ARIZONA CARDINALS

DeAndre Hopkins got in trouble for counting the 49ers he burned

Nov 21, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: Nov 22, 2022, 12:31 am

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, right runs with the ball after a reception during ...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, right runs with the ball after a reception during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

DeAndre Hopkins probably should have known a flag was coming.

When he caught a first-down catch midway through the second quarter in a 38-10 loss Monday against the San Francisco 49ers, the Arizona Cardinals receiver got up and counted two defenders who’d been in coverage.

That did not sit well with the officials, who by the book have little choice but to call taunting.

Hopkins should have known that was coming — as little fun as the NFL officials can be. Because if the rulebook isn’t his thing, it’s likely he saw Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown three weeks ago do the exact same counting celebration.

Brown was fined, in his words, $5,000 for each point.

Hopkins in the first half has seven catches on eight targets for 77 yards, but he caught just two more to close with 103 yards as the offense shriveled. Meanwhile, the 49ers hit the Cardinals with their run game hard en route to a 21-0 second half in favor of San Francisco.

If the penalty yardage was painful, well, the hubris caught up with Arizona soon after. Two plays later at the Cardinals’ 45-yard line, Arizona quarterback Colt McCoy threw to running back James Conner, who tipped the ball in the air leading to a San Francisco interception by Jimmie Ward.

The 49ers went 46 yards in three plays, and a George Kittle touchdown catch put San Francisco ahead, 14-3, with 8:42 left in the first half.

The Cardinals would quickly answer, going 75 yards over four-plus minutes to make it 14-10 with 4:19 left in the second.

San Francisco got a field goal in with 43 seconds left to go back up a touchdown at halftime.

Back to Hopkins: The penalty did not sit well with the football viewing audience as a whole.

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DeAndre Hopkins got in trouble for counting the 49ers he burned