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Rams have it all in receiving trio of Cooks, Woods and Kupp

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Will Rams WRs finish in top-25? (1:18)

Matthew Berry thinks that the Rams' receiving corps of Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have the chance to finish as top-25 WRs. (1:18)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- For Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, there's no bad option when he's seeking a target.

Brandin Cooks. Robert Woods. Cooper Kupp.

"They're all great," Goff said about his receivers. "It seems like another guy steps up every week. It kind of cycles."

As opponents key on slowing down multi-dimensional running back Todd Gurley, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, it has become apparent that Goff has three reliable options in the passing game to keep the offense moving.

A week after Cooks darted from sideline to sideline and stretched the field to put on a pass-catching clinic (seven receptions for 159 yards) in a victory over the Arizona Cardinals, Woods followed with an exceptional performance of his own (10 catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns) in a win against the Los Angeles Chargers.

"This is as special a group, in terms of just the offense, that I've ever been around," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "They're all catching the football really well and those three in particular have been phenomenal so far."

They'll look to continue the trend Thursday, when the Rams (3-0) face another test against the Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1) at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

McVay has each of his receivers running jet sweeps. And while Cooks, Woods and Kupp are hardly interchangeable, each has demonstrated an ability to catch just about any ball, anywhere on the field.

"For us running it, it's just part of what we do and we understand it," Kupp said. "Hopefully it is dizzying for whoever is seeing it."

Said McVay: "They've contributed in a variety of ways. They're competing with the ball, without it, they're competing as runners, as receivers, extremely smart, intelligent players that have great ability."

And they've been exceptional at gaining first downs. Cooks, Woods and Kupp have combined to gain a first down on 74 percent of their receptions: Cooks has 19 catches this season, 15 for first downs; Woods has 19 catches, 14 for first downs; Kupp has 15 catches, 10 for first downs.

The league's average receiver gets a first down on 39.5 percent of their catches.

As Goff's command of the offense has continued to grow, so has his chemistry and trust in his receivers. The third-year QB has not hesitated to throw into traffic, or let it fly down the field, knowing his receiver will be there.

Goff is completing 61 percent of his passes that are 15-plus yards downfield this season, compared to 43 percent last season. He's 7-of-8 when targeting Cooks, according to ESPN Stats and Information tracking.

But after Sunday, it became apparent that it's not just Cooks who can stretch the field. Woods caught passes for 22, 20 and 16 yards and Kupp demonstrated that he can create some long plays, too.

"This offense utilizes every single guy and keeps them all involved," Woods said.

The Rams immediately turned their attention to Cooks in the offseason after Sammy Watkins departed in free agency for the Kansas City Chiefs. They sent a first- and sixth-round draft pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for Cooks, who also played for three seasons with the New Orleans Saints after they selected him in the first round of the 2014 draft.

Cooks has strung together three consecutive seasons of gaining 1,000-plus receiving yards, and with 336 receiving yards through three games, he is on pace for another.

When Cooks arrived in L.A., McVay immediately touted his speed. Then Cooks was awarded a five-year, $81 million extension after the offseason program and before he ever played a snap with his new team.

"He's been awesome for me as a guy to grow with," Goff said. "And a guy that we want to hit those deep, down-the-field balls with."

Last season, Woods shed his label of a possession receiver, when he took a short pass play and turned it into a 52-yard touchdown against the New York Giants. A week later, he caught a 94-yard pass for a touchdown against the Houston Texans.

Over the offseason, Woods, who is in the second season of a five-year, $34 million contract, made a point to develop stronger hands. His newly developed skill has shown up through three games, as he has caught 19 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns -- often in traffic or as he toes the sideline.

"We made it a point for him to try to do that," McVay said of Woods' hands. "He was intentional about implementing that into his practice regimen the way that he worked and now you're seeing it show up in the games."

As for Kupp, a third-round pick from Eastern Washington in 2017, he has continued to demonstrate growth in the offense and has proven himself as a reliable target.

In three games, Kupp has caught 15 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns.

"You see him make plays down the field," McVay said. "Whether it's some of those deep crossing routes or sometimes at that three spot. He's had some opportunities and he's made plays when you go back to last year and just seeing that."

Against the Chargers, Kupp and Goff connected on an off-schedule play, as Goff stepped up in the pocket to deliver a midrange throw. Kupp shed a tackle to go the rest of the way for a 53-yard touchdown.