Since taking over for wunderkind Deshaun Watson, Savage has targeted Hopkins a whopping 30 times in two games. With little else going for him, Savage's 'give Nuk a shot' plan is the only one working -- when the QB doesn't sail the ball 40 feet out of bounds.
Hopkins leads the NFL in receiving TDs (8) and is second in receiving yards (803). The Pro Bowler leads all receivers with 108 targets, per ESPN stats.
On Sunday, Hopkins will square off in a head-to-head matchup with Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. The traveling corner generally gets avoided, with quarterbacks choosing to pick on lesser Arizona DBs. Peterson, however, expects to be busy this week. He knows Savage must funnel the offense through Hopkins.
"I know this week for sure, 1,000 percent, that I'm going to get action," Peterson said via the team's official website. "I anticipate that each and every week, but the numbers don't lie. You get 108 targets through nine weeks, that's unbelievable. This matchup is definitely something that gets me up because I know I'm going to get work."
Peterson has seen just 32 targets this season, allowing 12 catches and one score, per Pro Football Focus -- eight of those targets came in one game versus the 49ers. Opponents are going after PP on just one out of every 11.1 coverage snaps.
With Will Fuller injured, Hopkins' targets appear destined to remain high.
Facing one of the most physical receivers in the NFL, Peterson noted there would be a lot of hand-fighting and likely a "lot of flags." Peterson noted it will be a challenge battling a contortion-artist like Hopkins, but the All-Pro corner scoffed when asked if he had anything to prove facing Hopkins for the first time in the regular season.
"Prove?" Peterson said. "Hmm. I don't know if there's anything else to prove. I just want to continue to be consistent the rest of the year, obviously in this game, to help put my team in the best position to win."
If Peterson shuts down Hopkins, the Texans' offense will be completely wiped out.