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Cooper Kupp, Rams shine in NFL opener

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, right, catches a pass under pressure from Indianapolis Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson during the second half of a 46-9 Rams’ victory on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong / AP)
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, right, catches a pass under pressure from Indianapolis Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson during the second half of a 46-9 Rams’ victory on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong / AP)

Call it a rookie mistake.

Seconds after scoring his first NFL touchdown Sunday, Cooper Kupp flipped the ball to an official.

“That was probably not a good idea,” chuckled the former Eastern Washington star after a promising debut with the Los Angeles Rams.

It included four catches for a game-high 76 yards and the promise of many more game-day souvenirs.

The highlights were a one-handed grab for 24 yards, the 18-yard touchdown catch and most, important, a resounding 46-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

“He’s a great player, made some big-time catches for us,” first-year coach Sean McVay said.

Kupp also dropped a pass over the middle and committed one penalty. First-game nerves weren’t an issue, Kupp said.

“I always have nerves,” Kupp said. “It doesn’t matter. I’ve had nerves since I was 9 years old, my first time on the football field. It’s always the same. It’s kind of special when you have that. I don’t think a lot of people get to feel that, so I embrace it.”

Kupp, who set most major national receiving records at Eastern Washington, lined up at every spot: 26 snaps in the slot and 16 on the outside. Fifty-two of his yards came from the slot, but the one-handed grab came from the outside.

Kupp, a third-round pick in the NFL Draft, showed no drop-off from a stellar fall camp. The 18-yard TD was the only scoring throw from quarterback Jared Goff

“Cooper did a good job and executed everything he needed to do,” Goff said. “He’s just consistent. Every day, you know what you’re going to get from him.”

Kupp’s overall grade was 75.7.

“It was a lot of fun,” Kupp said after the game. “Any time your team can put together a win like this collectively – offense, defense, special teams – everyone just played lights out.”

Former EWU defensive lineman Samson Ebukam also saw extensive action for the Rams and made three tackles, including one for loss.