kupp is a top 10 wideout in the NFL. He sure has shut down such doubt this season, as he has so far orchestrated one of the more prolific campaigns by a wideout in NFL history. The fifth-year receiver set Rams franchise records across the board in the regular season, including the most receptions (145) and receiving yards (1,947) in a season in team history. The latter stat ranked as the second-most in a single season behind longtime Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s mark (1,964) in the 2012 campaign.

Kupp has carried over his tremendous form into the playoffs, as he combined for 14 receptions and two receiving touchdowns in the team’s wins against both the Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Yet another notable challenge now awaits Kupp in the playoffs, as he will meet the 49ers’ daunted secondary in the upcoming NFC title game. The Rams may call upon Kupp quite a bit to lead the way over the course of the contest, and he may end up producing a keen showing in his team’s biggest game of the season.

Cooper Kupp bold predictions for NFC title game

3. Kupp emerges as Matthew Stafford’s go-to target on third downs

Over the regular season, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford formed quality chemistry with Kupp on third downs. Overall, Kupp was targeted a total of 42 times on third downs, and he recorded 31 receptions for 506 receiving yards and two touchdowns in such plays. More so, 26 of these such catches clinched first downs.

Kupp has maintained his prominent efficiency on third downs in the playoffs so far. For one, he notched nine receptions in the Rams’ dramatic NFC divisional round victory over the Buccaneers. Two of these catches came on third downs, which included his 70-yard touchdown in the early stages of the second quarter.

The Rams are set to meet a 49ers team that has had its fair share of struggles in stopping opposing offenses on third downs. For one, the 49ers defense allowed a 40.0 percent third down conversion percentage in the regular season, which ranked at 17th in the NFL.

Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell may opt to call for Stafford to lean on Kupp in crucial third downs this week.

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2. Kupp sets a historic NFC Championship game record

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin had quite a grand performance in the 1995 NFC Championship Game against the 49ers. Longtime Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman relied on Irvin plenty of times in pivotal situations of the game, and Irvin responded with 192 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The 192 receiving yards by Irvin still stands today as the most such yards by a wideout in NFC title game history, but this record should be shattered in the upcoming clash between the Rams and 49ers.

Kupp sure has what it takes to reach 200 receiving yards against the 49ers. He is just coming off of a standout showing in the NFC divisional round against the Buccaneers where he tallied for 183 receiving yards. Regardless of who was covering him or the situation at hand, Kupp’s stout route-running prowess was simply too much for the Buccaneers secondary to handle, which was on display in his 44-yard completion in the late stages of the fourth quarter.

As mentioned, Stafford sure must look towards Kupp in crucial third downs in order to get the best out of him in the NFC title game.

1. Kupp records two receiving touchdowns en route to a Super Bowl berth

One of the more notable questions heading into this playoff matchup between the Rams and 49ers centers on just which cornerback will be given the responsibility to shadow Kupp for a bulk of the game. In the Rams’ Week 18 clash with the 49ers, cornerback Dontae Johnson shadowed the Rams wideout on 48.4 percent of snaps and allowed 22 receiving yards.

Regardless of whether it will be Johnson or possibly cornerback K’Waun Williams that will cover him for much of the contest, Kupp should still haul in a pair of receiving touchdowns.

Overall, Kupp can very well be an instrumental player on offense in what should be a Rams home victory over the 49ers in the upcoming NFC title game, which will then clinch them a spot in Super Bowl 56. This could be a game where Kupp once again bolsters his legacy with the Rams.