Skip to main content

Cardinals offense 'a different deal' with WR DeAndre Hopkins back in win over Saints

DeAndre Hopkins' return from suspension helped jumpstart an Arizona Cardinals offense that had played with clipped wings the first six weeks of the season.

Hopkins caught 10 of 14 targets for 103 yards in Thursday night's 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints.

"You saw it, right? I mean, it was a different deal out there with him," coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Hopkins' return. "I mean the confidence other guys around play with. It was good to have him back. I think once he really gets in shape and gets back to running routes, comfortable on offense, we can really do some things."

It wasn't an explosive return, as the Cards still generated just 326 yards of offense and went 3-of-10 on third downs. But having Hopkins on the field helps alleviate some red zone (3-of-4) struggles and gives Kyler Murray a go-to playmaker when things get hairy.

"It was great. His energy, I mean, obviously he's talented as ever," Murray said. "But having him out there, it didn't look like he had any rust. He knocked it off real quick if he had any. But just his communication, his feel for the game, all of that, you can't put a price tag on that."

Murray and Hopkins admitted after the victory that there were a few moments when their chemistry wasn't perfectly in sync after missing so much time together. Yet, when they needed a big play Hopkins delivered with either a catch or drawing a penalty against a Saints secondary missing several key players.

Hopkins earned his most targets (14), catches (10), and yards (103) in a game since 2020. He generated a 48.3 percent target share on 29 attempts Thursday, and 103 yards was more than all other Cards pass-catchers combined Thursday night (101).

"I spent a lot of time in the offseason preparing for this moment," Hopkins said. "Obviously, I knew what I was up against, being out six games. Today was a success. The main goal is to win. If I had 10 catches for 10 yards, if we would've won the game, I'd still be ecstatic."

The Cardinals didn't ease Hopkins back into the game. He played 56 of 60 offensive snaps Thursday, via Next Gen Stats.

"I feel great," Hopkins said. "I feel like I could've played another two quarters, another three quarters if I needed to.

"Today was a good day for my body."

And it was a good day for the Cardinals, who earned a much-needed victory to avoid falling further behind in the NFC West.

Related Content