From staff reports
Cooper Kupp was still playing at a Super Bowl level when the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills kicked off the NFL season on Thursday.
Most of his teammates were not.
Shortly after a championship banner was unveiled in the rafters at SoFi Stadium the former Eastern Washington standout, 2021 Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl LVI MVP, caught 13 of 15 targets for 128 yards and a touchdown during a 31-10 loss.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford spent most of the night on his back, or throwing to the defense when he wasn’t finding Kupp, tallying three interceptions and seven sacks in the lopsided opener.
Kupp, with his stapled stoic demenor, took to Twitter with three words after the loss: “Reflect. Rectify. Respond.”
He and the Rams will have that chance in Week 2, playing host to the Atlanta Falcons, who blew a 16-point fourth quarter lead in a loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Kupp’s former teammate Kendrick Bourne (EWU) has been knocked down the New England Patriots’ depth chart in favor of other pass catchers Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor and DeVante Parker.
Bourne was only targeted once in the Patriots’ 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins. He still finished second on the team in receiving yards.
Bourne caught a 41-yard strike from Mac Jones on the team’s final drive and maintained control after contact. Agholor fumbled two plays later.
Bourne opened up about the lack of playing time after the game, saying it’s tough to bide his time on the bench.
“Just keeping my mind right, though,” Bourne said. “Knowing my teammates are capable. It’s not about me. It’s not about me at all, so just waiting for the opportunity is all I can say.”
Frankie Luvu (WSU) and the Carolina Panthers’ defense were carved up on the ground, surrendering 217 rushing yards to the tag team of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in a 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Luvu was fourth on the team with six tackles and had a QB hit, but the Panthers allowed Jacoby Brissett to march the Browns 35 yards in 1 minute, 24 seconds to kick the game-winning 58-yard field goal.
Jalen Thompson (WSU) and his Arizona Cardinals secondary was picked apart by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in a 44-21 loss in Glendale, Arizona.
Thompson had nine tackles, second on the team behind fellow safety Budda Baker with 13.
The Cardinals needed those stops in the secondary as Mahomes hardly broke a sweat, completing 30 of 39 attempts for 360 yards and five touchdowns. It was the most passing yards and touchdowns allowed by any team Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Samson Ebukam (EWU) had two tackles and a sack in a 19-10 loss to the Bears on a soggy Soldier Field in Chicago.
It was a good start for Ebukam to potentially set a new season high for sacks, having had 41/2 the past three seasons.
New Orleans’ Kaden Elliss (Idaho) was the only former area player to be on a winning team in Week 1, with three tackles in a 27-26 win over Atlanta.
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