DeAndre Hopkins dazzled under the bright lights of primetime in Saturday’s game against the New York Jets. Hopkins caught 10 passes for 170 yards and scored both touchdowns in the Texans 29-22 win.
The All-Pro receiver first scored on a deep 45-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to give the Texans a 13-3 lead with 8:14 left in the second quarter. The score capped off a two-play, 46-yard drive that began courtesy of a Texans takeaway. J.J. Watt forced a fumble on Jets running back Elijah McGuire. Angelo Blackson recovered to give Houston possession at the New York 46-yard line.
"It’s all about matchups," Watson said. "It’s all about depending on what they are in. They were in lot of Cover 1 and man coverage. That’s what they wanted to do. They wanted to match (Morris) Claiborne with D. Hop, and you have to win the matchup."
With the Texans trailing in the fourth quarter, Hopkins made a spectacular 14-yard game-winning touchdown in the left end of the endzone. Hopkins also added catches for 20 and seven yards on the seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Houston took a 26-22 lead with 2:15 left in the game.
"I knew he didn’t go for the fake, so I had to get position on him,' Hopkins said. "I let him get close to the ball, so I didn’t want to run past him. I tried to stay in front of him, so hopefully it would be a jump ball and I was able to get it."
"He did a great job," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "It was press coverage, and him and Deshaun were on the same page as to what type of throw it would be, and he did a great job.
Through 14 games this season, Hopkins has recorded 94 receptions for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns. The sixth-year veteran has recorded the most receiving touchdowns (24) in the NFL since the beginning of the 2017 season and has scored 18 touchdowns in 21 games with Watson.
Hopkins had five receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns in his lone career meeting against the Jets on Nov. 22, 2015.
With his third catch of the game, Hopkins became the second-youngest player to reach 500 career receptions in NFL history (26 years, six months, nine days), trailing only Larry Fitzgerald (26 years, two months, 29 days). Hopkins joined Cowboys WR Amari Cooper and Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill as the only players in the NFL to record at least 10 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns in a single game this season. Hopkins and Andre Johnson are now the only players in Texans history to record multiple games with at least 10 catches, 170 yards and two receiving touchdowns