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Puka Nacua sets rookie record for receiving as Rams beat 49ers to wrap season at 10-7

Rams rookie Puka Nacua breaks NFL records as team clinches playoff berth. Playoffs start next Saturday with Wild Card Round.

Los Angeles Rams rookie receiver Puka Nacua made history on Sunday, setting the NFL rookie record for catches and yards receiving in a win over the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams, who had already secured a playoff spot, finished the regular season with a 10-7 record and a 21-20 victory over their division rival. The game came to an end with the 49ers in possession of the ball, but backup quarterback Sam Darnold fumbled under pressure, leading to a Rams recovery.

In the upcoming playoffs, the Rams will face the Detroit Lions, led by former Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff. Coach Sean McVay made the decision to rest several starters in order to preserve them for the postseason, opting to start Carson Wentz at quarterback. However, Nacua was left in the game just long enough to break the all-time rookie records for catches and yards early in the third quarter.

Nacua's performance on Sunday, with four catches for 41 yards in the first 34 minutes of the game, brought his season totals to 105 catches and 1,486 yards, breaking the previous records set by Miami's Jaylen Waddle and Bill Groman for the Houston Oilers in 1960. Nacua tied the record for yards with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Wentz in the first quarter, and then broke both records on the opening drive of the third quarter with a 7-yard pass to break Groman's 63-year-old record, and a 6-yard pass to break Waddle's record.

Despite being drafted in the fifth round in April, Nacua has had a remarkable rookie season, emerging as one of the NFL's most productive receivers. He has seven games this season with at least 100 yards receiving, including three games with at least 150. As a result, he is considered one of the leading contenders to win the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

The NFL playoffs are set to begin next Saturday with the Wild Card Round, and Nacua's record-breaking performance has undoubtedly put him in the spotlight as the Rams prepare to face the Lions in the first round.

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