“I told A.J., if he goes to (the Jaguars) then he better be the dude guarding me on third down instead of (cornerback) Jalen (Ramsey), because he couldn’t get the job done,” Hopkins said, per Alex Del Barrio of SportsRadio 610 in Houston. “… I love A.J., but hopefully he’s the one guarding me on third down to win the game next year for those guys. They might have a better chance.”
Hopkins is one the game’s top receivers who deserves double credit for playing with a marching band of horrible quarterbacks. Taking shots at Ramsey, though, doesn’t add up.
Hopkins accounted for just 48 yards and five catches off 13 targets in a Week 10 win over the Jaguars. He fared better in a 21-20 victory over Jacksonville in Week 15, amassing eight grabs for 87 yards off a whopping 17 targets. He failed to score in either game.
In that second tilt, Hopkins beat Ramsey on a third-down catch that helped set up a Texans field goal, cutting Jacksonville’s lead to 20-14. Hardly the day’s biggest play.
On Houston’s subsequent game-winning touchdown drive, Hopkins failed to catch any of Tom Savage‘s three attempts his way, although Ramsey was flagged for a key pass interference penalty that helped Houston score.
Is that the epic burn job Hopkins refers to? If so, we doubt it makes the league’s Top 500 moments from last season.
In the same game, Ramsey recorded a career-high five passes defensed, an interception and a forced fumble. He wasn’t afraid to square up with Hopkins and get physical, either, leading Texans coach Bill O’Brien to call the rookie a “very talented guy.”
O’Brien is right. Jacksonville is building a deep, young defense centered around their future All-Pro cornerback. Ramsey showed toughness from wire-to-wire last season and graded out as the team’s top cover man in the secondary. He’s a star-in-the-making.
The endless bickering between receivers and corners is part of the game. It grows tedious — dangerously so — when someone like Hopkins completely misses his mark.