T.J. Hockenson brought out the fireworks for his NFL debut last season to the tune of 131 yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. This weekend the Lions head back to Glendale to try to take down Kyler Murray & Co. and claim their first W of the season, and the Lions will need Hockenson to step up again if they want to have a chance.
Bold prediction of the week: 100+ yards and two touchdowns for T.J. Hockenson
I wrote earlier this week about how T.J. Hockenson has continued to progress each week and is turning into Matthew Stafford’s security blanket. The catches he makes are tough and the yards he gains are hard-earned. If the pair keep up that connection against Arizona, Hockenson will have a field day.
Hockenson has the benefit of a personnel mismatch this week. The Cardinals are lacking in the area of decent coverage linebackers. The guy they drafted to address that, Isaiah Simmons, isn’t the biggest of guys to begin with. Covering Hockenson? Well that just makes the situation worse. Through two weeks, Simmons has graded out at around a 29 according to PFF. That’s really bad.
To add to that, let’s look at how things have fared for the Lions the first two weeks. With Marvin Jones Jr. as their only deep threat, defenses have been able to send extra safety help Jones’ way and essentially eliminate the Lions’ ability to stretch the field. However, the Lions kept Kenny Golladay off IR for a reason—they didn’t think he would miss three whole weeks. Golladay is expected to play Sunday, and if he does, that will make life easier for just about every skill player on the Lions offense.
It’s shaping up to be perfect conditions for a Hockenson Party in Arizona on Sunday. Let’s hope he shows up.