Opposing quarterbacks rarely throw at Patrick Peterson, but Tom Savage targets DeAndre Hopkins like his life depends on it. Something has to give when the Arizona Cardinals take on the Houston Texans.
Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ official site notes Peterson said he’s prepared for a busy day on the outside.
“I know this week for sure, 1,000 percent, that I’m going to get action. I anticipate that each and every week, but the numbers don’t lie. You get 108 targets through nine weeks, that’s unbelievable.”
Heading into Week 11, no receiver had more targets than Hopkins. Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers surpassed that mark following during the team’s Thursday night victory over the Tennessee Titans, but Hopkins should retake the lead this weekend.
Over the last two weeks, Savage — the replacement for injured starter Deshaun Watson — has thrown the star wideout’s way 30 times. They’ve connected 13 times for 197 yards and one touchdown. While a fair bit of that production has happened in garbage time, that doesn’t change the point.
In fairness, there are worse strategies than “pepper the best receiver.”
Additionally, Savage may have even more reason to force the ball to Hopkins in Week 11 anyway. Will Fuller V is not expected to play.
Peterson is one of the league’s best cornerbacks, but Savage — for better or worse — is going to test the Cardinals star. Whichever player earns the upper hand most often will provide his struggling team with a huge boost Sunday afternoon.