ARIZONA CARDINALS

DeAndre Hopkins gets bigger gloves, makes big plays to beat Eagles

Dec 20, 2020, 7:12 PM | Updated: 10:04 pm
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) pulls in a catch as Philadelphia Eagles defens...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) pulls in a catch as Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Michael Jacquet (38) and cornerback Kevon Seymour (41) defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — DeAndre Hopkins’ fumble spoiled a smooth, physical opening drive for the Arizona Cardinals against the Philadelphia Eagles.

He knew the problem immediately.

He tossed his size 4XL gloves for 5XL gloves, then made three big catches that led to 10 Cardinals points in a 33-26 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The receiver’s last catch was the game-winner.

“Those were too small,” Hopkins said of the gloves he started the game with. “They were like 4Xs and they know I wear 5Xs. I don’t even know why I tried to put them on.”

Once he sized up, Hopkins leveled up.

He finished with a new career-high as a member of the Cardinals with 169 yards.

The Cardinals offense had built a 16-0 lead through the first quarter before Eagles rookie signal-caller Jalen Hurts began cooking. He led Philadelphia on a touchdown drive that bridged the first and second quarters before Arizona attempted to respond.

Quarterback Kyler Murray found Hopkins to open the ensuing drive with a 45-yard deep ball that Hopkins snagged out of the air with Eagles defenders Kevon Seymour and Michael Jacquet contesting. Hopkins said that play ranks in the top-10 of his best plays over his eight-year NFL career.

“That probably (in) my top eight. Maybe 10,” he said. “I’ma go eight, though. Top-eight because it’s between two people. It’s not every day you see guys just catching on two people in the NFL. Maybe college, high school, not the NFL. So, yeah, top-eight.”

The play set up a 40-yard Mike Nugent field goal that pushed Arizona’s lead to 19-7 with 11:37 left in the first half.

Hopkins said the catch of the day, however, was Murray finding Larry Fitzgerald later on in the second quarter for a 14-yard touchdown.

Murray fired the ball past the waist of a defensive back, and Fitzgerald managed to haul it in at the back left pylon, giving the Cardinals a 26-14 advantage that was needed before the Eagles quickly added a touchdown (and a missed extra point) to pull within six points at halftime.

It was Fitzgerald’s first touchdown catch of the year.

“Kyler had talked about it this week that he was going to get him one,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury. “He kind of put it into the universe and made it happen.”

The Cardinals offense struggled to gain traction in the third quarter.

The Eagles tied the game at 26 points heading to the fourth, but the Cardinals blew another red zone possession when Murray threw an interception right to defensive back Marcus Epps.

He made up for it, to nobody’s surprise, with the help of Hopkins.

Two possessions later, Arizona went 86 yards with two third-down conversions to its best receiver: the first a 44-yard catch-and-run and the second a 20-yard touchdown strike.

“We saw the matchup that we liked. The guy was playing man, pressing me,” Hopkins said. “We just wanted to take a shot.

“Me being who I am, on third down, I always want the ball in a selfish way. I feel like Kobe Bryant always want the ball in a clutch situation.”

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) walks out before an NFL game between the Arizo...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Doug Kyed advises Arizona Cardinals to bring back DL Corey Peters

With the Cardinals' current roster construction, PFF's Doug Kyed believes Arizona should bring DL Corey Peters back once more in 2022.
1 day ago
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) protects his quarterback during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals take OT Paris Johnson Jr. in ESPN 2023 NFL mock draft

ESPN's Matt Miller thinks the Cardinals will beef up the offensive line in his first 2023 mock by selecting Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, and Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrate after an NFL foo...
Wills Rice

NFL.com’s Patra ranks Cardinals’ cornerbacks among weakest rooms in league

The Cardinals enter training camp with a few question marks personnel-wise on the defensive side of the ball, especially at cornerback.
4 days ago
Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
5 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after beating the Houston Texans 31-5...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: The timeframe of Kyler Murray’s contract extension

We haven't heard much lately when it comes down to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and a contract extension. When will a new deal get done?
5 days ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals LB Markus Golden among players with best team-friendly deals

Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden's contract cracked PFF analyst Brad Spielberger's top team-friendly deals ranking.
5 days ago
DeAndre Hopkins gets bigger gloves, makes big plays to beat Eagles