Back in July, our own Ryan Mathews said it’s time for Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson to show the world he belongs in the top tier of NFL tight ends. In a September mailbag, the guys wondered if a slow start to the year would be worrisome. The former eighth-overall selection came in, after all, with high expectations in 2022 from the national media.
But then last week, Pride of Detroit’s bold prediction artiste Hamza Baccouche said Hock would step up to take center stage against the Seattle Seahawks. The TEU Heavyweight Champ showed why he got the belt, and definitely won the reps when his number got called.
A career day in yards and touchdowns later, we have T.J. Hockenson on pace to fulfilling his potential like gangbusters:
Among all @NFL tight ends through Week 4, @Lions TE @TheeHOCK8 ranks:— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) October 7, 2022
- 1st in yards after contact (92)
- t-1st in TDs (3)
- 2nd in yards (261)
- 3rd in avg. (14.5)
- 3rd in YAC yards (144)
His 81-yard reception is also the longest by any #NFL player this season.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/QrgR462xvd
Something interesting to point out about the 81-yard reception that Erik Schlitt referenced in the game ball thread for Week 4 was that the play “was expected to have just seven yards gained after the catch, but Hockenson’s ability to keep the play alive earned him an extra 68 yards beyond expectations—the most yards after catch beyond expectations in the NFL this season.” Improving on gaining yards after the catch was a very specific part of Hockenson’s overall game that Football Outsiders’ analysis in July said he needed to improve.
Hockenson was having a great year in 2021 before a thumb injury sidelined him in December, as evidenced by his 2022 Pro Bowl alternate selection even for the injury-shortened season. Is he back to form following offseason recovery? Sure looks like it. He’s fought back from injury before and performed at a high level, so it’s no surprise he’s doing well in the Lions’ potent 2022 offense.
Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Our own Mike Payton has a thoughtful piece on dealing with losing favorite players to other teams as a fan:
Check out Mike’s latest for the mothership—> https://t.co/5iEqxRBKwi— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) October 7, 2022
- Lions special teams coordinator Dave Fipp had a lot of praise and admiration for Bill Belichick and the kicking game units in New England on Thursday. Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press covered Fipp’s comments in an article posted Thursday.
- Speaking of the kicking game, Fipp also game remarks about the placekicking situation for Detroit. MLive’s Ben Raven wrote about the coordinator’s confidence in both the short and long term plans the team has in place.
- For a great preview of Sunday’s game, check out the new podcast episode of Detroit Lions Breakdown with Joe Kania and our own Erik Schlitt.
- Fox 2’s Dan Miller sat down for a brief chat with Taylor Decker, and the video is up on the station’s website.
- Yes folks, the Lions are throwing it down the field this year:
Explosive Pass Play %— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 7, 2022
1. PHI 19.6%
2. SEA 17.1%
3. GB 16.9%
4. DET 16.9%
32. ARI 7.7%
SEA/DET are two very well coached offenses. Geno and Goff are playing outstanding football - their teams are running the hell out of the ball and absolutely ripping shots all over the field
- Serpent of Death Josh Reynolds was a featured guest on this week’s episode of Tim Twentyman’s “Twentyman In the Huddle” podcast. Video of the show is up on YouTube. Also from Twentyman is a new mailbag article on the team’s official site.
- ESPN’s Eric Woodyard wrote a short article about Aidan Hutchinson’s memories of growing up a Tom Brady and New England Patriots fan.
- Okay, this is pretty cool: