Rams’ Sean McVay on Puka Nacua’s record-setting night in loss to Lions: He’s a ‘freaking warrior’


The Rams might have fallen on Sunday, but rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua’s star continued its rise.

Los Angeles’ stud rookie was transcendent, collecting 181 yards and a touchdown on nine catches to help the Rams to the precipice of a wild-card upset, only to come up short, 24-23.

“He’s a freaking stud,” McVay said about Nacua. “I think the same things that you can see. He’s a great competitor. He shows up big, makes plays, he’s tough to tackle. He can work edges and win and separate. He can finish. This guy’s a freaking warrior. He is a stud. I love the mindset and mentality that he has. If he just continues to stay humble and keep working, this guy’s gonna be a problem for a long time.”

Although the sting of L.A.’s defeat is still fresh, this was a season of a rapid growth for a young team that turned a rebuilding campaign into a retooling one in a hurry by winning seven of eight games down the stretch to crash the playoff party.

Principle among the new arsenal of playmakers is Nacua, who by all appearances is already one of the best fifth-round gems in NFL history.

After scoring six times in the regular season and setting new rookie records for receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,486), Nacua saved the finest performance of career thus far for last.

Not done with setting records, his 181 yards broke the rookie mark for a postseason game.