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Pass-Friendly Offense Could Lead To 'Amazing' Season For DeAndre Hopkins

After sizzling debut, All-Pro wideout dreaming big with Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins runs after the catch during the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers on September 13, 2020.
WR DeAndre Hopkins believes he can continue to have big games in the Cardinals' receiver-friendly offense.

DeAndre Hopkins was already intrigued by Kliff Kingsbury's pass-friendly scheme before the season began.

After 16 targets and a career-high 14 catches for 151 yards in his Cardinals debut, the All-Pro receiver believes his potential within it could be limitless.

"I think I can have an amazing season in an offense like this," Hopkins said. "It's an offense that gets its playmakers the ball. Ball out quick. Great scheme. And when you've got a great quarterback like Kyler (Murray), anything's possible."

Hopkins has put up dazzling numbers since his NFL arrival in 2013, highlighted by a 2018 season in which he caught 115 passes for 1,572 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He averaged 98.3 receiving yards per game in that campaign, and even with this great start, that won't be easy to top. However, it does not seem unrealistic, as Hopkins has developed instant chemistry with Murray and figures to see a good number of targets each game.

"Any time you have a dominant player like Hop, he's going to mesh with any quarterback that he steps foot on the field with," Kingsbury said. "He's just that type of presence when he's out there, and I think (Sunday), when we were struggling a little bit on offense, Kyler went to him and continued to go to him."

Moments after saying that, Kingsbury pointed out that the Cardinals also have other talented wideouts, most notably Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. Hopkins' ability is unquestioned, but it's too early to conclude that his debut dominance will be the standard.

"(Sunday) was kind of Hop's day," Kingsbury said. "He got hot and carried us through, and we have a lot of guys capable of having those type of days. The more weapons you have, the more challenging it is for a defense to prepare for you. We have to do a good job as a coaching staff to continue to spread the football around."

It also remains to be seen how "Air Raid" the offense will be in 2020.

It was pass-heavy against the 49ers, as Kingsbury called nine straight throws to begin the game and Murray finished with 40 attempts, which didn't include his myriad scrambles on passing plays. Last season, though, also began pass-happy before morphing to a much more balanced attack.

Hopkins will assuredly be productive, but for a player of his talent, the expectations are stratospheric. Hopkins is tied with Davante Adams for the league-lead in receptions after the first week and is six receiving yards behind Julio Jones.

Despite a decorated career, he's never led the league in either category, and was asked if that would mean something to him if it happened.

"Maybe at the end of my career, when I'm stacking stats up comparing to Hall of Fame players, I might look and be like, 'I had a good season that year,'" Hopkins said. "But right now, naw."

Hopkins much prefers a different type of hardware when the season concludes.

"It would be better if I could have a championship," Hopkins said.

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