The DeAndre Hopkins trade somehow looks more lopsided than it did even a week ago.
Hopkins outleaped three Bills defenders on the penultimate play of Arizona’s game against Buffalo in Week 10 to catch a 43-yard touchdown from Kyler Murray. The catch completed a miraculous final-second comeback in the Cardinals’ 32-30 win, and it may just have cemented Hopkins’ place atop the NFL’s wide receiver ranks.
It looked like Arizona could be out of time after Josh Allen delivered a 24-yard touchdown to Stefon Diggs with 34 seconds remaining to go up 30-26. That completion set up Diggs to be the trade-acquisition hero of the day. Buffalo had acquired him in the offseason to boost Allen heading into his third year in the NFL, finally giving him a top-notch receiver, and it gave Diggs 10 catches for 93 yards Sunday.
Hopkins, though, wanted the best-offseason-trade crown. Arizona had committed one year earlier to finding Murray a star wide receiver, giving up David Johnson to the Texans in a trade that was widely criticized and eventually seemed to contribute to Bill O’Brien’s firing.
The Cardinals started at their own 25-yard line with 34 seconds left. Murray threw for 14 yards to Andy Isabella, followed by a timeout and a nine-yard completion to Hopkins and a final timeout. After Murray couldn’t find anyone open on the ensuing play, he spotted Larry Fitzgerald along the sideline for nine more yards to get into solid Hail Mary range.
On the deciding play, Murray rolled left before sending the ball skyward, a pass not unlike the ones Russell Wilson throws that Cris Collinsworth has dubbed “moon balls.” Waiting in the end zone was Hopkins, ready to justify the already-questionable cost for his trade and really stick a knife in Texans’ fans hearts after Houston lost 10-7 to the Browns earlier Sunday. And much like Calvin Johnson once did for the Lions, Hopkins hopped higher than everyone else and came down with the football.
The CBS play-by-play man, Ian Eagle, immediately screamed, “Murray magic!” Really, though, this was a Murray prayer answered by Hopkins — no magic needed.
And because Hopkins’ catch reminded us of how exciting Twitter can be at its best, here’s a rundown of what some of the best reactions were to the game-winning play.
A 1 man Hail Mary you say? What do you do when you need a win? You throw the ball to the most blanketed wide receiver who ever lived uncoverable. No WR in football catches more contested passes & he caught his biggest in his most contested moment! D Hop is a receiving War Lord!
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) November 16, 2020
Bills who DeAndre Hopkins made look silly
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) November 16, 2020
“Hail Murray”…or “The Murraycle”?
— SN’s Vinnie Iyer (@vinnieiyer) November 16, 2020
They’ll play this highlight at the most emotional part of DeAndre Hopkins’ Hall of Fame montage.
This is up there with OBJ as the best catch I’ve ever seen. https://t.co/vYcKwJYeax
— Andrew G. Haubner (@A_G_Haubner) November 16, 2020
Wow finish of the day. DeAndre Hopkins shows up with 2 sec left to win game for @AZCardinals on a dagger 43-yard throw by Kyler Murray. Hopkins draped by 3 defenders. Tough loss for @BuffaloBills. Arizona 32, Buffalo 30.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) November 16, 2020