It had been a quiet game for DeAndre Hopkins. Then two throws, eating up a total of 82 yards and producing a highlight-worthy contested touchdown catch, changed the wide receiver's game Sunday during the win over the Jets.
And you could tell too, with the way Hopkins was smiling during his postgame press conference, recounting his conversation with QB Kyler Murray when he spotted a single-high safety and the chance to go one-on-one with a cornerback. "I like my odds," he said.
"I was telling Kyler, 'Just trust me,' " Hopkins said. "I told him, 'Just give me a chance and let's work on some things.' "
If the trust thing sounds familiar around these parts, it's because it should. Once upon a time, it was Larry Fitzgerald telling Kurt Warner to essentially "just trust me" even when Fitz might be covered, because even in Fitz's heyday, he wasn't a guy with so much speed he could run away from defenders.
Hopkins has also never been known for his raw speed, yet that hasn't slowed his own Hall-of-Fame trajectory. When it was pointed out postgame Sunday he already has three 130-yard games with the Cardinals after having none a season ago, he noted that "a lot of people look at me as just a possession receiver, I guess."
Hopkins said he thought the playcalling was a "little bit more aggressive" Sunday. That certainly was true late on the tries to Hopkins, who added that Kliff Kingsbury too trusted him. (Why wouldn't he though -- Hopkins has consistently produced all season.)
Hopkins remains the NFL league leader in catches (45) and yards (528). I'm not huge into projecting only five games in, but right now, Nuk is on pace to crush his career highs in receptions for a season (115) and yards in a season (1,572, both in 2018). Hopkins projects to finish with 144 catches and 1,690 yards.
If the Cardinals keep playing the trust game with Hopkins, he'll reach those goals.
"My abilities and my talent, obviously, (Sunday's game) and other games show I'm not just a possession receiver," Hopkins said. "I'm a downfield threat."