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From around the NFL, there was some exciting news for the Houston Texans on several fronts. First, the Texans beat the New York Jets 24-17 for the team’s third victory in a row. In the process, they pulled even at 5-5 and are now considered a legitimate threat to the division leading Indianapolis Colts that have the same record, but currently hold the first tie-breaker on the basis of beating the Texans earlier in the season 27-20 in Houston.
The Texans were led this past week by All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who caught 5 passes for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the process of leading his team to victory, Hopkins passed a very important milestone. He became the third-youngest player in NFL history to catch 200 passes for a total of over 3,000 yards. He was able to pass both milestones when he caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from quarterback T.J. Yates at the 3:04 mark of the second quarter. Adding injury to insult for the Jets, he beat All-Pro defensive back Darrell Revis on the play by getting behind him on a long pass down the middle.
In just 10 games this season, Hopkins has 76 receptions for 1,045 yards and 9 touchdowns. He has already established career highs in receptions and TD passes with six games still remaining on the schedule. He is poised to end the season with a slash line of 120 receptions/1,630 yards/14 TDs. He currently ranks first in the league for touchdown receptions and third in both receptions and yards.
Hopkins was born and raised in Central, South Carolina. As a high school athlete, he excelled in football, basketball and track. He eventually chose football and signed to play his college ball close to home at Clemson. He played three years for the Tigers before declaring for the NFL draft at the end of his junior season. During the 2012 season as a junior, he had one of the great statistical years in conference history with 82 receptions for 1,405 yards and a school-record 18 touchdowns. His work was good enough to earn him honors as a Third-team All-American (2012).
For only the second time in franchise history, the Texans chose a wide receiver in the first round when they took Hopkins with the 27th pick overall. He was eventually signed to a four-year deal worth over $7.6 million. During his first season with the team, he was used mostly as a third option, but managed to catch 52 passes for 802 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Last year, he came back and established himself as an up and coming star in the NFL. He caught 76 passes for 1,210 yards and 6 touchdowns. When ask about the immense talent Hopkins posses, Head Coach Bill O’Brien said “Hopkins is a heck of a player.” He’s big, he’s got really good hands, he’s fast, very smart player, understands leverage. These guys, any receiver that I’ve been around (and) I’ve been very fortunate to be around some really elite receivers, they’re very intelligent players and that’s what he is.”
For now, Hopkins has the look of a superstar for years to come.
This article is the work of sports journalist Tony Sambroas. Tony is a huge fan of the NFL and always likes to write about the latest developments and accomplishments made on the field. To see Tonys NFL picks for the week check out the news section of http://www.freebets.com.au/.