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HOUSTON (AP) — DeAndre Hopkins believes if a ball comes near him he should catch it.“That’s been my mindset since I’ve been playing football Tytus Howard Jersey 2019 ,” he said. “Defense, offense, basketball as well, the ball’s in the air, it’s mine.”That belief has led to some amazing catches, and lately he seems to make at least one a game. All of which has helped the Texans turn around their season and leave them one win from clinching the AFC South.His latest great grab came on in the fourth quarter on Saturday on a 14-yard reception that was the go-ahead score in Houston’s 29-22 win over the Jets. New York cornerback Morris Claiborne stayed with Hopkins throughout that route and even got an arm between his on the play. But Hopkins was still able to come down with the ball.“I felt like as good as I played it from the line of scrimmage it was perfect,” Claiborne said. “When you get perfect coverage like that from the line of scrimmage all the way to the end zone and guys come up with those type of balls, you take your hat off to them.”After the play Hopkins said Claiborne looked at him and said: ‘Man I don’t know how you caught it.’It’s a sentiment Hopkins hears often and said top defensive backs such as Patrick Peterson and Jalen Ramsey have said similar things after some of his catches.Hopkins is a favorite target of second-year quarterback Deshaun Watson and he raved about his ability to catch most anything thrown his way.“I try to be as perfect as I can, but for him, he just says: ‘just get it in his area, he’s going to come down with it,'” Watson said. “That’s what I try to do, just throw it in his catch-radius, and majority of the time he’s going to take it down. It helps me out big time.”Hopkins has reached 1,300 yards receiving for the second straight year and the third time in his career, and his 1,321 yards rank third in the NFL. He has 11 touchdown receptions Tytus Howard Houston Texans Jersey , which are tied for the second most in his career behind the 13 he grabbed last season.Though he’s happy about his success, he’s far more excited about how the team is doing, with the Texans winning 10 of their past 11 games after a 0-3 start.“If I had 50 catches and 500 yards I would feel like this is my best season because my team is in this position to do more than we’ve ever done before,” he said. “So for me team success first.”And despite his success, Hopkins never stops striving to improve. He admits to watching footage of his work, but said that he also devotes a good chunk of time to viewing catches made by former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, whom he refers to by his nickname “Megatron.”“I watch my highlights a lot, but I watch Megatron highlights too just because he made great catches like that,” Hopkins said. “It motivates me before the games just seeing a great dude go out there and just do it effortlessly.”During these film sessions Hopkins not only watches his big catches, he also dissects the catches that he didn’t make.“I always feel like I can be better. I feel like I can do better,” he said. “I feel like I can make better catches.”Hopkins is a very confident player, but he’s careful not to sound boastful. No matter what players do to try and slow him down he puts pressure on himself to do more to come away with the catch.“I’ve been stopped before from making those catches or I might have stopped myself sometimes,” he said. “So I feel like it’s me more so than the defender. That’s just like the role that I put on myself and the pressure, no matter what DB is out there it’s my ball. I don’t want to say a DB can’t guard me, but I still feel like I can catch it.”Houston cornerback Johnathan Joseph, a 13-year NFL veteran, has covered Hopkins for years in practice and shakes his head when asked what someone can do to keep him from making a catch.“You can’t do anything Senio Kelemete Jersey ,” Joseph said. “He’s an exceptional talent. He’s got rare hand-eye coordination to catch the ball so … it’s one of those things that in the game it’s almost impossible.”Hopkins has been making nifty catches throughout his six-year NFL career, which often leads him to be asked which one is his favorite. Because he’s always outdoing himself, the answer often changes and on Thursday it took him a few seconds to come up with an answer.He exhaled sharply and rubbed his long and lean hands together for a bit before coming to a conclusion.“The Dolphins catch between the legs,” he finally said. “I’m going to go with that.”That catch came earlier this season when he reached back and grabbed the ball with one hand and weaved it between his legs in the air before crashing to the ground. But it actually wasn’t a catch at all because he was called for pass interference.Despite not counting, that play was the talk of the locker room after the win and had many of his teammates wondering, as they often do, how he possibly came down with it.While he wows teammates and defenders alike with such feats as that non-catch and his huge grab last week, does he still get excited when he makes plays like that or is it simply another day at the office for the 26 year old?“Sometimes I surprise myself, just like darn I did that? (But) I feel like just go out and be better and do more,” he said. The chase to Atlanta is on.The regular season is over and there are 12 teams remaining in the run to the Super Bowl. And at the top of the AP Pro32 poll, the new year starts right where the previous one ended.The New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears, the top three seeds in the NFC, retained their top three spots in the final AP Pro32 poll of the season.New Orleans received 11 of the 12 first-place votes for 382 points in balloting Wednesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL. New Orleans will open the playoffs at home in the divisional round on Sunday, Jan 13.“The Saints lost in Week 1 and Week 17, both at home,” said Ira Kaufman of Fox 13 in Tampa Seantrel Henderson Jersey , Florida. “In between, Drew Brees and company established themselves as the team to beat in the Super Bowl chase.”The Rams, who also finished 13-3 in the regular season, will start their postseason at the Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 12. The Bears will close wild-card weekend when they host the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles on Sunday.The next six spots in the poll are all taken by the AFC’s playoffs teams.The Chiefs, who have the AFC’s top seed, are No. 4. Kansas City, which received the remaining first-place vote — from John Czarnecki of Fox Sports — has won the AFC West for three consecutive seasons. Patrick Mahomes, who finished with 5,097 yards and 50 TD passes, will try to get Kansas City its first home playoff win since the 1993 season.“MVP front-runner Patrick Mahomes finished a brilliant first season as a starter with 50 touchdown passes,” said Newsday’s Bob Glauber. “With home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, is a Super Bowl berth next?”The Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots finished in a tie at No. 5 in the poll.The Patriots, who won the AFC East for the 10th straight season and 15th time in the past 16 seasons, are the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They are trying to reach their ninth Super Bowl in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era. They are also trying to become the first team since the 1990s Buffalo Bills to return to the Super Bowl after losing it the previous season, and the first since the 1992 Bills to make a third successive trip to the big game.The Chargers, despite finishing with the same record as the Chiefs at 12-4 Vyncint Smith Jersey , lost the tiebreaker and are the No. 5 seed in the AFC. They will head to Baltimore to face the AFC North champion Ravens on Sunday. The Ravens are No. 9 in the poll.AFC South rivals Houston and Indianapolis are Nos. 7 and 8 in the poll. Those teams will open the postseason in Houston on Saturday when they meet for the third time after splitting their previous meetings.“Just wish they had another WR,” Czarnecki said of the Texans. Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins finished second in the NFL with 1,572 yards, but the depth took a hit when Demaryius Thomas was lost for the season with an Achilles tendon injury.Seattle and Dallas, who meet Saturday night in Texas, are 10th and 11th in the poll. The Seahawks and Cowboys both finished 10-6. They met in Seattle in Week 3, when the Seahawks won 24-13.The team that made the biggest climb from the first poll, which was released before the season started, was the Bears, who started out at No. 28 and finished at No. 3. And the team that had the biggest drop was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who began at No. 7 and ended up at No. 28.The Arizona Cardinals, who finished with the worst record in the NFL at 3-13 and have the No. 1 pick in April’s draft, were a unanimous choice for last place in the poll.

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