This ‘Five-Star Matchup’ Major Key to Eagles-Rams Showdown

Getty Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams

The best matchup in the Rams-Eagles game on Sunday will be happening inside the formation, away from the track stars on the outside.

It’s a battle between two guys very familiar with each other, too. Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cooper Kupp were teammates in Los Angeles for three seasons and enjoyed some epic one-on-ones in training camp under the watchful eye of Sean McVay. The Rams head coach had nothing but good things to say about both players.

On Sunday, the two standout athletes will match wits for the first time wearing different jerseys. It’s strength on strength, arguably the best slot receiver in the business versus the NFL’s best slot corner.

“They were great. It was a five-star matchup,” McVay said of their Rams battles. “Two great players going at it. They both ended up making each other better, that’s for sure.”

Robey-Coleman has been pumping advice to his new teammates in Philly about his old ones in Los Angeles. That’s normal operating procedure in a league where having the upper hand, any kind of tiny competitive advantage, is key. The 28-year-old has great respect for Kupp’s abilities, but also “thinks highly” of his own skills.

“I think it is kind of balanced across the board,” Robey Coleman said of Kupp. “He’s a really good slot receiver, and I think highly of myself as well. It’s going to be interesting. I can’t wait, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Robey-Coleman’s former coach tried to explain the decision to let the cornerback walk in free agency. It was a business decision, not enough money. Don’t think for a second it was personal or that Robey-Coleman has lost a step.

“This guy is a stud. I’m a huge Robey-Coleman fan,” McVay said. “Everything he’s about, the toughness, the instincts, the awareness … he’s got great short space quickness. It was a really tough decision because of all the great things that he meant to our team, on and off the field. And you guys got a good one.”

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Kupp Has Deceiving Speed and Athleticism

Kupp was held to four catches in last week’s win over Dallas. He still averaged 10 yards per catch despite the low number. Remember, this is a guy that Jared Goff loves to throw the ball to. Kupp’s 134 targets in 2019 were 14th-best in the league, second among slot receivers (Julian Edelman, 153). It’s a chemistry thing.

“Cooper Kupp has that chemistry with quarterbacks that he can run a route, and the quarterback will know exactly what he is doing,” Robey-Coleman said. “On top of that, he is strong, he can finish at the top of his routes, and he can separate. That’s what makes him so unique.”

McVay gushed about his slot receiver and his mastery at all facets of the game: understanding leverages, reading coverages, toughness over the middle. Plus, Kupp’s deceiving size and athleticism. He stands tall at 6-foot-2 and ran the 40 in 4.62 seconds.

“I think he sees the game really well,” McVay said. “Recognizes soft spots, understands how to attack man coverage, and then he’s bigger than most slots, you know, he’s a big target inside. He’s deceiving, too … people sleep on his athleticism. He’s one of the better players in this league after the catch and those are all the things you’re looking for.”

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