TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had only three catches on seven targets in Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, but the four other plays resulted in flags thrown for defensive pass interference.
All four penalties were against Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard. Three of them were accepted, which resulted in 42 yards’ worth of gains for the Cardinals in their 34-31 loss to Miami.
“As long as the ball moves, that’s all I care about,” said Hopkins, who had three catches for 30 yards. Howard’s four pass interference penalties were the most by a player in a single game in the last 20 seasons, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
While he was pleased that the penalties helped the Cardinals’ offense move down the field, Hopkins thinks they should benefit the receivers, as well.
“I do think that the rule should change,” Hopkins said, “and receivers should get counted yards for penalties.”
Hopkins, who was leading the NFL in receiving yards and receptions heading into Week 9, wasn’t peeved with the reduction in his output Sunday, even in a loss. It was Hopkins’ fewest receiving yards in a game this season.
“I was very happy,” Hopkins said. “Even though we didn’t win. That’s probably the only thing I was mad about, but not my catches or completions. When a guy has to hold you when a ball is being thrown your way every time, I think that’s a sign of respect.”
When Hopkins went back to look at the plays with the four defensive pass interference penalties, he saw himself either in a position to catch the ball or in position to have the advantage in catching the ball every time.
“That’s what you want,” Hopkins said. “You want to be able to be in the best position to make the catch or downfield where he has to do that because when a DB does that, he knows that he’s beat, which is helping the team. Most P.I.s are downfield, which is a 20-, 30-yard play. And we consider those explosive plays, which explosive plays wins games.”