October 5, 2022

Bengals’ Mike Hilton welcomes challenge of covering Rams’ Cooper Kupp

Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton

LOS ANGELES — It might be the toughest assignment in Super Bowl LVI — trying to stop Rams superstar receiver Cooper Kupp.

Kupp put up eye-popping numbers this season for the Rams, catching 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season. He has added to that in the postseason with 25 catches for 386 yards and four touchdowns.

The Bengals will turn to cornerback Mike Hilton to slow Kupp down. Hilton has faced Kupp before. In 2019, while a member of the Steelers Hilton held Kupp to no catches on four targets. Kupp was good then, but he has since made a huge jump to become the most productive receiver in football. “He’s just deceptive,” Hilton said. “He’s a guy that knows how to switch tempos in the middle of his routes to slow DB’s feet down and make them hesitate for half a second. … [Quarterback Matthew] Stafford trusts him. That’s his go-to guy. He expects him to win his one-on-one. But I’m confident in what I can do. I know it’s going to be a big matchup between us both. Personally, I feel like we’re probably the best two slots in the game. What bigger stage [is there] to go out there and prove it? Me against him in the Super Bowl, can’t be a bigger moment.”

Hilton has been coming up big for the Bengals all year. He went to Cincinnati as a free agent after four years with the Steelers. In the AFC Championship game, Hilton made a crucial pass breakup on third down and his coverage helped led to safety Vonn Bell’s overtime interception of Patrick Mahomes.

Pro Football Focus ranked Hilton as one of the best slot cornerbacks in the game.