DeAndre Hopkins, Justin Pugh Make PFF All-Clutch Teams
Performing under pressure is a trait heavily sought after by professional athletes. New Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins possesses that ability. In fact, he succeeded so much so in that category last season for the Houston Texans that Pro Football Focus included him on their All-Clutch Team.
Hopkins joins New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas as the only two receivers to be included on the list. The new Cardinal caught 24 passes for 384 yards and no drops in the fourth quarter or overtime of games within eight points or less last year. Thomas checked in with 22 catches on 24 targets for 213 yards and two touchdowns.
"Given (Texans quarterback Deshaun) Watson’s success in the clutch, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see his former right-hand man, Hopkins, also on this list," PFF's Ben Linsey wrote. "Hopkins ... (was) commanding the football with the game on the line."
Hopkins was so productive in the "clutch," that the bulk of his statistics actually came in those situations. His pressure reception total was 23 percent of his 104 catches from the whole season, while the 384 yards was an astounding 33 percent of his 1,165 total yards.
Now, it does not hurt to have your quarterback make the same All-Clutch list, which Watson did. In fact, he had the best PFF rating of any quarterback in close fourth quarters and overtimes. He completed 66 of 88 passes (75 percent) for 909 yards, eight touchdowns and an interception in the regular season and playoffs combined, per Linsey.
Cardinals left guard, and Hopkins' new teammates, Justin Pugh was the only other member of the franchise represented, making the All-Clutch Second Team.