Tennessee Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had a breakout performance on Sunday, racking up 128 yards and scoring three touchdowns. It was a reminiscent display of the skills that made him a star during his time with the Houston Texans.
Remarkably, this was only the second game in Hopkins’ career where he scored three touchdowns. As he exited the field, Hopkins drew a parallel to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith who famously declared, “They wrote me off. I ain’t write back, though,” after the 2022 season opener.
On Sunday, Hopkins reminded everyone of his previous accolades, including five Pro Bowl selections and All-Pro honors from 2015 to 2020. His touchdowns in rookie quarterback Will Levis’ debut came from distances of 47, 16, and 61 yards.
“My goal is always to earn the trust of the quarterback, even when the defensive backs appear to have me covered,” Hopkins shared in an interview with Jim Wyatt of the team website. “That’s exactly what happened in this game, and that’s what we had discussed beforehand. We knew we were capable of making those plays. Will felt confident in me and trusted me. It’s not just about me; we have other playmakers like Nick Westbrook(-Ikhine) and a solid offensive line that deserves credit for their blocking.”
This game marked Hopkins’ first career performance with over 100 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions. It was also his 13th game with at least two touchdown catches. The only other time he achieved three touchdown catches in a game was while playing for the Texans against the Chiefs on October 8, 2017.
Since entering the NFL in 2013, Hopkins ranks fourth with 74 touchdown receptions, trailing only Davante Adams (90), Mike Evans (86), and Antonio Brown (76).
Just last week, there were rumors of Hopkins being a potential trade candidate. However, after his outstanding performance, along with Levis’ strong showing and the Titans’ victory, it seems highly unlikely that Hopkins will be on the trading block.
Through seven games this season, Hopkins has accumulated 31 catches for 504 yards and three touchdowns. If he maintains this pace, it will be his most productive season since his last Pro Bowl appearance with the Cardinals in 2020.
When asked about the external noise surrounding his trade rumors, Hopkins showed a resilient attitude. He said, “I don’t pay much attention to things I can’t control. I have faith in God, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to play in the NFL. I’m thankful to be here and just focused on playing football.”
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