Sign up for a free Courant newsletter for a chance to win $100 P.C. Richard gift card

NFC West

Top votes split, but Rams' Cooper rolls as No. 1 AP returner

Pharoh Cooper of the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City's Tyreek Hill split 10 of the 11 first-place votes in The Associated Press kick returner rankings. The overall tally wasn't nearly that close.

Cooper finished with 102 points, 43 ahead of the Chiefs' speedy multipurpose man because Hill was left off two ballots and barely made three others on the voting panel that includes Hall of Fame receiver James Lofton and 10 AP pro football writers.

Hill's diminished role — he is no longer returning kickoffs and isn't in the top 10 in average yards on punt returns — was the difference. The second-year player finished fourth with 59 points, also behind a pair of rookies in...