The 2021 NFL season was one to remember in multiple areas for the Los Angeles Rams, from players on the team achieving impressive personal accomplishments to the overall success of the team. Ultimately, the combination of success throughout the roster led Los Angeles to be crowned Super Bowl Champions for the first time since Super Bowl 14, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in the big game. With a successful season now in the books, let’s look back at the year that was and pick out some season awards for the Los Angeles Rams from the 2021 campaign.
Los Angeles Rams 2021 Season Team Awards
Most Valuable Player: Cooper Kupp
A player who could have probably gotten even more NFL Most Valuable Player award votes this year for his historic season is Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Kupp. He put together one of the best seasons the league has ever seen from a wide receiver. Without a doubt Kupp is the MVP for Los Angeles this season.
Kupp finished the year with the NFL regular season triple crown of leading the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Along with that, he ended up unanimously being named an All-Pro, while also receiving Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP honors.
Throughout NFL history, there have been some impressive performances put forth by wide receivers. The season Kupp compiled in 2021 ranks at the top of league history. There is little to argue that he was not the Most Valuable Player for the Rams this year.
Offensive Player of the Year: Cooper Kupp
Along with being named team MVP, Kupp is also the Offensive Player of the Year winner for his performance this season.
Week-in and week-out, Kupp was a reliable asset on the outside of the field for Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. Kupp was reliable every single game. His skills came through in big situations when his team needed him the most.
Not even taking into account his playoff accomplishments, Kupp took the field in all 17 regular season games. Along the way, he finished with career-high and league-leading marks in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and touchdowns (16). Kupp also recorded 13.4 yards per reception, 114.5 yards per game and a catch percentage of 75.9 percent.
Those numbers are not only impressive in general, but they are some of the best statistics the NFL has ever seen from a wide receiver. That makes Kupp both MVP and Offensive Player of the Year for Los Angeles this season.
Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Darnold
One of the best defensive linemen in the entire league, Aaron Donald led the way for the Rams defense in 2021 and even made a Super Bowl-clinching play at the end of the big game to give his team a ring.
The 30-year-old Donald, who has recently hinted at potentially retiring if he and the Rams indeed won the Super Bowl, was dominant yet again this season and earned himself team Defensive Player of the Year along the way.
Darnold was reliable for the Rams again in 2021, appearing in every regular season game for the seventh time in his eight-year career. Darnold finished the year with 84 combined tackles, 38 solo tackles, 25 quarterback hits, 19 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.
Despite the retirement talk, Darnold should return to the Rams in 2022; he is their defensive leader. He certainly showed no signs of slowing down in 2021.
Comeback Player of the Year: Brian Allen
The Comeback Player of the Year award was a tough selection. Only a few Rams players had a down year a season ago resulting in them attempting to put together a bounce-back season in 2021. Rams center Brian Allen, however, bounced back with a strong season, earning him the honor on the team.
In 2019, Allen suffered a knee injury that ended up sidelining him for the entire 2020 campaign. In 2021 at the age of 26, Allen bounced back in his third NFL season to appear in 16 of the 17 regular-season contests.
Allen performed solidly alongside the rest of the Rams offensive line in protecting Stafford. The center took the field for 88 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, staying healthy and returning to pre-injury form. He bounced back and earned the Comeback Player of the Year award with grit.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ben Skowronek
Like the Comeback Player of the Year award, the Offensive Rookie of the Year award was tough to select. The Rams did not need too many rookie players to play large roles this season. The rookies on the roster did not post the most impressive numbers during the regular season.
When it comes to someone who stood out from the rest of the pack, wide receiver Ben Skowronek played the most out of the rookie class. As a result of that play time, his numbers appeared slightly more impressive than others.
The Rams selected their Offensive Rookie of the Year in round seven last year. Skowronek appeared in 14 regular-season games and started once. He finished with 11 catches on 20 targets, hauling in 133 receiving yards while recording 12.1 yards per reception. Skowronek could be a useful piece in Los Angeles moving forward, and he was one of the more impactful rookies on the Rams in 2021.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Robert Rochell
Defensive back Robert Rochell made one of the largest rookie impacts on the defensive side of the ball, earning him Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
A fourth-round pick out of Central Arkansas, Rochell played in 11 games for Los Angeles and started in five games at the back end of the Rams defense. He finished his rookie campaign with 14 combined tackles, 11 solo tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Rochell could be a useful player on the defensive side of the ball moving forward. The Rams could see more of Rochell in the coming years, gaining important experience this year at the age of 23.
Most Improved Player: Greg Gaines
A Super Bowl winning team has several players in the ‘most improved’ category; leadership and play wise. When it comes to the Most Improved Player that stood out from the rest during the regular season, that goes to defensive lineman Greg Gaines.
In his third season, Gaines went from not starting at all in his first two years with the Rams to starting in 13 of 17 matches in 2021. On an impressive defensive line in Los Angeles, Gaines finished with 55 combined tackles, 28 solo tackles, 13 quarterback hits, 4.5 sacks and four tackles for loss.
Gaines stepped up to play some of the best football of his career throughout the season. Gaines fought to become the player the Rams scouts saw when he was drafted in 2019.