HOUSTON — Tom Savage thinks DeAndre Hopkins is the best receiver in the league.
“I know I’m the best, so it doesn’t really mean anything to me,” Hopkins said after catching nine passes for 76 yards and a touchdown in the Texans’ 31-21 win against the Cardinals on Sunday.
The fifth-year pro picked a good day to have a yet another big performance. With Houston legend Andre Johnson being the first inductee into the Ring of Honor, Hopkins caught his ninth touchdown of the year, tying the former Texan for the second-most in a single season.
He also became the first player in Texans history with a touchdown catch in six straight home games.
Nobody is harder on Savage than himself. So after two losses to the Colts and Rams, his 230-yard, two touchdown performance was a much-needed confidence boost. It was the first multi-touchdown game of his four-year career.
“It feels awesome,” he said. “It’s hard to win in this league. You start getting into a little rhythm out there in the pocket and the whole team feeds off of it. When we start moving the ball and scoring points — we know we can do that and it feels good.”
Sunday’s game didn’t start as smooth as he wanted. Savage turned the ball over twice in the first half and Arizona capitalized both times, first when Larry Fitzgerald caught a 20yard pass and again when Sealy High School and Texas A&M alumnus Ricky Seals-Jones scored from 11 yards out to build a 14-10 halftime lead.
Seals-Jones caught another touchdown in the third quarter before rookie running back D’Onta Foreman scored the first two touchdowns of his career in the fourth to help Houston score 14 unanswered points to pull out the win.
On the second one, a 34-yard run in the fourth quarter, he needed to be carted off the field. Early reports say he has a torn Achilles and will be out for the rest of the season. He finished with 65 yards on 10 carries.
His injury is the latest on a long list for the Texans, which also lost cornerback Kevin Johnson to a concussion on Sunday.
“This is a team that has been through a lot,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “I told them this morning that if there’s a team that can overcome the adversity that they’ve been through —the hurricane, the injuries — this is the group of guys.”
Defensively, Eddie Pleasant and Andre Hal each had an interception. Jadeveon Clowney had three tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and two sacks, bringing his season total to eight on the year, a new career high.
Houston has an extra day to prepare for a road game against the Ravens next Monday night. The Texans are on the road against the Titans on Dec. 3 before returning home for their penultimate home game against the 49ers on Dec. 10.
“(The win) is huge,” tackle D.J. Reader said. “You can’t worry about what the outside says. We know what we’ve got in this locker room and we know where we want to go and where we still can go. We needed a win to get back on track.”