Connect with us

Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Why DeAndre Hopkins is NFL’s most valuable receiver

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

Published

on

The Houston Texans have a monster of a wide receiver on their hands in DeAndre Hopkins. He has had a terrific season so far and here’s the case as to why he’s the best in the league. Take a look to find out more.

Houston Texans faithful — the discussion for the NFL’s top wide receiver is usually between stars Antonio Brown and Julio Jones with DeAndre Hopkins being seen as an afterthought behind them. While Brown and Jones have been a little more consistent during the course of their careers, Hopkins has clearly been the top receiver in the NFL in 2018.

Fans in Pittsburgh and Atlanta might consider this statement as heresy, but Hopkins’ performance in 2018 is nothing short of special. His 1,321 receiving yards are third most in the NFL, behind Jones and Mike Evans.  His 11 touchdowns are tied for fourth-most in the NFL behind Brown, Eric Ebron and Davante Adams.

His 94 receptions also place him in the top 10 but his ability to make clutch catches puts him above every other receiver in 2018. The Houston Texans’ last game against the New York Jets was a prime example of how important Hopkins is to the Texans’ offense. His 10 catches for 170 yards were vital for an offense that gained only 286 total yards.

Hopkins hauled in a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 2:15 remaining. He was the only viable offensive weapon for the Texans last week as Lamar Miller left the game early with an ankle injury, while Deshaun Watson was constantly under pressure throughout the game. Demaryius Thomas had six receptions for 59 yards but most of his catches were screen passes and was not targeted often down the field.

Hopkins was the only player who seemed to be getting open for the Texans as he was able to get against the Jets’ secondary at will as Watson had only one incompletion when he targeted Hopkins against the Jets. His strong hands have been a constant throughout the season as he has yet to record a drop this season and hasn’t done so since Week 15 of last season.

Brown and Jones have both dropped at least one pass this season and the supporting cast for each player is better than what Hopkins has worked with for most of the season. The former has one of the league’s most underrated complimentary receivers in Mohammed Sanu and rookie Calvin Ridley, while the latter has the league’s best number two receiver in JuJu Smith-Schuster and a dynamic running back in James Conner.

Hopkins does have Will Fuller and Thomas as running mates at receiver but Fuller tore his ACL against the Miami Dolphins and Thomas has not made the impact that many fans thought he would have when he joined from Denver. Miller has been vital to the Texans’ success this season but the inconsistent line play makes it hard for him to truly make an impact.

Hopkins’ impact on the Texans’ offense is evident every time he runs a route as opposing defenses scheme ways to stop him from touching the ball. His ability to run great routes combined with his strong hands makes him one of the league’s best receivers but his knack for making crucial catches in crunch time is why Hopkins is the top receiver in the NFL.

Do you agree with my assertions?  Feel free to comment in the section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

My name is Joseph Esquivel-Murphy and I graduated from Penn State in May 2018. My affinity for the Texans started when the franchise drafted Andre Johnson in 2003 and have continued to follow them. I have an aunt that lives in Houston and loved the city when I visited as a kid. Before joining the LockedOn team, I was a freelance writer for the Centre Daily Times.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans

Brian K. Patterson

Published

on

Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Brian K. Patterson

Brian and Robert say goodbye to Locked on Texans.  After 540 episodes, we bid a tearful farewell to Houston Texans faithful, reminisce about our tenure and share some final thoughts on the Houston Texans future.

Continue Reading

Houston Texans

Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

Published

on

Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans off season is here and there’s a lot of work to do to prep this team for 2019. Who are the top free agents that the team should go after? Let’s take a look at the players who would make an impact.

The Houston Texans were one of the NFL’s better success stories this season after starting the season 0-3. J.J. Watt returned as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players, while free agent signee Tyrann Mathieu was a playmaker at the safety position. Third-round pick Justin Reid was one of the league’s best rookies and a starter in the Texans’ secondary for years to come.

DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson maintained their solid connection from last year as the former was named to his second consecutive first team All-Pro. Despite being sacked a league high 62 times, Watson passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Texans to a 11-5 record and the AFC South division title. Lamar Miller was only 27 yards from his third 1,000+ yard season, despite missing two games because of injuries.

While the offense did put up strong numbers, the offensive line was a liability throughout the season as Watson was constantly under pressure, while Miller and the rest of the Texan running backs had few running lanes. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson was signed to fix those problems but he broke his ankle in the season opener and did not play for the rest of the season. He is a free agent now and so is Kendall Lamm, the man who replaced Henderson on the offensive line.

Julie’n Davenport struggled at left tackle and Martinas Rankin has not shown enough to yet to be a contributor on the offensive line. While Jadeveon Clowney and Mathieu are both free agents who need to be brought back, improving the offensive line is the team’s biggest priority in the off season. The Texans need to address the offensive line in both free agency and the draft as the unit struggled to protect Watson.

In regard to bringing in help via free agency, Daryl Williams missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury but he was a second team All-Pro in 2017 and is the top tackle available.

His value might not as high because of the shoulder injury but Williams is one of the league’s better tackles and the Texans need to get him in free agency to bolster their offensive line. Williams is a mauler that should help create running lanes for Miller, while keeping Watson upright in the pocket. If the Texans are unable to sign him, Ja’Wuan James and Roger Saffold are the next best offensive linemen available in free agency and both players should be targeted by the Texans.

An upgrade in the secondary is also needed as Shareece Wright struggled in coverage, while Kayvon Webster and Aaron Colvin battled to stay healthy. Kareem Jackson had a great year for the Texans but is another Texans’ free agent that has to be re-signed.

Ronald Darby and Lamarcus Joyner are the best players available in free agency that can cover receivers in the slot and both players should be targeted by Bill O’Brien.

The Texans need to address their own free agents first as Clowney, Mathieu and Jackson were all vital parts to the team’s success in 2018.

What do you think?  Feel free to comment in the section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses

Brian K. Patterson

Published

on

Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What are the Houston Texans biggest weaknesses going into the 2019 off season?  Rob and Brian bring on State of the Texans’ BigRon to discuss what needs to be done to fix a team that has tons of potential to be dominant.  What’s the best way to improve the offensive line?  Is Julién Davenport still worth developing and what should we expect to see in additional development?

How about the thought of shifting Greg Mancz to center and Nick Martin to guard?  The trio also discusses the future of Whitney Mercilus on the roster as well as certain defensive lineman not getting enough playing time.  What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

Continue Reading

Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs

Brian K. Patterson

Published

on

Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the best way for the Houston Texans to fix the running backs position for the 2019 season?  They certainly can do better than bringing back Alfred Blue.  Rob and Brian talk about what the team needs to do and gives their top free agent running backs to help this offense flourish.  Is bringing in Le’Veon Bell a possibility?  Can the Houston Texans get the back they want in this season’s draft?

The duo discusses that plus gives their thoughts of Indianapolis Colts’ firing offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and the interesting back story that likely factored into the move.  Plus, Gary Kubiak finds a new job in the NFL.   What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending