Fast, catching range, route tree, big, physical, fights for the ball
Speed in long ranges
What’s there to say about DeAndre Hopkins that hasn’t already been said? Hopkins is an elite receiver in the NFL right now and Will Fuller is taking advantage of that as well. Hopkins doesn’t score a lot of touchdowns, but he’s a catching machine.
He’s caught 71% of his passes on 56 targets this season with over 400 yards so far. He also has 25 first down catches on 48 total with a 10 yards per catch. What’s also impressive is his 142 yards after the catch has been made.
However, not only is Hopkins a threat but so are the other receivers because of Hopkins. When throwing his way, Watson has a QB rating of 96. Compare that to Kenny Stills‘ 142 and Jordan Akins‘ perfect rating at 153.1.
One important stat to note, too, is Hopkins averages 3 tackles avoided per catch, so wrapping him up is important for the Colts. The Colts play a pretty standard Cover-2 defense which can be beaten on the outside seam and up the middle with the tight end. The key is making sure disciplined defense is played and no one tries to make a hero play.
Keys to defending Hopkins:
Don’t be a hero
Get to the quarterback quick to avoid the 5 steps drop back
The winner of these three matchups will likely be the winner of the game. It is crucial for the Colts to gameplan accordingly so they can come out on top.