DeAndre Hopkins hasn’t even hit a speed bump against the Jacksonville Jaguars yet but that may change against rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
17 receptions for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Those are the numbers for DeAndre Hopkins in two games against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015.
There’s no question that Hopkins is one of the best in the NFL at his position. He was nearly unstoppable in 2015, finishing with the third most receptions (111), seventh most receiving touchdowns (11), and third most yards (1521) in the NFL. A significant chunk of that production came in games against the Jags.
Brock Osweiler hasn’t proven to be much of an improvement, if any, over Hoyer at quarterback so Hopkins may have to be amazing again if he hopes to will the Houston Texans to victory in Week 10. He proved able to do that in 2015 but a lot has changed on defense for the Jags.
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The biggest change may be the primary guy covering Hopkins: Jalen Ramsey. While he may not have to do it all himself, as suggested by defensive coordinator Todd Wash, Ramsey has often been left alone against the opposition’s best receiver. He’s proven up to the task in most cases, even getting into heated exchanges with venerable players like Steve Smith and backing up his words with big play. Ramsey limited Alshon Jeffrey, Amari Cooper, and T.Y. Hilton to just six catches for 84 yards combined (per Fan Vice).
If Ramsey’s past history blanketing the best receivers on the opposing team is any indication, he’ll be able to limit Hopkins at least in part. This can only be good for the Jags following Hopkins’ domination the year before.
Keep your eyes on this matchup throughout the game. If Ramsey can get the job done it will be a continued trend in a promising starter to his career. Hopefully he’ll be able to keep things tight and limit the damage.